The Man-Child that lost the American Dream.

There is a Wasteland that we stumble into as we enter our twenties.

We stumble out of the shelter of our parent's homes and we find ourselves homeless. Not unhoused, perhaps, but homeless nonetheless.

What follows is a reflection of that empty space.

The Man-Child and the Wasteland.

"Where, in all of this expanse,
Is a place more real, or a head less empty than my own?

I am searching for myself, but I lost my destination and I realized the map was a crayon-and-napkins construction, very little more. . .

. . .than the slightest figment. . .

of what I once dreamt the world was."

The echoes followed Man-Child through the night,
and into the dawn of another day beyond the edge of what the 'real world' calls the wasteland

--that moment between loneliness and love, that hair-thin line between failure and shame, that space where we are after we've said goodbye, but before the phone has hit the cradle.

In that empty disconnection of dreams and memories, where the only thing that's real is that you've never been this lonely before.

And Man-Child gazed upon the dawn and asked it for an answer, but it refused, instead content to shower him with light and little more.

And Man Child called out into the expanse, and he saw that his voice carried over the pools of water in the wasteland, and from each pool emerged a figure. Some where ghastly spectres of his past. They were spectres of his home, cathedrals and temples and libraries, buildings from which he had wandered.

And some were spectres of his present. Lonely figures that attempted to draw him into their pools, welcoming with open arms and lips and legs and lies. The smell of someone else's hair and the taste of ashes cannot draw Man-Child into the pool, and he finds himself distressingly content to stare into the pools and smile at the polluted reflection his own desperation casts upon the water.

And some others are spectres of his future. The lives of others that have tread a path like his. He can see their footsteps in the wasteland, but they only trace circles in the dust. None of them double back (how could they?) and none trace a line toward the dawn (there is nothing there to chase). Each of them just loops, creating the miniature replica of the lives lived previously to their own.

Man Child thinks he should be afraid. After all, he came here to escape the life he thought he didn't like, but these lazy circles in the dust are less enchanting than the escape had at first appeared.

Is there a lesson for him read, written in the dust? Does life use the footsteps of others to leave us the memos we missed when we were too busy staring at the sky?

Monday, January 10, 2005


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