Wanting the Wanting

Green. She wished colors to be gold, brown, rust, orange, yellow, red. The young woman wanted to hear a crunch and crackle under her feet as she walked her dog each morning. She wanted skies to be gray with a mist of rain showering down on her. Wanting to wear a knit hat and hiking boots, trapsing through woods in New England. Memorizing Simic and Kerouac; Ginsberg and Snyder. These were dreams.

She lived in a Midwestern trailer park. A hoosier by birth. No formal education to speak of. Just weekly trips to the library where she checked out Frost, Whitman, Plath, Hughes, Dickinson among others. She read every night. And dreamed. Beautiful colorful dreams of New England morns and water splashing on rocks. Of trees tall as buildings in New York. Falling in love with the smells of nature.

But hers was the smell of gasoline and burnt garbage. It was tin houses rusting. Water damage in the bathroom. Hers was the job of checking out customers at Krogers. Of bagging groceries for Mrs. Smith. Noticing a husband staring at her plump chest. Wishing she had a love.

So at night she would read her latest selections; Yeats, Rilke, Garcia, along with short stories by O’Conner and Harrison. She read Anais Nin as well; always wanting the wanting.

She had no dog. Just dreams. And sometimes that’s all we have.

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