Hello and this time we have a piece that falls heavily on a concept that, truthfully, is not entirely mine. Although, I will argue that most concepts are not entirely ours, but it would be a crime not to mention just how inspired I was with this piece from a short film from Wong Fu Productions (A YouTube channel of Asian-American filmmakers) called Left On Shing Wong. In essence, it is about an eternal being who collects lost memories and thoughts. Which when reading, would seem pretty similar to what I have here. Apart from this, the central themes are different, where they ask the question of: Where does inspiration come from? I ask: Do we need to have a goal or dream to live a fulfilled life? And somewhere along it I ask: Is reality based on our perceptions of our future goals? Either way, it was a fun little concept of an eternal character that I wanted to explore. Here you go, “Shattered Dreams”.
I collect shattered dreams. In my room, I hold a jar where every shattered dream I find in the world is stored. Every day, I walk out of my door and into a street in the world. I walk down the trodden path, and when I see that a dream has been lost I collect it so that it won’t be forgotten. One day, those who have had their dreams shattered and dropped into the world, will remember them. They may choose to relive their dreams again, hoping that one day they may achieve something great. Or they’ll just take their shattered dreams and live a life knowing that their dreams had not come to fruition.
Dreams come in many shapes. Sometimes they are very easy to spot. And once I do, they’re mine to hold. I know that many dreams are lost between my fingers, and many dreams remain trotting around in the arid world for anyone to take. For those dreams, I pray, and I hope that they are where they belong. But for other dreams, I hold them dear in my jar, waiting for their owner to pick them up.
On odd days, I can interact with those in the world of the living. I usually cannot be seen by people, or heard, or felt. I collect dreams in my own world, and I hold onto them because I want to. I don’t expect any kind of appreciation for holding onto their shattered dreams, but sometimes, it happens.
“Hey?” Jordy asked. Jordy noticed me picking up odds and ends on the side walk and approached me. Today was an odd day. Jordy had light cinnamon hair, and hazelnut eyes. She had tanned smooth skin and soft cheeks. She had small hands and long fingers. Her nails were subtle.
“Hello,” I responded. She wasn’t carrying anything, and just simply came up to me. I had a jar in my left hand, and a marble in my right. It was a shattered dream. It was the dream of a little girl who wanted to go on the moon. Except, the moon was very far away, and the stars were in her way. She was a tiny girl with a big heart, and wanted everything to get a picture of the moon for her dying father, so that he would be able to live his dreams.
“You seem to be lost. New here?” Jordy asked. I wasn’t. And I was. I’ve been to every place in the world, and yet, every time I step out of my door, it’s always somewhere I have no recollection of. I shook my head and showed her my jar.
“I’m collecting odds and ends.” I pressed the marble against my fingers and brought it up to the sun, watching the rays gleam off of it in an array of beautiful reflections. Then, I placed the marble in my jar, and smiled at her, “What about you?” She looked at me with wide eyes, her mouth open and then closed. She smiled, “Just finding my way.”
I got up and then held my jar tight to my sides and began walking, “Let’s walk together.” She didn’t move at first, but then, her right foot moved up, and her left, and in a rhythmic pattern, she began following me.
“I’m Jordy. I lived here for about all my life.” I nodded. I had no name, but, did not want to make her feel stringent.
“I’m Summer. I’ve been just about everywhere.” She laughed at that, said it was silly and didn’t know what I was saying. Jordy was a bright girl. She loved talking to people, but I wouldn’t call her gregarious. She was just curious. As we walked I picked up discarded dreams along the way. There were many interesting people in this world. Some just wanted a home to themselves. Some just wanted to prove everyone else wrong. And some just wanted everything to end. I’ve always felt the pain and suffering of each dream I pick up. And, in eventuality, the heartbreak, and the realization that those dreams have become shattered.
“What do you do with your jar?” Jordy asked. I picked up my jar, and brought it to the sun, and watched as all the strange ornaments glittered in the prevailing rays.
“I collect them so that I can one day give them back.”
“You mean like a lost-and-found?” I brought my jar back down, and then smiled.
“Yeah. Just like that.” We walked among trees, on the grass, and on the pavement. We hopped over construction signs, deep into piles of cinder blocks and bags of cement. We walked into the town, into the alley ways in-between stores, under the bus benches, and on top of stop signs. The sun was beating down against our faces, the wind on our hair, and the scurrying of cats beneath our feet.
“How long have you been doing this?” Jordy asked. I looked at her, watched her eyes as they locked with mines, as her hands stiffened, and as her posture stood stone.
“For as long as I can remember.”
“Do you like doing this?” I never once thought about it in terms of my own volition. I always thought that it was the duty I was born with. To consider my own feelings in such a time was something that never crossed my mind. I found great grief, anger, sadness, and malevolence in these times. And sometimes, I would even find joy. These emotions were ethereal with the shattered dreams that wept them.
“How about you? Are you happy?” I flipped the question onto Jordy. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but I had no answer for her.
“Happy? That’s a nice word. It rolls off the tongue, and it’s something everyone wants.” I could see in her down cast eyes, her slowed gait, and her hidden arms that she was anything but.
“It’s something, no one deserves–” She stopped then and sighed. She brushed some hair out of her eyes and then looked into the clouds.
“After all. We’re all selfish creatures at the end of the day. Nothing more, nothing less.”
“Selfish?” That was a feeling that I had never felt before. Not a single one of these shattered dreams had exuded anything vain.
“Yeah. We’re all selfish. No matter how altruistic you think you are, it all boils down to some kind of self validation.”
“Do you truly believe that?” It took her no time to respond.
“Yes.” And then, it dropped. Something fell out of her hands. It wasn’t something that she was grabbing onto originally. It was a shattered dream. They fall out of people unknowingly at any time. I had hardly witnessed any myself, but that day was an odd day. The shattering of dreams happens over a prolonged time, permeating itself within one’s heart, and then subjugating their being. Then, when it’s over it leaves the body and is left for the world to chew.
I bent over and picked up a small teddy bear the size of my finger. When my hand touched it Jordy was able to see what I saw. She stared at it with raised brows, and I smiled.
“This is you.”
“This…Bear?” I held it up to her eyes, and she squinted to see the details.
“This small little bear is everything you’ve ever dreamt. It’s an amalgamation.”
“An amalgamation?” She raised her brows even more this time. But I sustained my smile.
“All our dreams are compiled into objects. We drop these objects once they have run their time.”
“You mean, your lost-and-found?” I nodded. Her expression dropped and her eyes looked blankly in front of us. She looked at me, and held out her hand to touch the fur of the teddy bear.
“So what does this say about me? My lost-and-found?” I sighed. From the moment my hand touched the shattered dream from Jordy I knew what she had lost. It was something that was none of the emotions that I had ever felt before. Her shattered dream, was filled with selflessness.
“It says that you are a very caring person. That you will sacrifice everything in order to see the ones you love move forward.” I smiled. I nodded my head, and then handed her the teddy bear. She turned it in her hands and then asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m–” I got up and then looked ahead, to the road in front of us, “Just a collector of shattered dreams.”
“So you found my dream?”
“Yes. At least, what’s left of it. Everything about you is stored in that object. They come in all shapes and forms.”
“So what do you know about me?” Her eyes were clear, just pure curiosity. The wind swept up, and it blew her hair in her face, causing her to shift strands of it away from her eyes. I didn’t turn to look at her, but cleared my throat and said, “That you love your daughter very much.” I didn’t need to turn around to hear her whimper. I simply kept walking. I didn’t need to take back the teddy bear. It was my job to store them in my jar so that one day their owners would claim them again. However, there were no rules that prevented me from giving them outright. I didn’t know why I did it, but I felt it was more right to let her have her dreams than to take them away from her. It was an odd day.
After my day was complete, I went back to my room. I opened the door of a store, and entered. Every day I walk back into my room, and into a world all of my own. I emptied the jar I had into the jar in my room, and watched as the shattered dreams mixed together. One day, these shattered dreams will find themselves back to their owners. They may choose to relive those dreams, or bear the burden of never having achieved them. Some may not realize when this happens, but for others, it happens right in front of them. All in the blink of an eye, everything comes crashing together. An odd day.