I keep a jar on a table in the corner of my room. Surrounding it are remnants of days that pass like tides, ebbing and flowing, leaving bits of debris.
The jar has no color, but it has a picture. A tree with bare branches reaching toward a sun that is not there. A tree with a gnarled and weather-beaten trunk.
I tell people that it’s my coin jar, where I throw my loose change until it’s full, and then I take it and trade in my pennies and quarters for whatever cash they’ll fetch. Usually twenty dollars or so.
Really, that jar is where I keep old dreams. The ones I’m not using anymore. Whenever I give up on something I want, or decide that the glorious imagined moment will never happen, I open the colorless lid of my jar, and the dream drains from my heart. I barely feel a thing.
It would be nice if, one day, I could trade in all of those loose-change dreams to make another one happen. It would be nice, but every time I tip the top back to peer inside, the jar is still empty.