June 16, 1980


Sheís young.

Maybe thatís why she doesnít understand, headstrong and caught up in the idea of love, dreams, and living a happy life.

She doesnít yet know the compromises people make when growing older, the job one settles for as risk at not having checks come in at all; the man one marries when the offers grow fewer; the children one puts up with because of loneliness and the doleful nights when husbands disappear without explanation.

So we spoil our children, and lean of them, and let them think they lean on us, and regret that we need to do it.

She canít yet see the parade of disappointments that will pass through her life, posing as celebration, dreams that vaporize before us and leave us with moist hands from bursting bubbles.

Dreams die hardest, of course, because they are hard to catch.

She doesnít yet know that she must warn her children against the wounds she herself will suffer.

She doesnít yet know that they wonít listen anyway, telling her not to be so dramatic, and they will stumble off along the same illusive gold brick road seeking similar dreams, running after bubbles that will burst when they finally touch them with their fingers.

She doesnít really hear what is actually being said when a man tells her he loves her, meaning he wants her,† saying he cares, when he means for now, saying he cares, when he cares about himself, later saying, nothing lasts forever.

She will grow angry at the disappointment, at the dreams, at the man, tell herself to grow up and face reality, and then try and laugh it off and blame it on the stars, not yet knowing that star light might bend, but the world doesnít change, and that dreams rarely come true.

Yet, sheíll tell herself that she is different, quoting Einsteinís theories, and how even the laws of physics are so fixed that they canít be changed, and she walks out towards tomorrow, clutching bubbles like dreams in both her hands, praying that they wonít burst again.


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