Watching Stars from a Galaxie
Enough. You want me to believe I’m nothin’, Janey. How did you put it? “Don’t fantasize about a life you just aren’ meant to have, Isabel. You can’t make it on your own and you’re not goin’ anywhere.” That’s what you said, Janey. That’s what you say every time you notice that I’m gettin’ braver…and the worst part of it is that you act like you’re doin’ me some favour.
But I know you, Janey. I see exactly what you’re doin’ and who you’ve become. And you know what I think, Janey? I think you’re settlin’ and you want me to settle too. You want me to be like you but not do quite as well, right? Perhaps marry one of Carson’s younger brothers? Well, that isn’ ever goin’ to happen. It’s too temptin’ for you, so you’ll stay in this town and be the ‘belle of the ball’. You’re too afraid to leave, and you’ve been dreamin’ about fittin’ in with that family for a while now. It’s the next best thing, so to hell with your values. You’re too damn scared to go and you’ll be real comfortable this way. That’s what I think, Janey.
Somewhere down the road you and I…well, you just stopped believing in yourself, Janey. You hate me ’cause I know I can make somethin’ of myself out there – and ’cause I don’t give a damn what this town thinks about me. You give ’em so much power, Janey. Why should I care what they think? Most of ’em are stupid enough to think that family is here to help revive this town, but Pa’s right. They’re here for no good, and you want to marry in and convince Papa that it’s a good thing.
Now, Harry, he honest to goodness loves farmin’ and this town and I say good for him. But you…you hate me ’cause I want more and am actually willin’ to fight for it. And how is that right, Janey? Wait, I’m not finished and you’re goin’ to listen.
Now, you walk around pretendin’ that you don’t know a damn thing about anything. Someday you’ll fit right in with Anna, gettin’ your hair done in town, braggin’ about the kids you’ve sent away, and tryin’ to outdo each other’s pies. But I see the contours of your face when you think no one’s lookin’.
If I only had a choice between that and the farm, I’d stay right here. I’ve been tryin’ to hold my tongue, but I’m tired of bein’ on the receivin’ end, Janey. If you’re goin’ to criticize me and what I want, than it’s only fair we look at your choices, too.
Remember when we used to get into Grandpa’s ol’ Galaxie? We’d run out into the middle of the field long before we grew taller than the corn. Mama would pretend to be angry ’cause she’d be callin’ and we couldn’t hear her. We’d be too lost in our dreams. Remember how we used to get in that thing and talk about all the places we’d go and things we’d do? Do you remember? Where the hell did you go, Janey? Where did you go?
You know, those nights when they’re all asleep, I make my way across the field and sit on that ol’ rusty thing so I can look up at the stars and remind myself that I am goin’ to make somethin’ of myself someday. I know you hear me leave sometimes and I always wished you’d follow me out of sheer curiosity – because if you had I’d allow myself to believe that there’s some of you left – but you never did. You started dreaming in black and white just like the rest of ’em, and couldn’t be bothered. And I could have lived with that, Janey, but you’ve become so damn cruel.
Sometimes I close my eyes so, so tight when I’m sittin’ out there and pretend that the Galaxie is floating me all the way up to the stars. I’m just floating in the Galaxie and I see colourful aliens and astronauts and buildings that look like futuristic castles…just like the ones in the books Harry would ask us to read to him. I’d drive right into one of those wormholes and meet space pirates and robot cowboys….And before you roll your eyes at me, I know it’s ridiculous, but I bet when I get out of here, I’ll meet people and see places that seem just as unreal.
So, Janey, I love you. I imagine I always will, but stay out of my damn way. It isn’ a matter of if I leave but when, and no one’s goin’ to keep me from the stars. Not even you.