The City of Broken Dreams

A city’s reputation becomes a part of its identity, its soul
Its reputation affects its status
People, money, or lack thereof are all impacted by the reputation
The reputation becomes a stamp of approval and attracts the naïve; who flock to a new home that they hope can remedy their unsatisfying lives

What happens to a city when a golden era comes and goes, leaving behind a lingering reputation it no longer upholds
What happens when thousands of people move to the city every year seeking the opportunities the media has promised them?
The city of fame, wealth and success is a myth
For every writer, actor, dancer or band that emerges,
There are millions of people who will continue serving tables, thinking that their moment will come,

When will they realize their dream isn’t meant to be?
When they can no longer afford rent?
When they become the aging relative that annoys their family with stories of their brush with fame?

But is hanging onto our dreams something worthy of ridicule?
Since childhood we were taught not to listen to those who doubt us
To always believe in ourselves and work towards our goals
We were also taught that this would always lead to what we wanted
Yet the world would not function properly if everyone got the job they wanted

The sad truth is we need janitors, waiters, garbage men and a host of other people in order for our society to keep running smoothly,
Would anyone choose to flip burgers if they could find another career?
Is every person serving you there only because they didn’t work hard enough for another job?
Or is the law of scarcity at work?
The American Dream ensures that we will always have a steady supply of people who are desperate for work, and more importantly, money
Years of savings are invested in order to rent an overpriced apartment and eat overpriced food,

Like any system, some are bound to succeed and see their sacrifice pay off,
They can then be thrust into the spotlight to demonstrate that anything is possible,
For all the others, they come out of the experience worse off,
The savings they used up could have served them well in a different city,
But their decision to come to the great city has left them with little money and no discernible future,
It is in this state that they are either attracted to, or entrapped into a job that they despise

Maybe that is why so many people working in the city are miserable,
Maybe that rude waitress thought she was the next Halle Berry,
Maybe the rude bartender thought he was the next Steven Spielberg,
Their dreams never transcended their minds,
Their dreams are now nightmares that haunt them
Taunting them with a seductive image of another life that was not meant to be

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