If I were free, what would I do tomorrow?
A conundrum, to be sure.
Would I rest?
Perhaps I would rest.
Perhaps I would stay in bed and order food and lounge in a way I've never been able to accomplish in my short life. Perhaps I would go to a spa, get a haircut, paint my nails-- do all of those things neglected in the name of paying the bills-- neglected in the prison that is paycheck to paycheck.
For surely, I am in that prison now... but what if tomorrow really were different? What then? Would I waste even one more day shunning my heart's desires? What if tomorrow, I could go to the grocery store without accounting for every apple? Without putting back the healthy food and replacing it with cheap cereal? Am I thinking too small? I suppose I am.
It's hard to imagine a life free of such petty strife.
But tomorrow, if I were truly free, what would I do?
Would I rest?
I would not rest. I would not.
I would live.
I would live dangerously well.
Most probably, tomorrow, I would give my house away. I would give away the meaningless things collected in a quest of owning. I would pay off the debt. I would buy ten thousand acres of land and give it back to the people. I would build that sanctuary for single mothers I always talked about. I would plant wildflowers and evergreens and potatoes. I would commission artwork to decorate the walls of my life. I would stay up late talking with the friends I have neglected in the name of getting by. I would fund a volunteer fire department. I would sit with my grandmother. I would write the story of her life, as I've always promised to do.
I would finally, finally, make good on everything I ever said I would do.
I would unbreak the little lies that I never meant to utter.
I would live.
And then, I would journey. I would see cathedrals and mountaintops and chase waterfalls until my feet were sore from clambering over slippery stones. I would learn French and German and Chinese. I would go to South America and polish up my Spanish. I would speak to people a world away from me in their own languages. I would immerse myself in cultures separate from my own.
I would read everything.
I would write.
I would go horseback riding with my daughters and dig up dinosaur bones with my son. I would lay languid, awash in sunset beams alongside my husband.
I would eat. I want to taste the world.
I would swim with dolphins.
I would run.
I would feel the wind in my hair.
I would laugh.
And maybe, perhaps, I would be happy. Truly happy. Truly myself for the first time ever.
I would give because doing so wouldn't chip away at the heart of me. I would give and give and give because I wouldn't have to make sure that some was left over for me anymore.
I could be enough.
There would be enough-- for everyone-- if only tomorrow would come.
But, when you're barely surviving from moment to moment...there is no tomorrow.
I'd fly to Brussels to give my friend a moment
to walk alone
to finish the screenplay
she is writing
away from living out of a suitcase
a long term guest in the home
of a friend
her life on hold
while caring for her octgenerian mom
a refugee of the Ukraine war
Or to DC
to give my friend a moment
to walk alone
to finish the book she is writing
away from the daughter
she cannot leave alone
lest she succeed
in ending the life
she finds unbearable
in her skin
she was born Christy
but knows herself to be
and my friend does all she can
to get Mark help
as they try
to find their way
to where they're meant
Or to the Mediterranean
to relax on a boat
with my husband
so he can breathe...
though he may
the joy of being
where he most loves
and the sorrow
of so many yesterdays
so few tomorrows
so few pleasures
left for him
Maybe I'd just stay home
water the garden
-it's allowed on Wednesdays-
run on the treadmill
work on my lines
for my acting class
read a few stories
a chapter in my book
write a line or two
alone in my house
where I can breathe.
If there was no limit on time or money? If for a day I had endless possibilities?
I would go see my brother. I would drive the 7 hours through highways and country roads to visit him. I'd pack a big bag and stay a while. I'd ask about his car. In the shop again? We'd go straight to the lot and I'd buy him a new one. I'd buy him a nice truck to haul his stuff, no more borrowing from the neighbors. I'd ask about his school debt, credit cards? I'd call and pay them off, no more worries. We'd hang in the house, he'd talk about his days in culinary school as he cooked something inventive and delicious. After eating he'd glance around the house. "The walls could you use some paint." I'd comment. We'd drive over to the hardware store, grab a couple gallons, and paint for the rest of the afternoon. Tired and satisfied we'd head outside to sit in the yard. In lawn chairs, exhausted limbs limp at our sides. Happy to be done. Happy to be together. He'd roll one up, and we'd pass it back and forth. We'd talk about the past. Playing flashlight tag in the woods, riding bikes through the streets, and whittling wands to cast spells. We'd talk about our old dogs, and family camping trips. The time he accidently hit me with a baseball bat, or when he cut his thumb open trying to carve our names into a tree. I'd close my eyes and smile. My heart finally at peace.
My brother and I didn't get along for most of my childhood. We were close in age and nearly opposites. At one time or another, regrettably, I even said I hated my brother. But as our teens came to an end, so did our distain for one another. Our time together became fun, like two friends with a past in common. But in a flash he moved away. A little plot of land that felt too far for a weekend trip.
In my experience, the older you get, the more you realize that nothing matters more than your family. No boyfriend, job, vacation or disagreement matters more than your siblings. I know that one day my parents will be gone, and my brother will be the only one left. Our memories will align, we'll joke about my dad's habits, and smile as we think of our mom's singing. I think about this often, and I miss him terribly.
When eventually I would need to leave, I'd tell him what a good time I'd had. We share a hug, and I'd keep my cool. I slip in to my car, and back out of the driveway. I'd wave as long as I could, hand outstretched with the ASL sign for "I love you" like my parents always did. That's when the tears would begin to fall.
I'd be flooded with many emotions. I miss my brother, and I regret the distance we had as kids. I feel like I wasted time. My brother is a reckless person, maybe a little troubled. Sometimes as I wave good bye I worry if it will be the last time I see him. A fear I've never said out loud. A fear I try to bury.
Maybe this wasn't the writing you were hoping for. No trips to Italy or mansion buying, but it's the truth.
I Would Fall In Love...
If there were no limits on my time on Earth, tomorrow I would fall in love. I would fall in love with the little things that are often overlooked because the time that I have to appreciate them would be infinite. I would fall in love with the way the nostalgic summer air smells, and how the birds sing in the morning. And if it's a cold rainy day, and the birds don't sing, I would fall in love with the rain itself. I would fall in love with the idea of choosing cereal or pancakes for breakfast. I would fall in love with folding my laundry and cleaning my dishes. I would find the glimmer of hope and goodness in things often overlooked and skipped over due to the sheer fact that we as humans don't have enough allotted time to spend on things that are seemingly meaningless. And maybe, once I'm done falling in love with singing birds or the rain itself, I could fall in love with another human that looks at this infinite world the same way that I might. Because together, we aren't in a rush to overlook small things in order to achieve big things that have been crammed into our very finite amount of time here. I think that this love could feel infinite.
If I had tomorrow,
with no limits,
I would drive,
drive for as long as need,
I would find a lake,
a big open empty lake,
and I would Just sit.
I would just sit by the lake,
all day long.
All day to myself,
watching the water.
Just all day,
on the lake,
I almost wish we were butterflies
My back towards the earth, my belly towards the sky.
I would dream of the day's beyond the black sunrise.
The times when the rules and standards of man I'd no longer comply.
Times where for guidance I'd look to the butterflies.
If I knew that beyond that black sunrise was a world without limits, oh the things I would do.
Hidden in this cocoon; no longer would I stay.
From this safety net I would breakthrough.
These wings I'd no longer peel back.
The colors I'd set on display.
I would no longer be scared to fly away.
I'd dance in the field's of Lillies.
Drink from the lips of daisies.
Luxuriate in the ream's of the euphoric underworld.
Kiss the one I love.
If there was ever any safety in it, how I might fly.
I'd spring off of the rooftops of Shanghai.
Just to remember how falling into you felt.
But, alas my belly pointed towards the sky; eyes beyond the horizon I could sense my future beyond it.
Only I didn't know what.
I hold my own hand too afraid that if I reach out for yours; that on the morrow the wails of our love will silence, and it will birth only a stillborn.
For even in limitless forever there are limits.
Even in that euphoric underworld there are demon's.
And in the fields of Lillies there are thorns.
Even in the sweetness of daisies there is bitterness.
And within the limits when I kiss the one I love I'm met with spiked barbed wire.
For either way there was never any safety in it.
I wish we were butterflies.
For if we knew what little time we had maybe safety wouldn't matter.
If we knew this summer was all we had, would that be close enough to limitless?
But we aren't butterflies.
70 summers we've been allotted.
70 summers for us to say, next time.
70 summers for fear to overtake us.
Time the greatest blessing, the worst curse.
The thing that sets us apart.
I wish we were butterflies.
If I knew there was a time frame before the light in our world died out.
I would pirouette over the stones.
I would taste only the sweetness in the bitterness of the daisies.
I would have kissed you between the spiked barbed wire.
We are not butterflies though.
So at arm's length I hold you.
Hoping that between now and one of the 70 summers we live that we might live beyond the limits.
Hoping just to stay close to you between that time.
For 70 summers without you is a curse no spell could break.
It's an ending I could never take.
It's a stillborn that my life I'd give to resuscitate.
And so I will catch a thousand butterflies, and hold them in clear jars.
I'll keep them close as I watch the stars.
Learning forever from lives.
Until the day that my metamorphosis is complete.
Then I'll give myself to you throwing away my fears proving our love ever elite.
I don't want tomorrow.
I'll have to think about it.
I know what I have today, but tomorrow can come steal it.
I feel how I feel today, but tomorrow can come change it.
I know what I want right now, but what could tomorrow possibly bring me that wouldn't maybe be worse.
Hope is a very needed friend.
Gigantic rainbows please
I... Want to go for a pride parade.
It seems weirdly childish to me. I'm not sure why because I have sufficient reason for this desire. See, I'd never really cared as much for one before I watched this series called Sense8. Simply because I'd never really considered the positives as much as I did the negatives. I just thought of it as loud and too full of people and so colourful it would hurt my eyes. Who cares, right? I'm some random human living in an lgbt-phobic country where my existence is illegalised so it wasn't exactly an achievable possibility, anyhow.
Still. I watched the beloved fruity character Lito come into himself while he made his speech on that huge parade float, whatever it was. And I felt this strange wave of acceptance and love from a screen littered with people I didn't know. People who are strange, like me. Strange by our societal standards, anyway.
Apparently, I like the flashiness more than I could've imagined.
Despite the mental overwhelm, I have a sneaking suspicion I would feel safe and extremely overjoyed if I ever got to witness one.
So now it's on my "bucket list". Go to a pride parade. Once upon a time, my answer would've been to fly across the world to meet this person or that person. But now, it's just me and myself fulfilling a tiny little wish for the heck of it.
And who knows? Some day, I might just find a way.
Blank Check and A Little Time
If there were no limits on my time or money tomorrow I would:
1. Buy the world a Coke (if you're younger than 40 Google it)
2. Persuade the surviving members of Led Zeppelin (with Jason Bonham on drums) to play 1 last show.
3. Have 2 gigantic billboards placed in front of the Space X and Blue Origin launch sites that say, "Sorry your billions of dollars couldn't improve upon your tadpole sized dick, but rockets? That takes overcompensating to a whole new level!"
4. Create an add campaign (shown largely on hipster Podcasts) meant to teach the owners of Teslas that their cars have turn signals and using them doesn't significantly reduce battery charge. Seriously, they have dethroned BMW drivers from their long held position of being the most likely to drive like a complete douche (not signaling lane changes).
5. Set up a trust aimed at feeding the children of the world and providing medical care for them in perpetuity. The trust would be managed by a multicultural counsel of grandmas. If anyone can make sure that the kiddos of the world get fed and medical care, it is a group of grandmas.
6. I love Canada, but I would force them to take Justin Bieber back. I mean, I thought we were friends? What did we do to deserve having them shove that whiney, no talent, little piss-ant down our throats?
7. Buy FOX news and force their, "Talent" to honor their contracts. They would then be forced to be hosts on the channel's new format. FOX news would become FOX Sex Toy Shopping Network. Sean Hannity would have a whole segment where he presented and sold butt plugs, and strap-ons of various lengths, girth, and textures. Like the Home Shopping Network, Sean would have to take calls from the television audience to promote and demonstrate the use of whatever butt plug or strap-on the caller is interested in. I have a feeling the audience wouldn't change. In fact, I bet they'd feel strangely liberated, they'd just have to watch (and purchase) on the down low.
8. Fund a partnership with Walmart and Millenials to create a chain of Sam's Choice, Best Value Senior Care Centers. These centers would be designed specifically for the Boomer philosophy of, "Why Should I Fund Someone Else's Medical Care With My Tax Dollars" and "Too Much Regulation Hurts Business" philosophies in mind. Based on these Boomer philosophies and Walmart's high standards residents would:
A) Be fed, eventually.
B) Medications would be provided by staff with a, "One for grandpa and two for associate" philosophy
C) Have their valuables stored securely at the pawn shop down the street. Well, until someone comes in and buys them.
D) Be encouraged to care for themselves. Staff isn't going to change soiled sheets, help with bathing, check blood sugar, and make sure Uncle Joe gets to his dialysis appointments. That requires extra staff, which hurts profitability, which pisses off investors. Experienced nurses and caregivers too expensive? New hires will attend the Walmart, Sam's Choice, Best Value Senior Care Center Training Program. With just 8 hours of training, the associates will be trained in how to care for residents. Mandatory drug testing? Nah, we would never get anyone hired. Only someone high or drunk would do this job.
9. Set up a trust where all college students who complete two years of junior college will have their undergrad and graduate tuition paid through the fund. A similar system would be set up for trade schools.
10. Set up a trust that will fight pollution, global warming, deforestation, and stop poaching. The fund would also be used to design and distribute life jackets to the polar bears who are running out of ice to live on.
All this will cost trillions, but I think its all worth it.