Things I have wished

Past, present, and future

The dehydration in my throat sticks and I rinse it out with ice water. The plastic cup feels flimsy between my fingers. I roll it over and over again to match the acrobatics my mind insists on performing on nights like this.

It is past midnight and my little world has finally gone quiet.

Hushed whispers spill through empty hallways, secret gatherings behind closed doors, though everyone is supposed to be sleeping. I am awake.

It is finally quiet and the thoughts in my head have begun to scream out.

I find it best to write at times such as these.

I like to describe the swish and swirl as the dishwasher runs, the cleansing water turning what would be stale silence into a comfortable lull. The dim lights over the long wooden dinner table, empty chairs lined all the way down to the opposite end. I am holding an imaginary meeting at the head.

May I have your attention, please.

Even in all the madness of the household, I have found a way to be alone with my thoughts.

It is my first love and I wish so hard to be loved in return that I don’t even know it is a wish. I simply think it to be so. It is so real, so vibrant, so fiery, so true.

It is my first job and I wish for success and happiness — and for a moment I am living up to the expectations of myself and everyone around me. No, I am far exceeding what anyone could have dreamed for me.

It is my first apartment and I wish that she would move in with me. I expect it will be so one day. It is so rational, so obvious, so normal, so happy. This is what we have said we want together.

It is my first time understanding loneliness and I wish not to be alone.

It is my first heartbreak and I wish she would realize that this is a mistake.

It is my first time recognizing that everything was a wish, and nothing more.

My ice has melted. The thin, disposable plastic is still cold.

The dishwasher has quieted.

I wonder when the cycle will run its course. The dishes will be clean, they go safely back into the cupboards, only to be taken down to be used and made dirty once more, and everything will start all over again.

I wonder if hearts are like dishes.

A wish is a foolish endeavor.

A wish is for those who do not understand the defeating power of an unfulfilled expectation.

I have discovered I do not like making plans anymore. I have discovered if you have no expectations, nothing goes unfulfilled.

You see: When you expect nothing, nothing can let you down.

To wish, to have an expectation: these are to be blind. I have discovered I prefer to expect nothing going in, and take what I can as I go out. This way, everything is more than I expected.

Isn’t it grand when life is more than you expected?

Every time you remove the dish from its cupboard to use it, you risk breaking it irreparably. I much prefer disposable plastic cups and flimsy paper plates.

The dishwasher has finished.

My cup is empty.

Without a care, I throw the cup away.