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The Iceman Cometh, Eugene O’Neill

Random House, 1946

They’ll read it, they’ll read it. And they’ll love it. How could they not? There is a legion of fans waiting, starving for your next novel, the one with a current working title of: Ode to a Pipe Dream.

Sometimes it’s just so hard to focus. Stop Making Sense. It’s those jackasses in the apartment above. You pay half your salary to rent the bottom floor of two-flat in a quiet neighborhood but the best laid plans blow up in your face when new neighbors commandeer the second floor and you are now a hostage in a horrible new drama as a Talking Heads album plays on repeat at collegiate decibels. A stream of visitors with their resulting clompety-clomp disregard for life as you once knew it invade and conquer all semblance of prior tranquility. Home sweet home, once a refuge and a great place to work (away from work of course), is now nothing more than a dumpy room at a frat house, nothing more than an expensive headache. Another pipe dream, the dream of buying a home, has never felt so impossibly far away. That truth sucks the life right out of you.

Larry Slade: To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It’s irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.

Our dreams pump the pulse, but at what cost? They force us to try and keep pace with hybrid days that bask in the vogue of fuel efficiency—days that motor on without end, gloating at our failures. But dreams get pushed so easily to the sideline, becoming nothing more than bystanders at the parade, eventually evaporating in the sun and leaving behind a towering wasteland of guilt and regret. The middle age siren sounds. Life goals are hidden under piles of senseless shit in basement storage. There is no reason to hunt them down now. It’s easier to pretend they were never there at all.

Theodore ’Hickey’ Hickman: I know you become such a coward that you’ll grab at any lousy excuse to get out of killing your pipe dreams. And yet, as I’ve told you over and over, it’s exactly those damned tomorrow dreams which keep you from making peace with yourself. So you’ve got to kill them like I did.

New one: To find a happy medium between dream and reality. To find a way to be inspired by the vision of how we wish things could be as we navigate through the trivial reality of the way things actually are. To live under neighbors from hell with a trickle of hope that one day you will come home from a hard day’s work and be able to close your eyes and make peace with it all. That one day soon, David Byrne will be a ghost of a graduation day past. The only thing you will hear is a long exhale when it all comes true.

One day soon. It is coming one day soon.