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My Dreams & Ambitions
… Ahh. Inhale.
The tide washes away my worries. The warm sunlight of a summer evening glints on the tips of the endless waves, making them dance and spray. The trees around me sway, ushering a soft, cool breeze which brushes my face. Mmm - nice. I sip my drink before glancing back at my laptop. Nearly finished! Only a few pages till my story is complete; it has already absorbed me. My characters are my playthings – I craft them and ruin them by the taps of my keyboard. Strange lands, fantastic people, overwhelming power and emotion… that is what my stories are made of.
Tap tap tap. Slowly I pick up my drink again and purse my lips… oh. It’s empty. Stretching my arms towards the perfect clear sky, I get up from my recliner just as the wind picks up and tussles with my hair, scattering it across my face. I sigh happily as I look around my white stone balcony, then beyond towards the crystal sea. I am content.
… Ahh. And, exhale.
The clock beside me ticks onwards, fixed on finishing an impossible race. Time won’t stop for me. It pushes me on; dates, times, seconds… I only respond to them as numb responsibilities – there’s not enough time to appreciate them as I should. I bend over my keyboard, pushing away the paper scattered across my desk. The bitter truth wakes me like a bad dream. Cold winter, a large homework pile, an untidy room and a scattered mind. Welcome back. Here I really am, slumped over my computer, typing off into the night. Through my window, the darkness bars me in. A chain of responsibility sits clamped around my ankles, restricting me from moving. I can’t get rid of it as I can never find the end. I just have to accept it.
Tap tap tap.
Well we all can dream, can’t we? No matter who you are, everyone has ambitions that need fulfilling. For me, it’s not so simple. Most people have one single goal – a goal they will follow to the ends of the earth to achieve. But as I said, my mind is scattered into different places. One goal wouldn’t – and will never be – enough for me. I need to get away.
Inhale. My mind drifts…
Paint drips from my fingers. I watch it run down my hand and gradually drip off my wrist. Slowly I turn my hands over, revealing the battle scars of my work; paint stains and ink splodges all over my skin. I don’t mind. In a way, my scars are artwork too. I look up to my canvas. Nearly finished! Only a few more marks and dashes of paint until it is complete – the look I’ve tried to create will soon be perfect. The lines I use, the colours I blend… they are my only true tools. With precision, I can use them create my deepest desires, my most intense emotions… my most impossible ambition.
Outside it is raining hard. The hazy grey world through my apartment window has seen better days. Luckily for me, my four walls, cream carpet and high ceiling protect me from the soggy city. Inside my studio, I stay warm. I stay warm and serene and relaxed and snug and cosy and… secure. I stay secure. I am safe here.
I watch my hand stroke on another line. The carpet is comforting between my toes. My favourite song echoes from the other side of the room. Stroke. The soft lighting of my studio eases me and I feel myself relax. I am in the element of happiness. Stroke.
People pay thousands of pounds for my work. Across the globe, I am known well. I am the artist who never fails to create just the right look. Every picture flawless, every detail exquisite…
I am a machine of excellence.
The sounds of strokes turn into the sound of taps. For a moment I flicker back to reality. The clock ticks.
I force my mind to drift again…
I open my perfect rimmed eyes. As soon as I do, I am blinded by flashes of white light. This is good. It means they have seen me. People scream when they see me. Some cry and some make desperate wailing noises. It’s because they love me – and from that ultimate love I am eternally satisfied. There is not a single crack in the perfect world I have created. To the people I am a goddess among men – superior in every way. They are convinced that ground I touch with my feet becomes healed and perfect. I’ve never checked, but in my head it’s true. It is.
Posters, t-shirts, banners stained with thick dripping paint… they all display my name. The fans from the back of the crowd hold them up in a desperate attempt for me to see them. I wave to my fans and there is an uproar. That’s all they’ll get. That’s all they’ll need.
The white light keeps flashing. I turn and walk in my priceless dress and my priceless shoes over to the sea of eager cameras. For a moment I watch them scramble and push each other for a better view of me. Like children. Then I smile for them. That’s all they’ll need.
These cameras are what I must please. And I do without trying. They are the judges of my life, and they tear icons down as easily as they build them. It doesn’t matter who I am or what I do, – singer, musician, actor, director, all the same - because all that matters is I’m famous. The people needed a face to love so here I am, on cue. I’ll be that person everyone’s talking about; I’ll be that person on the news. I’ll be that person who is plucked and primped and pampered till I’m not recognisable as human any more. I’ll do it. I’ll do it all.
Everyone calls my name, even though I am right in front of them. Ignoring them, I glance up at the city sky above me. Night - an endless sheet of black silk folded around my world. Sparks of my talent are present in the sky, scattered around to give the sky substance, a purpose.
The world is perfect because I am perfect. And that’s all there is to it.
I am bored now. I look to my feet and begin to follow the trail of red carpet. The people love me, but I have to turn my back on them for now. I walk up the red steps and disappear into a building. Where am I going? I don’t really care. Because I’m famous.
I’ve been gone for too long - now I’m running out of time. I glance outside to see the darkness thickening. I only have minutes left. Panic pours over me like cold water. I can’t finish it in time.
Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
My hands are suddenly frantic over the keys, desperately trying to finish my work. Mistakes appear and flash up in red on my screen. No time to correct them. I force myself to stay awake and in doing so I knock my mug of water off the desk with my elbow. Splatter. I don’t stop to pick it up; I can hear the empty mug roll away on the floorboards, afraid of my sudden burst of panic.
Time is unforgiving. Time is unmerciful. It just keeps going.
My mind is scattered. I don’t have one dream or ambition – I have many. But, if I had to choose one, it wouldn’t be a certain situation, nor place, nor job. I would just want to hold time. I just want to own it. To feel it, possess it – to run my fingers over its cold corners.
But it wouldn’t be enough. One goal wouldn’t – and will never be – enough for me. I need to get away.