A few days ago spring began. Josh and Justin went to pick up beer from the store. They always get the same beer, High Life; from the same store, Tony’s. These men are creatures of habit. Josh repeats the same idiom every time the homies pop their first can, “It may not be the highest grade in the dispensary but this some good beer.”
Justin co-signs with this infamous, “Right on.”
Josh exhales, “Did I tell you about my dream?”
Justin, “Nah, but I love a good dream. What happened?”
Josh shrugs nonchalantly launching into the tale:
I really don’t know where to start but the weather was strange. The earth quaked at least six times and it rain a lot too. I could never tell the difference between things I thought and things I actually said. It was so confusing but I didn’t have time to be frustrated since I had so much to figure out. Oh and my abs were super tight. I don’t know why. Maybe I was worried but I remember how sore they were and I couldn’t figure out why. This was confusing too but I had to keep going. Even though I didn’t know where I was going. Isn’t that funny? Just like in life when we don’t know where to go but we keep going. Dreams are the same.
Justin co-signs, “Right on!”
Josh jumps back into his dream:
The rain turned into snow but I wasn’t cold. I told my feelings to turn off when the sun went down. I only felt determined but I never really knew why. There was a woman I remembered from when we were kids. She was tall and she was glowing in the dark. People were lining up to talk to her but I kept walking because I couldn’t remember her name. Everyone that spoke with her left with a smile and I wanted to go to her, but I forgot the lesson I learned and I was too embarrassed to stare until it all came back to me. I was afraid I’d waste too much time and wake up never figuring out where I was meant to be. Then these thoughts surfaced and I couldn’t help but repeat them in my head over and over, “Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me?” There were no hints and no clues. Just time passing quietly.
Josh pauses and takes a few sips from his beer. Caught up in the suspense Justin inquires, “So what happened next?” Josh replies, “I don’t know. I’m not sure if I don’t remember or if I woke up.”
“Yea I had to take the long way, it took forever.”
“Nothing wrong with taking the long way. Sometimes that’s the best path.”
“I remember growing up in Georgia. Me and my brothers and sisters would pick anything: butterbeans, turnip greens, blackberries anything. If it grew we picked it. We would bring what we picked home to momma. She knew what to make. She could make anything. But a lotta times when we were on our way home we would pass this white woman’s house. She would yell out the window or from her porch ‘What did yall pick today?’ We would try to ignore her but she would come take whatever we had anyway – or whoop us. ‘Bring em here let me see’ she would holler. So after a while … you know we ain’t dumb right?”
“Yes I know that for a fact.”
“After a while we started walking the long way home. Through the woods, past our turn just so we could make it home with what we picked. What belonged to us. There is nothing wrong with taking the long way. As long as you get where you going baby.”
There was only one window. The darkness of the night left the room dreary and lonely. The entire space was cold because of the nights eerie sentiment. Closing her eyes she remembered a brighter time. It was just a week ago. She was free to roam. Free to live. Outside of all walls without guidance or instruction she wandered. She stopped only when she was exhausted and that moment had arrived. Resting outside of a small hut she sat next to a bush of green roses. She had never seen such a flower and was enamored by the vibrance. Pricked by a thorn upon attempting to touch she sat patiently looking onto the flowers. In that moment one began to bloom. She watched as the bud unfolded in front of her petal after petal after petal. She couldn’t help but wonder when she would bloom. Opening her eyes the darkness returned and the warmth of the roses became a distant memory. She knew pretending wouldn’t protect her and chill would never keep her mind still. So she sat alone in the dark without a hint or a clue.
There were fireworks but the show eventually ended. The more adamant he grew the more I knew it would never really be. He forever had a plan but no execution, no money and no way of making things happen. He was an idea man. A true mad man that could talk a new hole in the head of anyone willing to listen, then leave you there leaking. As he incessantly rambled I knew better. Not this time. Not me. I was willing to crop him out of the picture before allowing him to tarnish my portrait and in that moment I knew I had grown. Naive no more the new me had emerged. I put my foot down. No more being pushed around. I had made up my mind.