A Real Life

A Real Life (March 2019, Week 2, Day 2)

I am a princess. I sit on the throne solving problems for my subjects by day and dance with my ladies in waiting by night. I have everything I need and most things I want. I have the ear of the Queen and command of a retinue of subjects.

In my mind, anyway. I like it better in there.

Real life is nothing like the fairy tales or even the real tales from long ago. I’ve read the stories about the old kings and queens and such. I get why people revoted and dismantled the old monarchies and moved the real power into the hands of governments. I still think we’re missing out.

I wanted to be a princess something fierce when I was a kid. I was sure it could happen, too. I didn’t know who my parents were so I didn’t have proof that I wasn’t a princess. A lack of proof equals a world of possibilites and I dreampt hard in my youth. That was what kept me smiling, house after house, school after school, family after family. In my dreams there was always the chance that the next social worker to be assigned to me would discover my truth and find my royal birth family.

I got all the way to eighteen on those dreams. I probably gave that last social worker the worst day of her career when I broke down, sniveling all over her sensible shoes, crying over the loss of imaginary impossible parents. She did the best she could, I think. It’s not like they can train you for that sort of thing. She was glad to be rid of me at the bus terminal, that’s for sure.

I decided to mostly let the princess thing go while I was on the bus. There is very little that can feel less regal than a cross-country bus ride. Eighteen hours of one hundred percent glamor-free travel has a way of putting a person into their rightful place. By the time the bus pulled into the grimy terminal I and fully disabused myself of any princess dreams. I was just a regular freshman lugging a regular duffle bag heading to a regular dorm room. No pomp, no circumstance, no connections, no dreams.

No fanciful dreams, I should say. I switched into planning mode somewhere between the pit stop in the middle of a corn field and the final destination. I had four years of tuition to get me wherever I was going next and I was not one to waste an opportunity. My queenly mother hadn’t rescued me so it was up to me to pick up the slack. I had access to something of a steady home until I graduated as long as I didn’t screw it up. That last social worker had driven at least that much into my consciousness despite my blubbering. I had the decency to hold my tongue when she’d said it was up to me to “use the time wisely to make my fortune.” 

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