Dreams : Cold As Ice And Hard As Stone (Revised)

It’s time I showed you something
You have never seen.
That I can really
Create dreams.
From nothing
But the thoughts
I have within my mind.
So you can start to see
The nature of the gift
This life has given me.

So I will tell you of
A story of events
That have never happened
In this world at all.
And they never will.

It is a gift I have.
And it is time
That I stopped hiding it
From you.

So sit back
As I write these words
And share this dream
With you.

One day Stephen
When to work.
Just like he always did.
He got up,
Got showered,
Shaved,
And dressed.
Then bought breakfast
At Hardee’s.
An Ultimate Omelet,
With extra cheese.
And the biggest soda
That they sell.
He filled the cup
With Mr. Pibb.
Right up to the top.
He hoped his drink would last him
All day long
In the hell that was the place
That he worked in.
A place that he didn’t
Like at all.

But he kept on working there
Because he liked the pay.
And it was easier
And safer
Just to stay put.
And behave.

He stayed for many reasons.
Because of his wife.
She had grown to like
The money that he made.
So he kept working for her.
And for his children too.
So that he could get them
The things they asked him for.
He’d never really told them no.
And he never wanted to.

He knew the people he worked with
Liked how he did the work.
The way he always got things done.
He felt sometimes as if
They needed him.
That they depended on him
Far more than they knew.
And that if he left
A lot of them would get upset
With him.

When Stephen got to work that day
It was just another day.
Like thousands of days before.
He sat down at his desk
To start all of the things
I was supposed to do,
Wondering exactly when
The chaos would kick in.

He checked his E-mail,
Responding to
Each message that he had to.
He performed a search
On the Internet
For a product someone said
They had to have
To keep the project going.
He downloaded and installed
Anti-virus software updates.
And then scanned the computer
To make sure it was clean.
And sure enough,
When he was done
Doing all the normal stuff
That he had to deal with
Every single morning,
The chaos started up
Once more.

For every day
In his work place
There were surprises galore.
And no one ever seem to see
Them coming
‘Till to late
To do anything but panic.
And work there very late
To put another band-aid
On another problem
On another day.

He got the calls he always got
From the people in the lab.
“There’s something wrong
With the system.
Can you come down
And perform your magic
Once again?”

He picked out yet another
Problem Report
That described a problem
With the system.
And he tracked the problem down
And fixed it.
It wasn’t all that hard
For him to do.
Taking just an hour or two.

The deployment support people
Came into the room,
“We need 4 more hard drives,
And 2 boards
To replace damaged parts
In deployed systems.”
So he used the custom tools
That he’d put together on his own
To get the hard drives,
And the boards,
Finished,
And ready to go.

It was a day
That was just like
So many other days.

But when it came time
To go to lunch,
Something happened
On that day
That had not happened
Even once before.

Stephen got up from his desk,
And headed for the door.
He was heading out to lunch.
Probably to the Subway
That was just down the road
From the office
Where he worked.

That was when
He saw Diane.
She was sitting there
At her workplace desk.
Crying.

Stephen wondered
What was wrong.
It was clear
She was upset.
And it bothered him
To see her
In such pain.

He paused for a time
On his way out the door.
As he wondered
If he should speak with her,
Or just move on.

The voices in his head
Argued back and forth
As he stood there
And watch her,
Not really knowing
What to do.

Should he walk up to Diane
As she sat there at her desk,
Tears falling from her eyes,
And ask her if she was OK?
Should he ask her if she’d like
To go to lunch with him?

After all,
It was Diane.
He’d know her
For a lot of years.
How many was it now?
He took the time
To do the math.
They’d worked together now
For seven solid years.

Diane had gone to lunch with him
So very many times
That he’d long ago stopped counting.
He knew that he enjoyed it
Very much
When the two of them
Ate lunch.

Stephen liked to work with her.
And always had.
She was very intelligent,
Which showed very much
In the way she did her work.
It wasn’t everyone
That he worked with
That he felt that way about.

So he wondered
What it was
That he should do.

Should he walk up to her
At her desk
And ask her what was wrong?
Why it was
That tears were falling
From her eyes?

But, you know.
This was at work.
And at work
There were these rules.
And he felt very much
As if those rules
Were saying to him,
“It’s a private matter.
Not related to the job.
Let her handle it.
Leave her alone.
That’s the professional thing
To do.”

Stephen had always had
Problems following the rules.
He’d been in trouble
More than once
For having broken
One of them.

There were the E-mail messages
That he’d been told
He never should have sent.

There were the things he’d said
To other people he worked with
That had gotten him called into
The office of the boss.
Where he’d had to review
Once again,
The things you shouldn’t say
In the office workplace.

His boss and his coworkers
Had always told him,
Time and time again,
That he should be more
Professional.
Like the rest of them.

So Stephen stood there
As he wondered
Just exactly what it was
That he should do.

Should he just leave her
Alone
At her desk.
And carry on.
Because
Whatever was the cause
Of the tears
That Diane cried.
It was none of his business.
And he should not
Bother her.
At all.
Just let her have the space and time,
And the privacy
To figure out things on her own.

He wondered
As he stood there
His thoughts a confused mess.
What would be the most
Professional
Thing to do.
And he found himself asking
What he thought
His boss,
And his coworkers
Would do.
How they would behave.
If the saw Diane
Sitting at her desk,
Tears falling from her eyes,
And in such obvious
Distress.

It was with that thought
That he turned
And walked away.
It was with that thought
That he left Diane alone,
To handle whatever was wrong
On her own.

After all,
It’s what everyone else
Would have done.
It was the most
Professional
Way to behave.

As Stephen ate his lunch that day.
And the Subway down the road
From the office where he worked,
He kept looking out the window.
At the cars
As they drove by.

And he told himself
Repeatedly
That he’d done the right thing
By walking away.
It was the professional thing.
And the professional thing
Was the only thing
He could have done.
That it was best for him
To have left her there
To handle her private problems
On her own.

What ever had happened,
To cause Diane to cry.
It wasn’t his problem.
At all.
And what could he have done
For her anyway?
Could he have done
Anything at all?

No.
It was better
He thought
To have behaved the same
As he felt everyone else
Would have behaved.

But as he sat there
Looking at the cars
As they drove by.
Stephen couldn’t shake the feeling
That something in him
Had just died.

The next morning,
When he rose for work.
Got his shower,
And was combing his still damp hair.
Stephen looked into the mirror.
And he realized.
That he didn’t feel
Anything at all
For Diane.
Or for any of the people
That he worked with
Every day.

That he’d been right
To walk away.
After all,
He was a professional.
And that’s the way
They all behaved.

It was with that one decision,
That Stephen changed his life.
For from the day he chose
To let Diane sit at her desk
Tears falling from her eyes,
As she sat there
All alone.

He’d started down the path
That step by step each day
Kills a mortal man
Inside.

For slowly
Over time,
By making choices
Every day
To be the professional
He’d been
On the day Diane had cried.
Stephen’s heart froze
Cold as ice.
And slowly turn
As hard as stone.

And he was left
An empty shell
Of what he could
Have been.

I hope you have enjoyed
This dream that I just wrote.
A dream I just created
On this page.

Before I sat down
At my desk.
Here in my home.
Alone.
I’d never thought at all
Of the words
I’ve captured here.

But I thought that you should know
The nature of the gift
That life has given me.

And why my heart will never be

Cold as Ice
And Hard as Stone.

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