It was like I had my eyes closed for a long time. His image, blurry at first, began to focus. We exchanged pleasantries, neither of us wanting to acknowledge that we met because of a mutual pain and that perhaps we are each other’s keys.
“Can you tell me what it’s like?” I asked when there was nothing left to say. “Can you remind me what it’s like to have a dream?”
“I want for nothing,” he began. “But I want everything. Hunger fills the corners of my silences like a dark flame. It’s a reason to get up in the morning. Something to look forward to when I give my mind up to slumber.”
I remember how that felt. I remember how my dreams felt like little flames on my skin that would consume me if I didn’t work for them. I remember yearning for the future – the future which has unfortunately become my present. Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.*
I yearned. It was all I had. I had an image of where I wanted to be and I was determined to do whatever it took to get there. And all these years, I climbed the mountains of my ambition and desire. I went on a lot of dates. I worked myself to the bone to get promoted. I climbed until my legs hurt. I climbed until the air was so thin, I had to shut my eyes. It wasn’t until I opened them again that I realized I had finally reached the top.
What happens when you realize you have nothing left to climb? I have come to the realization that there is nothing else to want in life. I live my days with a vacant expression hoping that someone or something would wake me from this comatose.
“You know I’ve been looking for you too,” he said, breaking the silence. “I’ve reminded you of who you were. Maybe you can tell me what it’s like.”
“What’s what like?”
“The future. Will I be happy? Will it all make sense in the end?”
I wanted to tell him everything: the hollow that haunted me, the sadness I still could not explain, the vacant that punctuated my days. I felt he had a right to know and I was going to tell him but then something made me stop.
He stared at me with such hope in his eyes. I didn’t want to crush him. I didn’t want him to worry about the things I should be searching for myself.
“Are you happy?”
“Yes, I am,” I lied. “And you will be too.”
“Will there be more mountains?” he asked, his voice sounding more like an echo. “Will we live long enough to see?” His eyes pierced through me with hope. I knew it would be impossible to be truthful.
I suddenly awoke in a pile of pillows and bedding on the floor.
“Plenty,” I said to him even though he was gone. “There will be plenty of mountains,” For both our sakes, I pray my words ring true someday.
♫: Shakira | Hopes For Plans (2005)