I Dreamed a Dream
Warning: This piece contains references to gun violence, trauma, and brutality.
By Ray Huang ’23. Art by Alex Park ’23.
anticipation makes everything better – i think
this while waiting at the chocolate shop, the smell
of sugar permeating everyone, the way a label
remolds. the girl working the blender is a
friend. i move to say hi, but a crowd has clustered
around her. she dumps in milk and sugar and cacao powder,
announcing each item with a tone of ownership found only in
married couples and politicians. right before
capping the blender, she perks up, as if recalling
an item at the grocery store. beaming, she bends down,
scooping something up.
a cat! she declares, promptly dumping the clueless feline
in and hitting start before anyone can react. but
it doesn’t matter – because no one reacts. looking around i wonder
if anyone else can smell
the brutal absurdity hovering in the air like stinky
tofu. like an unpatriotic soldier, the blender harshly
clicks and clangs, struggling to dice through the hopefully
now-dead cat. the sounds hit my ears like bullets being
emptied into a black church / white school / yellow village
because the cat was a noncombatant, and it smells like ‘Nam.
the blender keeps going and shrieking and
nothing. as abrupt as the start, a giant chocolate bar emerges from the
blender, perfectly packaged. she tears the wrapper off,
hefting the bar into the air as one would never do with a medal of
honor. i can see the fur snaking through the chocolate,
and the room, finally, is dead silent. as if
everyone just realized the horror of her act.
i march forward to speak up, to protest, to voice what
we are all feeling.
but. still smiling, she exclaims
cacao? more like
the room erupts in earth-shaking
i am chuckling too. no,
oh how great is it to be nothing