Matthew Mair

School: Banchory Academy, Aberdeenshire

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Photographs were swept across the Boulevard of Broken Dreams in a wave of memories.

His feet stomped on them.

-Hello sir. Would you like a personalised hell?

The night was cold and silent and voices drifted to him, voices of those he'd left behind. Of monuments burned in memory, but crumbling in person.

-Well here it is!

The spotlight twisted in his side casting upon regrets, like the theatre lights sweeping, picking the details the audience needed to know, so too did the Boulevard pick memories.
Not necessarily good nor bad memories, it simply chose memories that shaped his character.

-Sometimes I wonder if out there are more than one universe. That there might be another me. And even as I chose to walk the Boulevard, another me was making his art and his fame.

Waves washed upon the side. The sound was rhythmic, the soundtrack to his walk. Despite the fact that the sea was obscured, hidden by the trees that lined the way, he felt he could dive in at any point. Wash himself clean in the Lethe, the Underworld river in Greek mythology. It took away your memories; and it would allow him to wallow in ignorant bliss.

Rain fell and the photographs became flimsier, so when he stepped on them they twisted and tore.
And as they tore, so did a feeling of connection he had with them. Until he felt it no more, it felt more like he was watching a movie of another's life; no real emotional connection.

(Now illuminated under a street lamp is a memory playing out.)

He is telling his mother how he wants to be an author.
Fascinating she says.
His dreams receive no help for her.

Bitter and sour, cynical, a bleak winters poet, he had become.
Since his dreams had been dashed he had realised life wasn't a story, it was unassuageable pain, loose strands of stories untied, life lessons unlearned. Life with no narrative closure.
No narrative closure, always the same, no matter what it seemed.
Like a radio stuck on repeat, and a politician of honeyed lies.
Tomorrow will be better.

So out he walked, still with the disillusionment of hope.

(Now the spotlight shines on another memory.)

Once he had dreamed of Oxford. That was till he dreamed his own dream away.
He spent his life on teen spirit- a surreal scene of neverness. It was unnecessary to try harder because if I did better than so'n'so then I was doing fine.

Of course the exam results shot down that dream.

-Most enclosed in my own mind, my own thoughts my greatest problem.

-A kiss.
-Never done manuscripts.

The Boulevard- it kept coming, dashing dreams on the sea either side.
No matter where he went, how he went.
Life was a cycle written on the same page. And the Boulevard of Broken Dreams was never ending.

He walked it again and again, searching for where he went wrong the last time. Cold resentment lurked and a icy hatred.

It was a never ending inconclusion of nothingness that still went on without you.
Even in the darkest hour of horror could you truly make art?
He supposed that in his own way, his story, the story of those who try and suffer to make art; against all odds carry on and still fail was the greatest story of art ever. When the whole world is against you and still you make it…despite…never actually making it.
Art is simply what we all try and tell to show our curiosity in a new way.
We all wish to be the next Mozart, the next U2, next JRR Tolkien, the next Stephen Spielberg, until we are told we need to grow up and we give up our dreams.

Those behind the scenes.
The backing singer.
The editor.
Those who get rejection letters for ever.
Those who never make it.
Or who are the unsung heroes.

It was a lonely road.

Trees sang in the night, a dirge for the boy who dreamed, and the man who dreamed of dreaming.
And the sea lapped quietly and the wind hummed gently.
Even in his sleep did he walk the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Greenday song- Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Copyright on all of the Pushkin Prizewinners' work remains the property of the authors. Please contact the Director of The Pushkin Prizes if you would like to make use of any individual pieces.
Designed and Managed by for The Pushkin Prizes