If I was a chef I would have cheap macaroni-and-cheese dreams. My kitchen would never hold a single box of it. Heaven forbid! That kitchen would be photographed for magazines and analyzed by other chefs, debating the ingredients and items in it (Oh, he uses that product, I need one too!). One hint of such a box could ruin my reputation, make me a laughing stock. And, yet at 2 AM when everyone else is asleep and I am staring out my window I would think of that little quick dinner my grand-mama would make me so long ago. I would sit on the counter as she did it, and she would sing me songs in French, now and then taking a moment to rustle my hair. In the morning, my master chef days would return: arguing with my maitre d over the menu, yelling at my assistants, and cursing at the delivery boys who always seem to arrive a little later each day (even though in my heart I know it is the same). Yet, through all of that, I would be reciting in my mind over and over again, “packet of cheese powder, little bit of butter, three tablespoons of milk and pasta…. maybe even with funny shapes.”
2 of 4
If I was a jazz artist I would always perform in sunglasses and I would never give interviews. The jazz magazines would hate me because of it (but also secretly love me because of it). Jazz would not be fun for me, it would not be a thrill. It would be spiritual, a religious exorcism. And each night, each gig, each CD would be me reaching deeper and deeper, trying to find that inner scream hidden away that just can’t seem to get out. I would start to get eccentric. Chords would begin to feel like an unnecessary burden, and I would play whatever I like leaving my band confused. Of course that would not be enough, it would never be enough. And soon I would be attempting new sounds with my horn or figuring out new ways to put it together or play it. This would become a little too avant-garde for some of my listeners. The jazz forums and blogs would start to fill up with comments about how I was “losing it” or “destroying the art.” The thing they wouldn’t understand is that it was no longer about the music, and might have never been about it in the first place. Then, finally, everything would come to a head during my last show when I walked out on stage, screamed until my voice went hoarse and then took a hammer to my instrument.
3 of 4
If I was a reality star I would lie and cheat every day. I would tell myself it is for the show and the prize, and, who knows, maybe I would win? The problem is though after the show that person I was on it would always be around me, an albatross attached to my neck. My friends and family would look at me differently. Relationships would fall. I might even lose my job, since my coworkers would feel like they couldn’t trust me. Soon to make money and survive I would have to go to conventions, meet “fans,” and do nothing but answer questions and sign autographs. Those old days would define my new life and now and then I would sit and watch that reality star me as reruns on television, cursing at him and demanding that he tell me what I am supposed to do with the rest of my life.
4 of 4
If I was a farmer I would grow nothing but popcorn. And each autumn, I would take a torch and set the field ablaze.
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