Part One: The Confession
I must confess that at times I can have quite the idealised version of life, events and people. I freely admit this. It can be embarrassing, mostly it goes unnoticed but this last week it took me to places I have never been to before.
I noticed an ad in the newspaper. The back cover of a questionable kind of weekly that one can pick up for free around town. It was in bold print and in large letters:
“Liberal activists needed” I could not believe my eyes. This was one of those moments where you just know the hand of destiny is involved reaching out to guide you. I knew it instantly that this was for me.
I must confess again I am a political junkie nut, at least I was in my idealistic youth. I have since gone to pasture and seed in my garden, I have grown slow and complacent, this I admit. My flowers and flowery words have softened me.
I have longed to get back into the mix of things and shake off some of these middle-aged mom doldrums.
Women voters Registering shop girls & clerks (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
I am a sucker for that democracy thing. I admit that too. I am a rebel at heart and I believe in the power of the people. I imagined my life as a future liberal activist.
Working for a good cause with a good bunch of people, activists like me. Maybe I’d be advocating for the environment or children or the elderly. Maybe I could make a small difference and earn a little extra money while I’m at it. How perfect is that?! I was so excited. It seemed so right. So damn democratic. My red, white and blueness was swelling with a new-found pride. Sure, the system isn’t perfect, but we need to change from within and all this noble gobbledygook ran through my Pollyanna-ish and earnest imagination.
Part Two: The Dream Sequence
President Barack Obama discusses strawberryindigo with actor George Clooney during a meeting outside the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I imagined hobnobbing with local politicians, meeting and conferring with political pundits and strategists, heads of state, dignitaries and great minds from around the world. Gaining valuable insight. Impressing my new-found important friends with my brilliant political mind. Soon I’d attract the attention of higher-ups, who knows, maybe someday….
I showed up for my interview two days later, bright-eyed and ready for action. My pockets were full of black bic pens and a cool new pink phone and breath mints. My hopes were high.
I do have to say I was surprised. I imagined something quite different when I saw the office. I thought the democrats were loaded. This place was humble for sure and disorganized. I smiled and thought maybe I could help here too.
Everyone was stressed and a bit off.
Of course this was the hand of destiny again. They needed my help. I knew it. It was the easiest job interview I have ever been to. I was made for this and I couldn’t wait to show my new employer just what an active activist I would be. My head was swimming with ambition.
Part Three: Cold Reality
I'm an angry man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
And now for something completely different as I find myself on a soggy street corner in the pouring rain in an overpriced ritzy part of town with a clipboard wearing an old tie-dye, a smile and loads of enthusiasm.
I look for my people, my fellow concerned citizens, fellow taxpayers and democratic cohorts, where are they? I scan the silent streets, all I hear is rain. Drip, drip, drip all over my glossy photos and donkey propaganda.
Was this the hand of fate again? perhaps. Stupidity on my part? Yes. Stupidity on the Democrats part? For sure. But the truth of the matter it seemed was that despite all my idealism and earnestness, I couldn’t make someone care who doesn’t and that some people can be downright mean and nobody likes anyone with a clipboard and a cause in the rain no matter how enthusiastic that person pretends to be.
So I am swimming again this time in reality, finally understanding why this job was so easy to get…..I yearn for warmth and caffeine with whipped milk…. for a smiling face, for easy listening music and overpriced coffee cake…yes, that’s it! Starbucks!
I look around..and believe it or not, and this fact is difficult to believe but there is not a Starbucks on every street like it seems. To get to the promised land I would have to leave my assigned area and forge out to the great unknown to find what I needed so badly: A Chai Latte and some sanity…
Walnut cinnamon coffee cake with chai latte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dare to Dream
So I embark, clipboard in tow and with my mood improving. I scan the streets for my heart’s desire……and there…. he is! No, not my heart’s desire, but the man who saved me that day. There he was pouring his heart out on the street corner, his cute little pointed hat stood proudly on his tiny head. His face clenched with concentration and fear mixed with pure ecstasy. His violin sputtered and creaked a painful sounding “Somewhere over the rainbow.” I stopped and listened, I almost started to cry.
There he was putting himself out there, following a dream perhaps or maybe just trying to make a fast buck on the side. Whatever it was his obvious lack of any musical talent or ability whatsoever didn’t get in the way of his soul. I could hear it. It was beautiful and it buoyed my spirits.
I saw it as a sign. I gave the little man a dollar and with that act, my luck seemed to change and rather abruptly. The sun broke through the clouds.
I could hear Judy Garland, urging me on….telling me….”Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream, Really do come true.”
After that there was no stopping me….
Stay tuned as my adventure continues…..