The Heart Wants

Originally Published 10/27/2011

Photo Source: Vivian Maier

There it was, there in the window. Joe McGillicuddy passed by the display in the department store window daily, and had for years, always dreaming of what it would be like to walk in someday and walk out with such a wonderful gift. Something to have, hold and treasure. Something that meant everything and would be his forever.

He dreamed the dream every day for all those years. He even tried to put a little aside, but it seemed like something always came along and screwed the deal. And Joe always was left just standing outside the window, staring, dreaming and wishing, like a kid outside the ice cream parlor watching all the other kids who got dough for ice cream from their parents. None for him.

Joe knew that things weren’t important, and that love and being loved were the real treasures in life. But gee whiz, when you’re all alone sometimes things are all you’ve got. And the treasure in the window was all he had, all he wanted, and always just out of reach.

He lived in a room, worked odd jobs, didn’t have any callers, didn’t really trust that anyone could care about an old, broken down fella like him. All he had was his dreams and that window display. And the all-consuming want, not just of the treasure, but of the comfort and security everyone else seemed to have and he didn’t know how to get.

All Joe knew was alone. Alone and wanting. Somehow that was comforting, knowing that want was his, the suit he wore alone. But he would trade it in a heartbeat for belonging, and having treasures belong to him.

Joe McGillicuddy took a last look at the window display, feeling the ache of unfulfilled desires and the weight of his life. He had managed to scrounge up enough for a bottle of skull-pop, which he purchased on the way back to his room. He crawled into his bed, sensing the mid-day sun behind the blinds and ended another unfulfilled day.

    • Yeah, this one really got me, too. I’m optimistic about his future, though…

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