Keep, modern lands, your white picket fences.
Keep your Disney romances,
your fat-dad-hot-mom sitcoms
with three kids—the bimbo, the smart one, and the weird one.
Keep your network TV handcuffs,
chaining the plot to some fanciful equilibrium.
Give me your tired, your depressed,
your first-time gym members collapsing under the weight of a barbell, the ones flying off the treadmill, ready to retire their running shoes for good.
Give me your mid-twenties virgins
whose only dates are a computer screen and a box of tissues.
Give me your women who only feel safe at night holding their keys between their knuckles, and the ones who learned that the hard way.
Give me your recovering alcoholics with friends that wonder why they can’t just stop at “a little buzzed.” Give me the ones that fantasize about jamming a gun under their chin every day but somehow manage to keep the image imaginary. And give me the families and friends of the ones who didn’t manage.
Give me your PTSD veterans, your mothers and fathers who’ve had to pick out their children’s coffins, your repentant felons bagging groceries for the rest of their lives, your obese forced to wear their vice on their body. Give me your artists and entrepreneurs, desperately grasping onto the tattered remains of their latest idea. Give me the ones with the single-digit bank balances, who don’t know the smell of a steak dinner, and the ones that picked money over happiness because they just didn’t know any better at the time. Give me your autistic, your socially anxious, your Clippers fans, vegetables, workaholics, chocoholics, anorexics, philosophy majors, mentally scarred, physically scarred, your homeless, your hapless, your friendless, your clueless.
Hand them all over.
I want to dig you pebbles out of the cracks and crevices of the two-story villa with the white picket fence.
Every single one of you.
And I want to stick you in a mosaic together—the largest the world’s ever seen—and wake up the dreamers, so they can marvel at the pebbled pattern that makes up our rocky reality.