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James's Story - Lost Dreams

Updated on August 17, 2013

James had known he wanted to be an artist whilst still in his mother’s womb. His mother often told him that unlike his other siblings who kicked, he was different, she had felt him doing brush strokes.

‘I’m going to travel the world and paint!’ He would often brag to his high school friends.

‘Where are you going get the money?’ They would ask.

‘Why do you need money when you could travel the world as a nomad?’

He would tell them of how he wanted to backpack through Mexico, experience first hand the Aztec and Mayan culture, then to Asia perhaps live in a hut in the middle of the jungle of Cambodia. Then make his way to India, visit villages, see poverty, and maybe even paint a few squatters. James’s plans were meant for using this time traveling to gain inspiration. To paint forever, and when it was time to declare himself an artist and move to New York and launch his major exhibition. For an American boy who grew up in a small town in West Virginia, this dream consumed him that he somehow agreed to get a real job in sales and wear the dreaded suit he hated just so he could to save up for his travels. What James did not expect was that on his first stop while traveling to the Caribbean of Mexico to the town of Playa del Carmen, he would secure a job selling timeshares. This position also included a generous return of income.

His earnings were so high that as soon as the first pay check landed in his artistic hands, the seed of greed planted itself in them. This material world now filled with security and options soon transformed this proclaimed hippy. Until this day James would never forget the rush he got after seeing the sum printed on his first pay check. He ended up splurging most of it on the latest surround sound home theatre. By the twenty forth pay check, he found himself making a down payment he couldn’t really afford on the latest Mercedes model, thanks to a loud car sales man who told him straight out ‘Dude the only smart way to score some of them ‘A’ class hot women is to upgrade that broken down box you call a car.’

Four years later, by his Forty eighth pay check he was being promoted to training manager. So by then he was the second highest paid in the company pocketing at least one million dollars a year.

By his fiftieth pay check, his ‘A’ class hot girlfriend was pregnant. By the fifty forth pay check Miss ‘A’ class was screeching in ecstasy as she was blinded by the two carrot tiffany brilliant cut diamond ring James didn't really want to give her.

Now as James walked out the door of his house and got into his car, his thoughts focused on the fact that time had been too fast for him. Nine years, one hundred and eight wasted months and as calculated, it was the anniversary of his one hundred and eighth pay check. On top of all that, he was married to a bitch, one with high demands. He was probably lucky to see a smile escape her face once a year.

He pressed full speed onto the accelerator and sped out of his driveway. Nine years of concealed artistic desires long at war with greed now nudged at his awareness. He had an ache, and this was to be the young free artist from a lifetime ago. The ache was so overpowering and if he didn't know any better he would have thought he was having a heart attack, but experience had taught him that this was nothing more than a reoccurring panic attack. The obvious choice was to put a stop to this delusion and force himself back to the more rational part of his psyche. And so that night as he drove onto the deserted street and looked out to the labyrinth of his neighbor’s beach houses, homes alike, homes fenced in, homes belonging to prisoners of their own mortgage. He came to the conclusion that now he was part of this prison and the golden key he once owned to freedom had long been melted.


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    • Ranzi profile image

      Cut The Bullshit 4 years ago from All Over

      Finished the novel but not the final Edit. Working full time doesn’t give much energy or inspiration I guess.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      Ranzi did you ever finish the novel?

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Poor James. Sucked in by wealth and power. This is a great short story covering a lot of mileage, taking James from birth to marriage and the end of his dreams. I like the way you threw in the part about his panic attacks. Without going into detail you let the reader know he hasn't gotten this far without losing someting of himself.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Ranzi profile image

      Cut The Bullshit 5 years ago from All Over

      Thanks for your support frogy!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Great writing Ranzi!

      The Frog

    • Ranzi profile image

      Cut The Bullshit 5 years ago from All Over

      Thanks for reading and your kind comments Frank. This is actually an extract from a novel I'm working on.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Underthe leafy cover of greed spins this story.. I enjoyed this quick fiction Ranzi voted up :) is was taut and riveting :)