Fame and fortune are the name of the game, and I seem to have a handle on it now. But now I wonder if it’s what I’ve always wanted or just a fantasy world built on desire, and the need to be loved. Don’t get me wrong…paradise is wonderful. It’s grander and far sweeter than anything I imagined for me, Tina Marz. The money is good, the parties are happening, and I am doing what I love more than anything in the world but it isn’t all easy work hours, freewheeling lifestyle, and glamour.
It is a hard road to travel and now staying on top is possibly more work than getting here. Is this finally my paradise? A seemingly perfect world filled with fame, fortune, and true love. Finally, I’ve found my life as a famous songwriter-novelist-screenwriter rock star. But is paradise forever?
“All of the streets are starting to look the same as they cross over and under one another in a uniformed sequence of never-ending consequence. There is no starting point and the only ends found are designated dead ends that come from nowhere. I’ve tried to make sense of it all in my own mind, but when there is no rhyme or reason for everyday things than any explanation seems trite and ordinary—much like the faces that pass by me on a daily basis in any US city. There is that omnipresent hollow blank stare, black eyes that reflect an empty nothingness. This used to take me by surprise, but not anymore. I am sad for myself, and what lifeless zombie’s people have become. People used to be so expressive, so alive, so intrigued with the wonder of everyday existence. That wanderlust had been replaced by something I never would have imagined in all my years on this earth. I used to think myself immune and untouched by such triviality, but not anymore. I have smelled the fear that emanates from deep within the souls of those who pass. I have seen it in their withered hands as they’ve hailed taxis, dug in their pockets for change, and looked at their watches for the time. For those we look down upon everyday with wrinkled, cracked skin, swollen knuckles, workers hands that have boar the seasons changing through the years. Sometimes hitting the pavement beneath their feet, bracing them as they’ve fallen forward, knocked around like some pinball in an arcade game, bouncing from one terrain to another, and one shoulder to another. I have held my breath as they’ve passed, trying not to notice the stench of old sweat, human musk, rising in the steam of summer. The dirt buried so deep in the crevasses of their wrinkled faces, and matted hair upon their heads that it protrudes to Heaven like a two-by-four board. I have been one of the many that has witnessed the sternness in our own fortunate faces, our bottom lips tremble as we try to hold back a well of tears, hopelessly conversing with ourselves in earnest, quietly swearing to God, It will not happen to me! I will not fall so far down.”
But, always present, is that little glimmer of doubt as we straighten our ties, brush off our designer jackets, and watch for the streetlight to change. There is that reprehensible stare as we walk by those less fortunate, an uneasy quivering. We all share it, we all fear it, and we all deny it.
“That will never be us!”
“We will never become that which we hold such contempt for.
“Are we sure? Are we really sure that our lives won’t change on a dime and that homeless vacant soul pushing the shopping cart filled with blankets, trinkets and garbage won’t be us someday? They’re wearing tattered clothes, torn and filthy, vacant smiles as dim as our eyes. There is no light here. What stands and remains is a hollow shell that once was, that was every dream, every longing, and every hope and wish, which was never meant to be. Don’t pretend it hasn’t crossed your mind that you haven’t wondered. We’ve all crossed the street to avoid such unpleasantries. It is the pride embedded within us, which cannot comprehend how we as individuals could possibly let this happen to ourselves. Doesn’t fate take a part? If you believe such, then you must resign yourself to the fact that all things happen for a reason and that it was pre-destined by either the cosmos or your DNA. Isn’t that the world’s consciousness these days? It’s all over the news, every place you turn. The world is on its collective ear, waiting... waiting for every whisper, every rumor, and every headline. It doesn’t matter anymore if these things are true, we will sensationalize them anyway. We will fill that need of instant gratification that we all lack. We want it now! Tomorrow is too far away.
“Tsunamis and hurricanes have washed away all of humanity’s patience, or blown it apart or buried by tornadoes and mudslides. So, we wait in fear of tomorrow, the next day, the next month, or ten years from now. Some of us don’t have that much time. Some have to take their actions now, and accept their consequences. It’s inevitable. Fear breeds contempt. Fear breeds intolerance. Fear breeds.
“I have always prided myself on not knowing fear by its first name. It does have one, you know. What you choose it to be is of your own fruition. You may admit that some childhood fears still haunt your dreams, but do they follow you in the daylight too? Do they coldly hold your hand like a former lover? Do they embrace you as a dream you gave up on? Or are they merely an extension of your everyday existence? You know within your heart the roles they play. But I am not talking about childish fears. I am referring to what’s real in this life now. What is it you really fear—fear of poverty, fear of sickness, fear of loneliness, fear of the unknown, fear of true evil, or fear of death?