Thinking about hope, and thinking about New York. My New York. Many of my friends here are people who some might consider wannabees, or fringe.
Remember the tv show, Taxi? Set in the garage of a yellow cab company in NY, the characters are all drivers. In the premiere, the character of Elaine speaks with Alex, quick to tell him she isn’t really a cabdriver, she’s, ummm, I don’t quite remember, something to do with art and museums. He tells her (basically), of course not. That guy over there is an actor, he’s a boxer, she’s a singer, etc. Me? I’m a cab driver.
I never forgot that line. Now, I feel like I live it. Sort of. I have friends who are writers, singers, artists, playwrites, actors, all doing something else to pay the rent. All of whom, including me, are far past their twenties, understand the importance of meeting responsibilities and paying bills, and yet there’s something that doesn’t allow that hope to die. For myself, those dreams have changed some over the years. I don’t imagine myself to be the next Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolfe, or fill in the blank with the Great-American-Novelist of your choice.
Some dreams you have to let go of, because time passes and they become fantasies by default. Living in Paris for a year or two. Click. Gone. Living in a fabulous beach house. Click. Gone. Raising my children somewhere that doesn’t involve testing, interviewing and/or ridiculous sums of money to get into good schools from kindergarten up. Click. Gone. Having more than one bathroom. Click. Gone. Borgeous dreams? No doubt. I was raised in a working class family, and despite having changed boroughs, still working class, if there is such a thing in NY anymore.
But I still imagine “it” happening in smaller ways. A published novel with good enough sales to get a contract for another. And build from there. I’m “just a mom,” but being a mom isn’t being a cabdriver. Sometimes equally (what I imagine to be) mind numbing, but not something I’d want to leave behind, or rush to negate. Maybe being a mom teaches you not to lose hope. How to adjust and adapt, even downsize, without giving up.