Most people walk away from their dreams sooner or later, usually in tiny steps that are hardly noticeable, the course altered by fractional degrees until it leads to a reversal of the poles. The childhood fantasy of becoming an astronaut or paleontologist fades into paying down a credit card or finding low-deductible insurance. Big dreams die every minute in this country, crushed into the smaller ones that keep us setting our alarm clocks, buying paper towels, and checking the weather forecast. 

Lose enough faith, and you might forget how to live. Bills and bank statements begin to look like fiction, baffling abstractions that have nothing to do with the real business of being alive. Words like appointment or Thursday lose their meaning, and you increasingly find yourself spaced-out in the grocery store, struggling to remember what you like to eat. You might begin to spend time in bars or churches, searching for instructions. Some people will recognize this starved look in your eye. They will see you as a kindred spirit or easy prey. Either way, they will find you. And they will talk to you.

Spectrum – Then I Just Drifted Away

Highs, Lows, and Heavenly Blows | Silvertone, 1994 | More

This is the fourth episode of Interstate Scenes, a fictional collection of homeless paragraphs, remixed and upcycled bits from the past, and bloopers from the stories I’m writing.