My Dream Job (Another Memoir)

It’s not a trick.

There’s a key to hearing the sucking sounds of lost dreams escaping into a vacuum which probably looks even darker than this metaphoric night. They were there once. So was I.

Dreams of doing something important. Of living “happily ever after.” I had a dream about that girl I should have married. Then there was the dream . . .

Dreams are like layer cakes. Rich and soft and buttery, with smooth creamy layers of more richness and more unattainable crap. Big calories and the type of privacy you just don’t have in front of others, like when you eat two large pieces – sticky, sugary, wet icing all over your fingers before you lick them clean – and satisfyingly, you sit down and watch TV until you fall asleep Mexican style in the middle of the afternoon.

I’m screaming, through your deafness, I had dreams too. Hear me? Good. I had them early and late. In morning, night and afternoons of my childhood. There, like unwanted relatives, all through my youth. They were hidden in every lie I told about pseudo glory and how I had pseudo private thoughts about how the world would be a bit safer and better through the creation of my babbling words . . .

I had more dreams than you. And now I have less. I had more cars and less. More clothing and less. More pussy and less. I had more nights that were days and days you’d call nights and starlight and moonlight and . . .

Look over there: The lights of Miami feel very assuring when you’re offshore. The type of reassurance that one gets when hidden away from the world, but still able to stare – hard and firm like some phallic thing – into the west, away from this Bermuda Triangle to the skyline of Miami where dreams and dreamers live. And, you open a bottle of that good rum, not the cheap shit, and you look west to where they live and you thank God you’re not there counting the minutes until the alarm clock rings and the slave masters beckon.

It’s nice to be a whore and know it.

Stop. Did you just glance at the meaning of life like you were skimming a box score? Stop and read the sentence above – again and again and again. That’s my life. My mantra. People go to the fucking Himalayas to find the meaning of life and you did, because it just fell into your lap. But because the cost wasn’t dear, did you just keep on keeping on? Listen: It’s nice to be a whore and know it.

Please, say it with me: It’s nice to be a whore and know it.

It’s a whore’s world. Whores are the oldest professionals. The good ones, I mean the great ones, always made the most money, until lately. Lately, I mean a few years back when Daryl Strawberry got that contract from the Yankees, and when Enron starting paying the other type of Lays $600 million a year. Mind you, few of those are salary dollars. It‘s all bonus money! Just like a whore. The work is only $75, but the expected tip is $125. That’s a buck and a quarter. Get this, if you don’t pay the $75 you’re a gypsy and a robber. But if you don’t pay the expected $125, you’re no player. You’re punked. You’re the john, you’re the trick, you’re everything, Slick. It’s just a matter of what day it is; or better yet, at midnight when your dreams lurk you’re on the dark side of the Earth and all this new knowledge and one bagel will give you more carbs than you need consume in an entire day. Is it clear now?

You wanted my dreams? There was a time you would have wished to have had my dreams. Take them. Hold them, like I did, once. Soft and purring like a litter of tiny stripped kittens, sitting in a box, nursing the teat of mother’s warm milk. They smell good. Blue eyes, little whiskers, frail little rib cages. I owned them all. The ones I had and the ones I don’t admit to having anymore. My dreams. I had more than you. Now I have less.

Sure I’d like to have been David Bowie. But dreams aren’t gratis. You’d have to pay for that one with four hours a day in some dirty garage in some dirty city like Blackpool, or some such place. You’d have to have one eye on your dream, and the other eye blue. Your mother wouldn’t be allowed to know if you were a boy or a girl. Hot Tramp, as much as I love you, I think it’s a bit dear. Don’t you?

Maybe tame it down a bit. I could be Judy Garland and sing some gay show tunes.(I have to admit, I did always like the Wizard of Oz.) I could be Mother Teresa, her picture sits above my keyboard. I might have been Albert Einstein or that cotton-pickin’ “nigger” your granddaddy lynched or in latent days I might have been a size 28 pants.

The good thing about losing your dreams is finding your definitions. There. (Where?) Once again, you’re not staying with me. Above. See where it says “size 28 pants” there? That’s the definition between real life and waking up wishing you were Judy Garland. You don’t have to be asleep to know and dream the real dream of no belly even in a land of plenty like America where we layer our cakes and shake and bake. I’m talking fulfillment now. . .

I’m nearing confession. You don’t have to admit to wanting to see car wrecks or hating to see them. It’s my wreck, you’re just a witness.

I cried. Real hard. When they left. One by one. One tear. One love. One dream. Not just my dreams – but the courage it takes to realize them. Not just my soul, but the holes and the whole of what composes it. Not just my beliefs, but what made my beliefs, once, worth believing. Not my scars or my wrinkles or anything that you and I have in common, it’s about what exists in the solitude of some quiet mind content to be just what it is, and the owner of this grand scheme of what it might have been or still may become.

And I guess I knew I never was much good at anything – but that was my secret. If you came this far, you can come a few words closer. Close to me, but far enough away where we both can breath. . . . that’s the beauty of this dream. I can have my space and get into yours at the same moment. It’s why this worthlessness seems worthwhile, if only for the fleeting moments when I have you captured. It’s just at that moment, here, we are whore and trick. Insidiously – if not in some shallow way – playing with each other’s minds.

OK, I’ll play the trick, this time, and pay you now. I’ll tell you what you want to know. I’ll jump through your hoop; I’ll climb your treadmill; amuse you. Look closely at me, and you’ll discover how much better you turned out. That’s the real beauty of others, isn’t it? The comparison and what you’re left with in the end: the choice to pray for me or be like me.

If I had been any good, really, I would have become something or anything. Instead, I dreamed of becoming a writer. And that’s all I could do is sit in a chair and stare at that screen, and today, talk about some silly thoughts about dreams and dreamers and dream jobs.

Forgive me. Forgive the yin and the yang. The powers that be and the power to be. The flight and the fight and the poverty of pride.

But remember: I had more dreams than you. And now I have less.

And, I wasn’t any good at this either.

But . . .

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