Sitting on a dresser is an empty glass that contained fresh pineapple juice squeezed only thirty minutes ago. Next to it are three books, Martian Chronicles, In the Time of the Butterflies and Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. Looking at the books make me smile. I received my packet from my teacher in the mail yesterday. I did a good job with the work I turned in. Her letter to me was motivating. It is time to put the books away, however. They’ve served their purpose. I need to prepare for my next packet.
A small black purse is also on the dresser, with pieces of my life zipped inside; a couple of debit cards, a business card from a literary agent I’ve been meaning to call and a library card that I haven’t used in about a week. My little pocket camera sits close to my wallet, which also shares a space with my iPad. The camera is my second memory, capturing the details I sometimes forget. The iPad is merely an extension of my computer, a place to carry those things I might need from time to time.
More books are stacked between carefully carved wooden bookends. They remind me of my to-do list and the next set of books I’ll need to read for class. The book ends look like West African women from an ancient time. I conjure a past I never lived but wished I could, a place so far away and long ago it feels like a dream I once had about being free. Dreams of freedom are really only dreams. There is no freedom here. But there can, at the very least, be a good life. We can make that for ourselves. Tonight I’ll dream of a good life. Maybe in some distant future my dreams will grow wings after emerging from their cocoon, manifesting into things that not only live and breathe in a new way, but can fly to places far away, into times so far from now that wind and water would have worn away any memory of what was once here. The rest would be hidden beneath sand and earth too deep to excavate. I would fly to that place, into freedom’s bosom.