The room is dark. A single light shines down on me. A second party sits alone in the corner, barely illuminated.
“But you still love me, right?”
I reply, “I do, but to be honest, I don’t have a clue why.”
“I’m irresistible.” The figure’s head tilts upward.
“You could say that.”
“You’ll never reject me.” It gets up onto its knees.
I turn away from it. “Whatever.”
“You need me.” It approaches ambitiously.
“Maybe… But it’s definitely not mutual, apparently.”
“What do you mean? How could I exist if it weren’t for you?”
Lips protruding as I exhale loudly I say, “Maybe. We need each other.”
“But what’s getting to you? I can tell that something is eating you. What’s eating you my friend?”
“It’s just that…” My nostrils flare as my head tilts toward the floor. “ I thought you’d… I thought you would get me there.”
“Get you where?”
Sheepishly I state, “You know. Closer to my dreams.”
“Ah. The D word.”
“Yeah, the D word. I said it. My dreams. And don’t hold it against me for having them. Everyone has them.”
“Oh, I don’t hold it against you. I just wonder what they have to do with me.”
“I created you…”
“For? For getting you closer to your dreams? Your ambitious goals of being world renown? Of being forever loved and remembered?”
“The way you put it is…” I shake my head. I know what it is saying. But I can’t acknowledge that it is indeed selfish of me to expect anymore of it or its existence. “The way you put it makes me sound…”
“You need more, I know. I am not enough.” It starts back towards the corner until I speak again.
“It’s not like that! You ARE enough… but still. It would be nice if you didn’t cost me so much.”
Turning its head back to me in curiosity it asks, “How exactly am I costing you?”
“Hours and hours of time, for one. And the energy. You know, like brain power. It takes brain power… and… and… innovation. Innovation isn’t exactly a renewable resource.”
It takes a strong stance toward me. It huffs its chest and says, “That’s on you, pretty thing. I never forced you to use those resources on me.”
“No, you didn’t. But you were very enticing.”
“Was I enticing? Or was what you thought you could get from me enticing?”
I hush it. I don’t like where it is going. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t I? Don’t I know that you wanted to impress others with me? Maybe a pretty girl or two? Didn’t I know that?”
I cut it off. “You could say that. But what does that have to do with anything?”
“Or how you wanted to be famous? How you wanted riches from me?”
“Hey, at this point I’d be happy just to make a meager living. I don’t need those things anymore.”
“Alright. I get it. You’re not satisfied. It’s not enough that you have me.”
Incensed and ready to stake my claim I raise my voice and say, “You’re right! I’m not satisfied. You could at least give me something to live off of. How else could I invest so much in you?”
“My dreams? Hah! Those are far gone. I’m 33 now, lest you fail to tell. I spent a good 18 years with you hoping you’d give me something. And here I am with nothing to show for. All those hours, days, months and years for what? Just to have you sit here arguing with me?”
“I guess I was not enough.”
I did not let up. “No, you weren’t! I put all I had into you even when my friend told me to give it up.”
“But you didn’t listen to them.”
“A lot of good that did me. Then I sent you to the record labels.”
“And I only heard back from one.”
“What did they say?”
“They said the cd didn’t work.”
“Snap is right.”
“So what did you do? Did you go store to store to share me with them?”
“No… I didn’t do that. But I did play on the streets. Sold some cds out there.”
“You must have really made an impression.”
“Actually, I think they only bought my cd’s because I had crutches with me. That was right after I’d taken off my full-leg cast.”
“Alright. Air it all out. How salty are you?”
“I had bandmates who threw me to the curb after I asked them to practice more. I had online collaborators who played along for a song or two, until they found all that guff too time-consuming. I had a youtube channel with nearly a thousand subscribers only for new videos to get only 20 views!”
“And you want to put the blame on me? All that weight of rejection.”
“I spent the better part of a year writing a novel only to have all the publishers reject me. I self published two books and who gave them a look? No one but my mom”
“Blame me if you want. But you’re still here. And you’re still with me.”
“That’s true, though god knows why. It’s not like I still believe in the dream.”
Dream enters with its nose turned up and its chest puffed out. “What’s this I hear about not believing in me?”
“You heard what I said.”
“You think I give my time to just anyone?” Dream chuckles dismissively.
“Screw you. I oughta…”
“You oughta what? Face it. It didn’t matter how much time you spent with Art over here. If you wanted me, you should have done more with me. You should have given your soul to me.”
“Art over here isn’t even my friend. If anything, we’re contrary.”
Art purses its lips and frowns. “You’re what he wants. He’s just using me to get to you.”
“No, it’s not like that,” I protest. “I was just hoping that you both would come along for the ride.”
“Looks like you’re missing the point,” Dream says, smirking.
“Yeah, he really is,” Art chimes in.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“He really needs to appreciate you for what you are,” Dream says to Art.
“He doesn’t want me. Maybe I should just leave?” Art says.
I hunch down and put my hands on my knees. I breathe deeply and exhale loudly. “You know, even if everyone else rejects you, I still love you, Art. I don’t want you to leave me.”
“And what about this guy? Do you need him?” Art points at Dream.
“Dream? Naw. You’re enough for me.”
“Good. What are you doing now then? Get back to work.” Art says.
Dream leans in and gives me a kiss, “I know you want me, but you don’t need me. Maybe I would just get in the way of Art here. So let’s keep it simple. Let’s just make it you two. And if I pop in some time, well, enjoy my presence while you can for I am fickle and fleeting.”
“I get it. I’ll get back to it.”
Art smiles. “I knew you would be faithful to me.”
“Like I ever had a choice,” I say as I pick up my ukulele.