I wanted to savor the moment. Wrap it up in paper and put it in my pocket. Then, a light bulb lit up in my dim brain. It would take only a camera, a pen, and a willing heart. Against all odds, I would climb over the wall I had placed in my mind and heart. I ran down the street, past a laughing couple and a horrifying looking bug tanning on the sidewalk. I reached the store, running in and passing all the directions for the holiday of love. I ran and grabbed a camera, went in self checkout, and left with my brand new camera. I steered around the rotten apple core, avoiding a painful injury. I hoped whoever ate it wasn't poisoned by their evil step-mother. I walked along. I ignored the endless chatter coming from the pedestrians. I ignored the posters flapping in the wind, demanding justice for the victims of the world (although, aren't we all?). Although, I let my eyes stray and capture the moment of two boys playing with their sticks, using them as play swords as they jabbed at each other. I could almost see the ruins around them, the two crowns on top of their blond heads. They would be fighting over a simple thing like a dragon scale I bet. I would have taken the picture, but my gut told me it wasn't the right time. All the walking made me a bit hungry, so I made a small detour into the ice cream shop. The familiar smell of flavors hit me. I picked an oatmeal raisin cookie to go with my praline ice cream. It was my grandmother's favorite kind. I then started to walk again, beginning to think about the nights me and my grandmother would tell stories huddled in bed. I was afraid to start bawling in the middle of the sidewalk, so I started to run. Before I knew it, I was back to where it all started. I sat down on the grassy hill, hearing the playful bark of a puppy. I took the camera out of the package, lifted it up to my eye, and pressed the button, capturing an eagle soaring across the pink, golden sky. I set my camera on the grass, taking a long, deep breath.
Truly in the moment, I took out my little notebook from my jacket pocket, my dull pencil, and wrote,
A new day, a new beginning has arrived. Here's what happened...
There was a lineup of performers and the back of the cold winter tent. Women in sparkling dresses and men in striped tank tops gripping hoops. The tiny boy peeked over the mound of dirt to get a peak at the dazzling people. People who were praying for no deathly error in their performance. One slip-up and the crowd would strike with their ridicule. Then would come the berating by the boss and the night would end with no job.
Jobs were like diamonds during the time. Like a fragile porcelain plate, it could crack and the precious secure feeling would be lost.
The boy knew nothing. He could only balk at the dazzling creatures. He wanted to become like them. Them. He wanted to become the cake batter, have all the right ingredients to be able to be transformed into a delicious cake. A cake others would want to eat. He wanted the praise.
But with a slumped back, a scarred face, and clumsy hands,there was no hope for the little boy. He was a wind up toy, an automated prop others used as entertainment. He was not what other boys would call a 'broken record'! He was not a ball to be kicked around!
He was a boy with dreams. A boy who could catch words and store them in compartments in his mind. He wanted to sell his pitch to the performers of his dreams to give them a reason to adopt him into their circle.
But, the performers had scores of fear weighted on their shoulders. One little boy could tip the balance of their lives, their job, their relationships. They were cramped in a dugout canoe, and one boy--one with dreams and thirst for acceptance--could topple over the canoe, leaving them all drowned.
The Story in the Sky
Whether it be waiting for your mom to finally stop peering at things in the store or waiting in the line for school lunch, there is always a story to find. Looking up at the cloudy sky, you can find queens and a lizard-mouse hybrid. Waiting can become so very magical when you see things not as they are but what they could be.