Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pinocchio's Wish

For the majority of my adult life I can honestly say that I’ve never really known what I wanted. Well, with the exception of a few things like wanting to fall in love, obtain wisdom, and become a ninja, I have always known that I want to go back in time and be seven again, when there was never a doubt about what I wanted.


At seven, I wanted to build forts, climb trees, ride my bike, pretend I was a soldier, an eagle, or a cheetah. I was really fast. As a matter of fact, the only person faster than me was my best friend Robert. We had Big Wheels and would pretend we were the motorcycle cops in that show CHIPS. We would spend hours setting up hundreds of plastic army soldiers, and then take turns shooting at each other’s forces with rubber bands. I used to love the soldier with a parachute, and the one who was thrusting his rifle forward with the bayonet attached. I thought the flamethrower guy was pretty cool too. You have to be incredibly brave to strap canisters filled with gas to your back. My curfew was when it got dark. Sometimes I would realize that it was getting late, and I would race the darkness home on my bike. Sometimes I won, sometimes my Mother would have to remind me that I needed to win more often.

I always wanted chocolate milk, my Dad’s grilled cheese sandwiches, his pancakes, and pumpkin pie. I enjoyed travelling with him too. We had a game we would play in airports where we would try to guess where people were from and what language they spoke. He would make me practice signing my name. On the way to school, I would read the newspaper to him while he drove, and we would listen to Paul Harvey on the radio. We used to go to the local swimming pool where they played 80’s music and my dad knew all the people who worked there. They all admired him and it made me admire him too. I loved swimming and I wanted to be a dolphin. I wanted water not to go up my nose when I swam upside down. I wanted to find buried treasure, and turn cardboard boxes into space ships that would take me to the moon so I could walk on it. I wanted to watch my dad coach sports, take me to ball games, and have him unfog my snorkeling mask at the beach.

I wanted to be next to my mom every breathing moment. I wanted her to tell me things would be okay when I came home with fresh wounds. I wanted to hear her voice, whether it was reading me a story, or just talking. I wanted to go with her to church, or the orphanage where she found me, to bring things for the children who hadn’t found their angel yet. I wanted to cry when she left, I wanted to feel like she could rearrange the cosmos, which she could. I wanted her not to die. I wanted to take her place. I wanted to see her one last time.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to let go of all these things. In their place, there is one thing that I know I currently want. I celebrate these moments, because they do not come often. I hold onto them like a child does his first sea shell, and I pursue them relentlessly. Now, what I want more than anything is to be able to write great stories. I want to be able to breathe life into characters who laugh and cry, tell bad jokes, and dress badly. I want people to believe in their causes, worry for their safety, and hate the villains who thwart their success. I want them to hate their parents, want children of their own, have their hearts broken, and find true, unconditional, unbridled, and unceasing love. I want them to have dreams, missions, dates, sex, and high school reunions. Most of all, I want them to know what they want. 

7 comments:

byvik ink said...

Wow, just beautiful! I can't cry because I'm reading this at work - but I want to.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love this. You are already a wonderful, observant and sensitive writer. Losing someone we love is unbelievably painful, but nothing ever leaves our life unless something else is waiting to come in. You will have exactly what you want if you put your energy to it. You already have the talent.

Brown said...

byvik ink - Awww...thanks. As much as I hate to see a girl cry and all.

heart in s.f. - I truly and deeply appreciate your compliments and observations. I think you are an extremely gifted writer and I value your opinion. Thank you so much for sharing.

jbchicoine said...

I just stumbled over here--what an unexpected treat, though a little heart wrenching first thing in the morning...
I will be taking this with me through my day...

mischief said...

I read this again because I needed to remember why I felt my throat tighten and my heart beat fast when I read this the first time. Because I loved the way you broke my heart and put it back together.

I remember now, it was because this was the best thing I have read from you. Best because it captured your childhood so perfectly I could see you, could hear you, could *feel* what you felt. And because in this post I became convinced that you already are a writer that I will read again and again.

Brown said...

j.b. - thank you for stopping by. The vicissitudes of fate are truly unpredictable, even in how they surprise us with an occasional treat.

mischief - Wow. Not so sure I'm worthy of such praise, but I am ecstatic that my post elicited so much emotion. Interesting what happens when we allow ourselves moments of vulnerability.

jbchicoine said...

Aw, now you've gone and used one of my favorite words--vicissitudes--that of course means I'm going to have to follow this blog!