My brother, sister and I are chock full of 'get rich quick schemes'. Everything from lightweight, foldable carseats to selling packs of home rolled cigarettes outside of the local methadone clinic have arisen like promising bubbles into the stifling air of our financially challenged worlds and popped almost immediately. Unfortunately, the most practical steps we've taken towards achieving these ends have been planning our interviews on Barbara Walters concerning our ingenious inventions.
'Well, Barbara, I was always the quiet type in school, but I was always thinking- one of those 'still waters run deep' kids.'
'Yes, Barbara, the idea just came to me from out of nowhere. A stroke of genius as they say. Other than that I'm a pretty normal person.'
I myself have taken the extra step and planned my public persona to a T. I will be a decisive, steely eyed business woman with a collection of quietly expensive business suits. I will own a top of the line Maserati, and have a spacious office with a huge shiny chrome desk. I have a vivid daydream of myself on the line (one of many lines) with a family member, brusquely getting them out of trouble with a $100,000.00 check which I scribble absentmindedly with one hand while silencing a thin, sleek Blackberry with the long, red fingernail of another.
Until my ship comes in, however, this shrewd business woman will have to lie dormant and put up with a small apartment, a car which neither I or my mechanic could believe passed the yearly inspection and the harsh reality of waking up to an apologetic yet firm National Fuel man coming to turn off the gas. Sometimes I find myself wondering why she refuses to come out and rescue me from my financial woes. The closest she's come to revealing herself to the world was the day after I decided to become an art therapist, which happened to be a holiday. My brothers and sisters stared at me aghast as I confidently clacked through the house in a pair of high heeled, knee high boots and made, as my brother described it, 'normal conversation' at the dinner table. What they didn't understand was that this was not a facade- this was the first glimpse of the business woman inside of me, my true self. Everything else about me was the facade- my mismatched clothes, my odd conversational skills, my apathy and my smudged eye makeup. Unfortunately, my business woman self retreated back inside of me the next morning, when any goal beyond a cup of coffee seemed utterly pointless to aim towards and art therapy seemed as lame as any other pastime- not to mention a hell of a lot of work.
So, I go on quietly through life, remembering even in my darkest hours the words of Langston Hughes:
'Hold on to dreams, for when dreams die
Life is a broken winged bird that can't fly...'
I quietly nourish the business woman inside of me in a variety of ways; by making shrewd, albeit minor financial transactions with others, by silently referring to acquaintances as 'colleagues', by owning a shiny black plastic organizer for my bills, and by speaking in a clipped bark to customer service representatives. I feel sure that I will need her one day, and it is this assurance that pulls me through the good times and the bad.
'Hold on to dreams, for when dreams go,
Life is a barren field covered with snow.'