But the dreams are here again. The familiar feeling in the stomach is back. Can you remember the time you wanted something so bad that you could almost see it physically in front of you and were shit scared that it was an illusion and it would disappear? I have not gotten to that stage yet. I am still in the stage where I see it… and with the stupid wisdom of age I am treading cautiously and second-guessing myself at every step. Did I do this write? Did I send that mail right? Should I have done more research? Omygod my friend knows him… should I’ve asked for an intro or would that be… unethical?
Yes, i know you will tell me to shut up, stop second guessing myself at every turn and just do it and leave the rest somewhere. But that is not me. That has never been me. And this is simply killing me. The things I thought were my strengths… some people tell me it isn’t. I am not sure if they are right or wrong. While it is a good thing that I do not believe them completely, the doubt sucks.
But I am dreaming again. I know what I want. I see stories written by people and I want to be them! I want to be there, doing that. Would my stories read the same to someone sitting in front of a computer somewhere right now? I don’t think so. They lack the passion, the drama of a story about a war-covered land and a little boy with a bird. They lack the personal touch of a first-hand story. But that is business. Business is colder than humans and that is the only way it works. It is a choice I made. But when I see those stories that I want to tell… I want this so bad that it scares me.
I will leave you with a little tale about a woman named Diana.
Dressed all in red, with her Marilyn Monroe-blond hair, she was sitting on a red couch at a mall. People walked around in that special frenzy of Christmas shopping. Would I have sat on the same couch if my friend had gotten a closer look at her? Probably not.
“I’m just resting my legs deary. You can sit there,” she said in a breathless voice. I couldn’t help but notice the shoes with the 4-inch heels and my own feet, covered in comfortable red sneakers, winced.
They were comfortable, she claimed. “The heels are never a problem. I just got tired ya know. So many people around today” she continued.
Diana liked to talk. She told me how much she paid for those shoes – 5 bucks (quite a bargain!) and where she got them. She also told me where she got the dress and the price. She liked to hunt up bargains… The shoes were good but the rest were fraying at the edges and the $3 deals didn’t really seem to be a good one. But Diana didn’t notice that. She liked her deals… she continued to pull out her little wallet, which once had been a dull gold but was now an ugly white. She saw only the beauty in the whiteness. She called it ‘silvery’. It was, in a way…
Diana is a singer… she did Marilyn Monroe impersonations at the mall a couple of days a week. That explains the hair, I thought. And the voice. She sang the same opera-sort of thing Monroe did.
“I even do the whole blowing dress bit. You should come see me,” she said. I nodded. I could sense my friend’s amusement behind me. “I perform here tomorrow. You should come!”
I agreed to. And asked her if I could take a picture of her. She was really happy to pose for me. Except, when I asked her if I could mail it to her somewhere, she declined.
“You keep it darling. I’ve so many photos. Just today this woman gave me some photos,” she tapped an envelope in her bag.
In all the time I’ve been taking photos of people (which is less than a year) I never had anyone decline a copy of their photo. I’ve had people stress that I send it to them. But not decline.
A guy walked by, casually waving to Diana. He paused to talk to her but realised she was talking to us and wanted to walk by. But she stopped him anyway. It was classic Diana… she spoke to him like she spoke to me… I wondered if anyone could be as naive as her. Or as good as actress as her. Ryan was embarassed to talk to her, particularly when I asked how they knew each other. It didn’t dawn to me till then that Diana could have another side business. But she wasn’t embarassed or worried. I don’t think she thought of herself as anything more than a singer… and taking on lovers like Monroe perhaps did. Ryan was cute… Diana wasn’t worried when he flirted with me, so I flirted back till he asked me out. Well, if you consider “What you doing for Christmas? I have a party to which I’m going out with this Chinese girl. But I’m free tomorrow, if you’d like to go out with me for a drink.”
Men! I guess she definitely knew how to handle them. But all Diana wants is to go to Paris and become a singer and sit in a sidewalk cafe in front of the Eiffel Tower, drinking French coffee.
She never traveled out of the state she was born in and the state she currently lived in, a 18-hour drive from one another. She doesn’t own a passport and perhaps will never make it out of the country. Is she really as naive and sweet as I thought she was? I don’t know. But I sure hope she continues to find her bargains and continues to dream.
Song of the day: Incredible Strings Band