This is something I’ve contemplated a year ago and recently ran across my conscience yet again. It was a thought that I had not pondered until my most recent years. A thought of sheer hopelessness and utter defeat. The downward spiraling thought that sent me into a cynical abyss. The thought, “What if life doesn’t get better?” and “What if the only thing that truly gets better is the intensity of a dream; but that dream leads to unfulfilled expectation and though new dreams are formed they never hold the weight of their conception?” These thoughts seared through me one day at the foot of a metro escalator as I watched a group of kids, between the ages 7-11, laughing and playing with such a delightful merriment that stirred my soul to smile. Their enjoyment seemed so untouchable, majestic, and flawless ;yet, it made me grow sad and bitter. I remembered a time when I roamed the earth blindly fascinated by everything and was able to find a shred of enjoyment no matter where I wondered. My childhood was not the worst, but it wasn’t the best either. I “walked on eggshells” daily in my home thanks to an old-fashioned cold step-father. My mother worked a lot, so I was forced to be monitored by him like I was inmate 2958 until I was released from my physical and mental solitary confinement by my loving mother. I knew one day my peering around corners would end and I would be able to leave, which filled my with ebullience. In my solitude I depended heavily on my pure imagination, untainted by the pitfalls of life. Within these kids I realized I’d lost that. My blissful inner peace had wilted away, choked by the controlling pessimistic agents of life. In that moment I felt as though I’d been robbed of an essential element that contributes to happiness. I instantly wanted the best for those kids, to preserve them somehow in that moment in time…to see them remain happy. As they strolled from my sight, I oddly felt sorry for them. Soon the world would strip half of them of their security in their imaginations and dreams. The other half would be left with it so mangled and maimed that it would be seemingly unrepairable…like mine. How bitter have I grown? How faithless…how hopeless? My optimism use to be unshakable. Has life really pressed me this far down to consider hope to be a cruel thing that eventually bends on the user like barbed wire, betraying his loyalty? I would like to think that I still have a glimmer of that essential element for happiness within…I’m just searching for the right thing to help stoke the fire.