Who am I to walk this earth with my head held high? A flightless soul neck-deep in the minutia?
I am but a man of the dirt, born in the fertile soil of nowhere, destined to live a life of servitude with a drawerful of plastic spoons.
The stars I chase are flying specs of dust caught on beams of sunlight streaming in through dirty blinds on weekend mornings when dogs jump on the bed.
Only those validated through academia and who travel along the most well-lit avenues are afforded obituaries in the New York Times. The rest of us are scraped off the pavement and tossed into a pit of tar to sink back into the earth from whence we came. Emissions from an engine – our final contribution.
So who am I to think I’m different? That somehow I’m worthy of remembrance for a few crude lines strung together here and there and plucked from the brain of four-years spent at an obscure southern school?
Lesser men are ill refined. Foot soldiers bred for the purpose of protecting those more deserving. Empty purple faces straining to get by. Taxed by life. Ignorant to the grind. Grateful for a line of credit and a rainy afternoon at the mall.
We are the people. And we make things go. We clock into and out of life carrying a card with our work schedules scribbled in blue ink. And we make our mothers proud for doing our part.
But then the children leave; and gray hair arrives; and the wrinkles in the corners of our eyes deepen when we smile. And we wonder – who are we? Where did our dreams drift off to? What can we make with what’s left? Why should we even care? Who are we to think that our words can help us rise above the din of the machine to a place where sunlight glistens off the salty sea?