A circle Dan’s finger traced, round and round and he started to ponder. Sitting on the curb with the icy breeze in his hair, his nail left powdery white marks in the concrete. It was a calm night and through his frosty breath, he glanced at the moon. Bright and round, hanging against the backdrop of starless velvet black.
“A galaxy of opportunities and wonder awaits the fateful wanderer.” was something Dan remembered from his stories with Grandpa. Perhaps he could fly into the night and let the darkness swallow him but he was much too afraid. Afraid of the uncertainty, afraid of the regret, afraid of the dark. He was once naïve and could sail upon his Grandpa’s dreams and tales but now he was older, he knew better. Nothing came of having high hopes, dreams never come true and neither do wishes. All this while, he was still scratching into the concrete. The grit and bumps made it impossible to keep his line perfectly curved and it wobbled the whole way around his circle. He looked at the moon closer still. He could imagine the bumps and craters but from so far away, it seemed perfectly round. A spherical heavenly body. Oh, the stories his Grandpa told him when he was young; about the moon and a wealthy, wealthy man. A man slaved only to his desires. This man was born lucky and Dan was lucky to be born. He came from a line of diabetics; generations upon generations of genetics of doom and death. No longer safe and carefree under his parents’ wing. No more medical bills for he had no money for them. He regretted the first time that the lever from the jackpot machine buckled under his palm.
Dan was afraid of the uncertainty and regret and dark yet he was living in it. Uncertain that his last insulin shot would last much longer, regretful for giving away his fortune in greed for more and shadowed always by the darkness that was around him, not only physically, but emotionally too. He had nothing to live for, he needed to take a dive and chase his dreams. “A galaxy of opportunities and wonder awaits the fateful wanderer.” Dreams are not reality. Wishes shoot past and disappear in fiery meteors. Hope flickers and dies out. So many bumps and pieces of grit lay on the road in front of him like mines on a battlefield. It was impossible to find a straight line through all the pieces. Round and round, his finger still etching more and more of itself onto the ground.
As he looked skyward for hope, the first star of the night winked at him. What was above the world? Stars were above the world, twinkling in all their glory. He felt a cloud clear in his mind and heart. His sound mind was beginning to show its dominance. A hint of a barbeque tainted the night air and Dan’s stomach growled and whined. Still, he was penniless and homeless.
“If only I could find a way…” he muttered as he drew vicious circles into the cold pavement.