A Pipe Dream in a Fool’s Paradise
We wander through the recesses of life, hoping and begging and pleading for a winning investment from strangers. We wear our faces like masks and hide our hearts as if they were candy among starved children. And yet, at the very same token, we try to sell our identities to the world.
We chatter like concubines, sick with zeal over our fickle master. We lord our persona, though entirely lost to ourselves, over brethren more akin to us than we allow them to be. You want to be like me? Good. Let me remind you how powerful and omniscient I am. I’m like God. In fact, I am God. We all fight over a golden throne that oscillates between reality and figment. I got closer to it than you did. Want to know how?
Prattle. Bicker. Argue. Debate. Ugliness has never been so loud. And we, we are the ones that settle in the muck and grime of our human envy. Like pigs we bathe in our deceit and greed. Our waste. Our pride.
I lost my way once. I was blinded like a fool. I draped achievements, reputation, money, and material things over my eyes. I poured them thick like wool, and tied them around my head with doubt and fear. I dared not look at the beast that hid in the darkness inside me, the thing that cradled my heart in a cage of teeth and claws like needles.
Day after day, I wore my blindfold like a badge of honor. I was proud of myself. The lowest I ever sank was the day I was happy to be lost. Lost in the world, in myself, drowning in my privilege.
But one day, an ember of the fire that once lighted my past caught inside me. I couldn’t say what it was that lit me up that day. I don’t really remember. It was small, like a smile from a stranger. Insignificant, like a butterfly landing on my shoulder. And like a far-off memory, forgotten in an instant. But it was enough to catch fire on all the death and rotting inside me. It burned my beast, set my heart alight, and destroyed my blindfold from the inside out.
I cooked, feverish with enthusiasm. What was trash melted away to reveal the glistening gold that was buried deep inside. I was softened, purified, and my eyes were opened.
It was in that moment that I found it. What was lost for so long. What I lacked in the chaos and the turbulence. My compass. My map. My anchor. My light by which I saw the world.
I found my hope.
As I sat on the precipice of a revolution, the pipe dream I thought so far away sat languidly within my grasp. I reached for it.
The rest is history.