The American Dream


By Cath Lei
​   My friend wrote a play. There’s an alien named Mo chasing the American dream in a diner on Washington Street in Los Angeles. There’s someone chasing something I’m not sure exists anymore- like zoologists searching for wooly mammoths and saber toothed tigers, botanists looking for Zamites from the triassic period- I can’t help but think, what is the American dream? Opportunity...equality...liberty...rights...this is it.

   There’s an alcoholic and his name is Max, spending his days waiting on people and pretending to be the substance of stories. His girlfriend Jenny swallows brightly colored pills, never remembering the stories from the night before. But there’s more, there are so many others in that diner every night. There’s an alien named Mo. He’s not quite sure what the American dream is at this point. Why’s he here? Why Los Angeles, where the smog covers the stars but they shine brightly anyway, where the lights never turn off at night, where dreamers find the balloons to hitch a ride with? Why Los Angeles? Where the Hollywood sign stands proudly guarding the angels on Earth - why?
The American dream, the sweet, sweet promise of success, freedom, maybe happiness- Where does it start? Something tells me you’ve got to know your own worth before you start climbing the ladder. Something tells me you’ve got to know what you can do before you start doing things. So where does it start? Self-worth? Confidence?
“The world’s turning against us!”
He’s chasing stardom and fame but how?
“The American dream is dead!”
It’s a stab to his alien heart.
“There’s no point.”
He’s still dreaming. He’s still chasing. He’s still believing. The dream is not dead, despite what Max and Jenny cry out when they’re drunk off of tired and lonely. The dream lives. Chase it, fight for it. Know your worth, keep your head held high.

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