Friday, March 18, 2005


There's a guy who serves my coffee at a little bagel joint by work, who told me that he's fulfilled his dreams. We have short, casual conversations daily, and he once managed to slip this statement in. The very thought of it sends my mind into numerous directions.

This guy's working ten to twelve hour days, seven days a week, for a low wage. He's putting the extra time in right now, simply because they're allowing him to; I sense that he'd do more if given the opportunity. Spanish is his first language, though he speaks English well; I'm guessing that he's from Mexico or somewhere further south. He probably has a lot less going for him than I have, and when he said that he's accomplished his goals, I assumed that his goals were related to becoming established here. That's a safe, but broad assumption, and because it was so poorly formed, I'm going to instead leave the question open. I didn't ask him what his dreams were... that's a little odd, it seems like such an obvious question.

I don't think I've ever accomplished a dream. In fact, if you asked me what my dreams are, I wouldn't have an answer. If you name your goals and succeed, what does your life become after that point... basking in your former accomplishments? If you name them and fail to see them fulfilled, it taints everything that you did accomplish in life with your primary failure. In defining our dreams, we're defining ourselves.... we're putting a label on who we are, and that's forever the standard by which we'll be weighed.

Who are we? It looks great on paper to be someone who can be characterized and summarized, but is that what we should be seeking? What's more significant - a lifetime, or each moment lived?

I have some definite directions that I hold to, but not goals. "Don't you want to be a musician?" No, I am a musician. "Do you want to be a successful one?" I don't know. "What about this writing stuff?" I'm writing, so I guess that makes me a writer, but beyond that, I have no idea. I'm just me, here, right now... one who's accomplished nothing in life, and has nothing to accomplish. I've been accused of being happier in the last few years, but I've never been accused of being happy. Motives, thoughts, and emotions last about as long as it took me to write this, and each next step can potentially take me anywhere. There's no winning or losing for me, there's just the game being played.

I don't buy into all this status shit; a man is what he thinks and feels. According to our culture's economic mindset, I have much more than the guy who serves my coffee, but that's not what I see, and I don't think that's what he sees. He's whatever he sees himself as, and he sees himself as someone who's accomplished everything he wanted to accomplish in life. I both envy and pity him for that.