Good evening, Netizens…
When the dreams died, a group of us stood just outside the city limits, watching the skies expectantly as if suddenly everything would be whole again, but in the steadfast silence, which was all that was left of it after the Change, we held little hope they would ever come again. It was as if everything that ever mattered to us all simply stopped dead in its tracks, as if to say, “I’m not moving another inch” very stiffly and set in its ways, quiet and ponderously waiting.
The old women, who used to come by the church yard down the road and trim the grass and plant new flowers on the graves suddenly stopped coming by, and as if on cue, the crabgrass and wild oats took over once again, and that month the flowers stopped blooming. When they buried old man Richley on the Southwest side of the cemetery several weeks after the Change, nobody thought to bring flowers to put on the grave, and thus he rests there, unnoticed, his grave site unmarked forever.
The young couple with a baby riding securely on the back of their bicycles simply stopped coming by and commenting on the evening breeze, “My, but your flowers sure look lovely,” or “Isn’t this a beautiful Spring night?” The tiny unassuming bungalow down the lane where they lived, where they brought their baby home for the first time, still sits empty with a big For Sale sign staked in the front yard, and nobody seems to know when or where they left town.
It was a remarkable Change; even the adolescents and teen-agers that once rode through the neighborhood with their hopped-up stereos rattling our windows in their casements seemed to fade away into nothingness one day. It was as if they somehow had sensed our displeasure at being forced to listen to rap music at 1000 watts amplification, and simply left town in search of a more receptive crowd that might appreciate their taste in music, but no one has heard them since the Dreams died.
When the Dreams died, I guess a part of us all died with them, leaving us to caw and bark at the moonlight dancing on the dew on the grass of an evening since nothing else was stirring. It was so bad there for awhile you couldn’t even find a politician down in the Town Square willing to discuss the latest tax levies or the need for new streets. Instead, they would furtively come to the door of City Hall, peer out at you with bewildered and somewhat frightened looks on their faces, and close the door in your face.
But no, one day, as if they had been away on a cruise to some fanciful place or had escaped to the countryside on a brief hiatus from reality, the Dreams came back home and forgave us our frumpish ways and hollowed-out appearances. Suddenly, with our Dreams once more home, all the joys and sadnesses of life, the little old ladies who make our lives so much better, and even the kids in their hot rod cars suddenly came back. A new couple with a three month old baby moved into the vacant house down the lane, and we fell in love with them as we did their predecessors.
The politicians, being political by nature, immediately took credit for the Dreams returning, and for a time until we resolutely set our feet in the dirt and said in one voice, “Oh no you don’t!” they were going to tax the Dreams to raise revenue.
But we never forgot the day the Dreams died, and with our tender and loving ministrations, they fortunately never will leave us again.