Somewhere under the piles of paperwork on my desk is a stack of deferred dreams.
The next script I want to write is right underneath the expense report that has yet to be filed. The new hilarious sketch I need to brainstorm remains buried
below the essays my kids need me to edit. I have a drawer in which I’d like to keep jokes, but business cards and standardized test scores sit in their place.
There are times when I feel like I’m competing with myself – not as in pushing myself to be better but as in one part of me (the one who enjoys his job and the stability it brings) is battling another part of me (the one that wants to live out of my car and tell jokes at bars everyday until David Letterman gives me a chance). Today is one of those days. I feel the need to say that I do like my job and I love my kids because it is absolutely true. But maybe there is more out there than that. Incidentally, did any of you guys watch The Croods?
I have a recording of the great Langston Hughes reading his famous work A Dream Deferred in which he ponders the fate of my script trapped underneath that expense report. Among many gloomy possibilities, he asks if it might explode. I hear his tenor voice, ironically light and crisp as his words boom heavy and full over me. Shit, I think, and return from my daydream to a literal assload of essays.
I know that there is a time and place for everything. I know that I have to be patient with myself and yet demanding of myself. I know that the office is not the place to write jokes (but let’s be real, when you work with kids the jokes kind of write themselves). So I make a vow to use my free time better and make sure my daily goals are met. As for me and my dreams, Mr. Hughes, they will not explode.
Everything gets real the second day back from vacation. It’s too soon to count down until the next break and everyone expects you to be back into the proper routine. Today I had to surrender to the man and focus mainly on the work in front of me. I had to defer my dream.
I might have to start hiding in the bathroom….