“I did not mean to bump into you,” he continues, breaking my thoughts from looking up at the sky. I look back at him and I know it’s not possible. Only silly sci-fi things happen like that in. Well, they happen in books and on TV.
“It’s cool,” I stammer. “I wasn't watching where I was going.” Which is mostly the truth. If I wasn't so busy looking for the moon, I might have actually paid attention that there was a man walking my way.
Then again, he could have moved out of my way. But maybe he wasn't paying attention either. I look as he holds his hand out to me.
“My name is Raoul,” he speaks. I take his hand and shake.
“Greta,” I answer back.
He gives me a warm smile. “Nice to meet you, Greta. Would you mind if I trouble you for a bit?”
I try to ignore the fact that he speaks in an old-fashioned manner. “Sure,” I answer. “I was just going out for a walk anyway.” Which isn't a lie at all. I would really like to see where the moon went.
He interrupts my thoughts. “Well you see, I am new around here and was wondering if you could possibly show me the area.” He pauses a bit. “Or at least if you could maybe tell me about it over coffee.”
I think he realizes that we've only just met and as cute as he is, I don’t know anything about him. “Coffee sounds great,” I answer and I know exactly where to go. There is a diner around the corner that we could sit in. That way if it does turn out he’s crazy, I could make a run for it.
We arrive around the corner and take a seat in the booth when the oddest question comes out of his mouth. “What happens to a dream deferred?”
I look at him. “Excuse me?” I don’t want to be rude.
“Oh,” he says apologetically. “It’s a line from the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes. Have you ever heard of him?”
It’s suddenly coming back to me bits and pieces. I can remember in junior high we had to memorize Harlem for a quiz in English class. I can’t believe I forgot all about that poem. I nod and answer, “Yes,” at the same time.
“So tell me, Greta,” he seems curious. “What does happen to a dream deferred?”
Deferred. Deferred. What does happen to a dream deferred? It’s all coming back to me now as I remember being stumped on that word back in seventh grade. I remember looking it up and the meaning is said to postpone.
I start drifting off to a deeper thought, pondering upon the word “defer”.
Ah, yes! It seems as though so many times my dreams have in fact been deferred. I have wanted so little from life and got nothing. So I asked for more and still nothing. Now that I am the age that I am, I realized that dreams for me will always be deferred. It’s not meant for me in this lifetime.
Why so cynical, you may ask? Why so skeptical? I've been C-Blocked every which way possible. Then I was told well it’s not what you want in life that you’ll get. It’s what you need that you will get. I have needed. Trust me and still nothing.
It’s a vicious cycle. It’s one that makes others wonder and ask me all the time: “Well, what’s wrapped around your heart?” My only reply: “Ice.”
My heart is blocked and cold and it feels good that way. It’s numb so no one could ever hurt it again. No one could ever break promises. I don’t even expect anything. I will just work hard and die working and have nothing to show for it. That’s all life is anyway, right?
Full of disappointments. When you open up, life gets complicated. Do you know how thick an owner’s manual to a car is? Well, can you imagine carrying around one for the heart with you at all times? That would be huge. You would have to carry a backpack around. So yeah, numb and icy heart sounds good to me.
But I won’t let this nice man know this. For now, I say, “Sometimes, the best things happen last.”
He seems to approve of these words.
Written by ©Diana Jillian 11/9/12