For most of my life I was painted in a particular hue of jealousy, not unlike a famous Ozian. I wasn’t born that way. I wasn’t sea sick, I was totally fucking see sick. I saw happiness everywhere. I saw money everywhere. I saw laughter and I saw love, fucking everywhere. Everywhere but in the mirror. I was constantly praying to entities I didn’t believe in and consistently disappointed with my lack of success and progress. And then I turned 5 and started going to school. The hue of jealousy turned into a distinct color, an unmistakable spot on the color wheel of flesh. I wrote about it. A lot. Fate’s vengeful eye seemed to always be fixed on me. But I made it through. I didn’t have any prospects after high school, no college plans and felt like a vagabond with no direction.
I chased a dream or two but the disappointment and lack of financial means to achieve what I wanted put a stop to that. I watched a magician at work from afar, a wizard of the craft, if you will. I felt in my bones that one day it would be the wizard and I. All I needed was one short day. And wouldn’t you know, when I was at my lowest, something happened. The proverbial wizard sent for me to work on an Ozian masterpiece. I followed a road unknown to me, a road the color of champagne dreams. Along the way I passed through towns like Roswell, oh look! Aliens that wore the same skin tone I chose! I drove through territories unknown. The closer I got to my Emerald City, the smaller the minds of wanderers got too. Munchkin minded fools. But the dream, ah the dream, it grew bigger with every mile I drove and every mile I saw in the rear view.
The moment you meet the wizard, who holds the whole of your desires in those powerful palms, well, that is a moment that can define you. So how was my moment defined? It was defined in disappointment and my day in the Emerald City could not be short enough. Once you look behind the curtain, you not only see your dreams disintegrate along with your hope, but your flaws and guilt stare blatantly at you, mocking your very existence. And where does one assign the blame? I assigned it to my naivete. I kicked myself for feeding into the possibility of my own success. I had never believed in the possibilities, I wouldn’t allow it, and the one time I did, I had an abundance of confirmation that it was all in vain.
I blamed a lot of factors. The truth of the situation was that there was nobody to blame, nothing to blame. It was what it was and when I started on that brick road of champagne dreams, nothing was promised to me. It wasn’t a disappointment from the get go, which is perhaps the most frustrating thing about the whole journey. For a period, the wizard and I did great things together, we discovered things together and I was shown some truly beautiful prospects.
Art, as it were, saved me again, laughter healed me. Well, art, laughter and the cutest goddamn dog you ever did see in your life saved me. That adorable dog was in many ways, a direct reflection of me and our journeys were mirrored to perfection. The wizard saved us and showed us the way. Little Miss Daisy is the reason I survived. She survived and because she did, I knew I could too, even when I had to say goodbye. It’s true, I believed in the wizard more than anybody. And let me say this, through the disappointment behind the curtain, when the wizard was revealed to be nothing more than a facade, a mirage of a detailed life, I somehow left the Emerald City with more of a brain, a hell of a lot more courage and a heart that had grown three sizes. Unlike a girl with red, or silver depending on what you believe, shoes, though, I left without a home. I had no hot air balloon and no particular place to go. This wizard, who had appeared to become more of a sparkling good witch during our time together, was gone from my life For Good. But it is a good thing my heart had grown three sizes, because it made enough room to carry the wizard and everything she taught me, with me always. I learned that appearances mean dick. I now know that I am not an artist I just have big emotions. I can only hope that I brought laughter to the Emerald City and hopefully showed the wizard a thing or two from my perspective.
And so, after travelling around trying to find something, I put all those emotions to ink. A cricket, a daisy and a longtail boat. They each bare significant meaning to me, deeply significant. I won’t divulge in what it all means, as I would have to reveal things that I am not prepared to. What I will say, is crickets are natures musicians, and we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. Daisy was the furry savior and also a little old woman who became best friends with an unlikely Morgan Freeman, the yin and the yang. The longtail boat? Well, that’s just to show that we can all dock our boats where we choose and the choice of who we share that boat with and who we task with helping us steer our boat is entirely up to us. What will I be? The orangutan, the zebra, or the tiger? Everyone deserves a chance to fly, even me and I see that now. I put the ink on my left shoulder. Wasn’t the Emerald City just a farm as seen through the eyes of one Kansas girl? I have literally put the Emerald City on my heart yet behind me. And onward I go, as the girl she didn’t choose, sometimes by boat, plane, bubble and even a broomstick. Farewell to the person who I believed was my Galinda but was actually a wizard with a curtain.