Friday, June 17, 2011

Hope Springs Infernal

I've always been the hopeful type. Many don't realize it, because I'm also a realist. What does that mean? It means I hope my hardest for the best, but I'm rarely suprised when it doesn't happen. That's not to say I'm not devastated by hope's failure--believe me, I am. But I put on a stoic face and, hey, at least I'm not surprised.

Except I am. Even though I fully comprehend and even expect the worst, my secret heart of hearts truly believes that good will come.

How stupid is that?

When I was 15, my mother announced, while we were vacationing in Pennsylvania, that we were moving back to the east coast. Back to Hallstead, our hometown. Back to beloved family, my Aunt and Uncle's Arabian horse farm, and the lazy, sweet, firefly-lit place of my childhood. I was so excited, so eager to return to where my heart had always been.

And then she reneged. She just blah. No reason, no explanation, she just kept putting off and making excuses until finally I realized that it wasn't happening. It had never been a plan, it had been a tale to entertain and impress. This wasn't the first time my Mom had made up a story to enlarge herself or made a big promise with no real intention of living up to her word. No, no--in fact, that's something of a hallmark. It was, however, the first time I was ever devastated by her bullshit. Not the last time, though. Not by any means.

Why am I rambling on about my Mother and her fanciful but faithless tales of wish fulfillment and dreams come true? Because I am so afraid that I'm doing the same thing to Sean--or at least that he will come to perceive it as so. He wants so badly to move back east, to be near the Franklin Institute, the Air and Space Museum, and the ocean. He wants it so deeply that he, like me, like his Daddy, breathes it, eats it, lives the dream of it. But each job that comes up, each opportunity to escape this place and be where we want to be, has fallen through. Hopes dashed time and again. I feel like I'm 15 again, and worse, I feel like my mother, too.

What if it doesn't happen? It's already been three years. What if another three pass and we're still stuck in this dry, dull place? What if five pass? What if we never, ever escape this desolate patch of dust? Poor Sean.

Poor us.

And those beloved relatives my mother promised we'd reunite with? Dead. Bob since 2007 and Helen Jean since March of this year. The Arabian horse farm long gone, the horses dead. But the fireflies are still there . . . for now. Their numbers are reported to be dwindling, though.

You want to hear something shamefully pathetic? For as pessimistic and down as this entry sounds, I am, sadly, brimming with hope. It's scary, how hopeful I am. Why scary? Because the more hopeful I am, the more devastating the fall. Good thing I bounce.

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