they had dreams…

He wanted to take off and make his fortune on a fishing boat in Alaska…some dream the young man had of leaving the Midwest to see something different…to be out on the ocean…hauling in nets and cleaning decks for weeks at a time…then coming back to shore and cashing big checks…enough money to travel the world on…go to places like Prague and drink cheap beer…stay up all night on the streets of Paris…sleep with beautiful women in places like Berlin and Amsterdam…these were all dreams of his…dreams…

Never got his passport…was scared to take the first step…stayed around his hometown delivering newspapers in the early morning hours…visions of boats and trains going through his head as he walked his route in the coolness of the Fall…with leaves crunching ‘neath boots…seeing his breath in the November early morn…humming Chet Baker songs…wondering when his time would come…

And he never saved a dime…spent cash at bars on beers…pretending he was drinking with comrades in Moscow…sailors in Portugal…punk rockers in Barcelona…just sat there on a barstool night after night fantasizing about being anywhere in the world other than where he was…small town where the streets roll-up at 10:00 with moms and dads tucking-in children…kisses on foreheads…prayers sent up to Heaven…

He got older and older…dreams would die off like grapes on a vine in winter time…moved onto factory jobs and assembly line work…puting widgets in holes…wandering what happened to him…all those dreams gone…vanished…now it was a wife and two kids…grocery shopping on Saturdays…watching the grass grow in the summer time…tossing baseballs with the boy…pushing the girl on a swing…

At night time he would hold onto the woman he fell in love with…or…setttled for…and there was always an eerie silence between them…a quiteness that screamed…

For she had dreams too…wanted to be an actress…or some kind of star…wanted to be noticed for something…other than just being a mom…a wife…checkout girl at the super market…

And like him she threw her dreams away…and settled…tossed adventure out with the evening trash…fantasies placed in a can with bacon drippings…

As they held onto each other in silence…scared each night that the other would eventually fold and show their hand…glimpses of fishing boats and Broadway stages filled their heads…

neither ever said a word…

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