An Ode to Auntie Jeanie

What happens to a dream deferred? It hangs its dusty coat in a closet. The guest room closet in your meanest grandma’s house-it has a screen door and the furniture doesn’t fit. The dreams share the same space as the graduation gowns that smell like the food. The stuff they served at your party, the greasy fish filets your crooked uncle had to go out and buy because your mom and dad ran out of money at the last minute. Maybe because they bought you that watch they couldn’t afford, but had saved up for, and spent the money and spent the money again. In that closet, the dreams hang on wire hangers, beaten and defeated from having to share space with the other clothes, and the other droopy dreams and wedding dresses. Yellow, mildew-caked dresses that should have never been white. Thankfully now they are not. Time eventually makes everything honest. My dream’s coat hangs there. The one of being the pretty aunt who buys the gifts no one else will. I had it all planned out, fur coats, sugar daddy bought shoes, red lipstick. Old perfume mixed with the new. A little townhouse in Weston that no one is allowed to come to because it is too immaculate. 

And my family-they would never ever ask to live with me, because my place was just too regal. At some point that one nephew becomes too much for anyone to handle, and he gets kicked out. It happens in every family. Can’t come to my house, cause I have a man there. A big strong one who is actually someone else’s man and he makes me cry sometimes. A lot of the time. I still dream about the dream and see myself in my garden tub all alone, drowned in bubbles, with my hair up, looking at the fresh flowers all around me. I am reminded of the folly of desires.

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