(Act I is here.)
Scene: 7:02 p.m. Interior of an apartment where Anthony and his parents have finished dinner and they all cuddle on the couch to talk as they usually do before watching television.
Mom: How was your test, son?
Anthony: (taking his place between his parents on the couch) I think that I did well mom; it was kinda hard but I think I passed.
Dad: You ‘think’ that you did well, son?
Anthony: Sorry dad, I did well…I think.
Mom: Leave the boy alone honey.
The whole family laughs as Dad grabs Anthony and Mom hugs the both of them. Mom rises to gather a blanket.
Mom: (rubbing the top of his head) How was your day son?
Anthony: It was all right mom. It did start off odd though.
Mom & Dad: How come?
Anthony: Well I got into a conversation with that Man that sits at the corner and drinks beer all day long.
Dad: (about to put his boots on) Did he hurt you son?
Anthony: No dad…we just talked and he’s a strange guy, I guess.
Mom: (motions to her husband to join them under the blankets) How is he strange son?
Anthony: He told me about his life and his job and why he sits down to drink his days away.
Mom: So what did you learn?
Anthony: I don’t know but he made me feel weird because he said that I can’t be what I want to be and that all dreams don’t come true.
Mom and Dad look at their son in silence and they both wait to respond. Anthony looks at them both and he contorts his face while waiting for one of his parents to speak.
Dad: (sitting next to his son) Well, what did he say about your dreams?
Anthony: He was saying that when life begins and school ends that things take over and, uh….life makes things harder or…you don’t make it because things get in the way…
Mom: (placing her hand on his chest) Son, relax and talk slowly to us.
Anthony: I got tripped up in my words because he was saying so many different things, I’m sorry. One thing that he did say that I thought about throughout the day was whether my dreams will come true or not? Will they?
Dad: I do believe that dreams come true son.
Mom: I do too.
Anthony: Why? Did your dreams come true?
Mom: Yes, my dreams have come true and they’re still coming true every single day that I have you two in my life. I always wanted to have a great family as well as a career that I love. Every night that we talk and have dinner and cuddle to watch television is where my dream becomes reality.
Anthony: So you are doing what you want to be doing with your life? All your dreams came true then?
Mom: Well, no son they didn’t. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a singer but that dream didn’t happen for me.
Anthony: Why mom?
Mom: (giggling) Well my boy…I’m a horrible singer.
Dad: That is the truth!
Anthony: But I’m even more confused now. You said that dreams can come true, but you also say that some of your dreams didn’t come true so what’s right and what’s wrong?
Dad: Your mom is correct by saying that dreams do come true son. It’s just that some dreams can appear to be more like fantasies. When I was a boy, my dream was to be Superman. I just knew that I would grow up to fly, rescue people and protect the planet but that isn’t the case is it?
Dad: Exactly! No matter how much I held on to that dream – I would never be able to do the things that Superman does. The same with your mother and her singing abilities because she knew that she wanted to sing but she wasn’t able to sing well.
Anthony: So they don’t come true?
Mom: They do son, but there are times that you have to change your focus…change your dreams. Singing is one part of being in the music profession and if that was my goal then I could’ve become a drummer, bassist or a producer. All I wanted to do was sing, but if you’re not born with the ability then you have to see what’s really in your future. I couldn’t sing and so I made a list of dreams and I have most of them.
Dad: Your mom is correct. I was never going to be a hero, but I saw the things that I was able to reach for so they became my dreams and they were more important than some fantasy because I could see myself accomplishing every single one of them. Son, you want to either be a writer, doctor, lawyer or musician someday, right?
Anthony: Yeah, dad I do.
Dad: Those are all things that you can reach with hard work and sacrifice. You can’t make excuses if you’re going to go after something that you want. You have to commit to having it and then you have to set a plan to make it all happen.
Anthony: But what happens if you work hard for a dream and it still doesn’t come true? What happens then?
Dad: What happens then? Well…from there…
Mom: From there you have to realize that – that dream wasn’t in the cards for you. God has a different path for you to embark on and you have to find the dream that suits you best. When you do your best to make a dream come true and it doesn’t – you don’t lower your head and consider yourself a failure, you carry yourself with dignity because you put in the work. Although you may come up short…you worked your tail off for that dream and you have to move on to the next.
Anthony: I think I’m beginning to understand.
Mom: What else did he say young man?
Anthony: He was saying how his bosses were on his back and he was under a lot of pressure at work and at school. He was saying that he couldn’t handle it and he began to drink beer. He was making a lot of excuses for himself…I think.
Dad: He was son. There are times when pressure can get the best of you and it may seem too big of a burden but you have to find ways to deal with it. Everyone deals with the pressures of everyday life but drinking isn’t the way to go because it makes your problems disappear, but they return and they seem bigger than before. You drink or use drugs and you forget about work, you fall behind and then you have real trouble. That’s not the answer.
Mom: Your father is correct. We both deal with pressure in our offices but we handle them without looking for a beer or some drugs. Pressure is everywhere and learning to deal with it is a valuable skill. When you have a test coming in a few days, or a week, what do you do?
Anthony: I study so that I’m prepared.
Dad: Good answer.
Mom: Great answer.
Dad: Never make excuses – even when things get tough, son. You fight and work hard for everything that you want to have because no one will give you anything. Anything worth having is worthy of some sweat and tears. Traveling a tough road helps you appreciate when you reach your destination…it helps you cherish the accomplishment once you reach it.
Mom: Don’t grow up to be a person who deflects responsibility; don’t blame others when things get difficult for you. Try to work your way through and make sure to keep your head focused on making things the way you want them to be.
Anthony: All right mom.
Dad: Anything else son?
Anthony: (contemplating his next question) Does luck have anything to do with dreams coming true?
Mom: Sure it does.
Dad: Of course.
Anthony: Then why do so many people who are successful forget to mention it?
Mom: A good portion of successful people fall in love with themselves the moment they begin to achieve certain goals. Luck plays a great, substantial role in many people’s lives. Now I’m not saying that you can sit on your butt and wait for luck to save the day.
Dad: Yeah son…it doesn’t work like that.
Mom: You still have to put in the effort to achieve whatever it is that you want to do. People want to place themselves on a pedestal and take all responsibility and credit for what they’ve accomplished but luck will be present at some point along the way. By working hard and giving your best effort, you increase your chances of succeeding because when you’re taking the necessary steps to ensure your dreams — you’re creating your own luck in a way.
Anthony: Have you two been lucky?
Mom & Dad: Everyday!
Anthony: What about bad luck?
Dad: (nodding to his wife) Some people have bad luck but sometimes people use that as an excuse when things go wrong and they want to place the blame elsewhere. Unfortunately, some people seem to be luckier than others but no matter if you’re lucky or not, you cannot ignore the fact that you will need to work hard and I think those with unfortunate circumstances seem to forget that.
Anthony: So do you think that Man has bad luck?
Mom: Maybe a little, but judging by what you told us, he sank himself. He knew where he was going wrong and he kept in the same direction. He had every opportunity to stop himself from falling so far.
Dad: Your mother is right. There are going to be rough times throughout your life, but dealing with them without looking for an excuse is how you persevere and continue on your way. From there, the next time you’re dealt with adversity…you can handle it without breaking down, running away or making excuses for yourself.
The talk concludes as Mom grabs the remote and turns on the television set. Dad enters the kitchen and returns with a bowl of fruit and a small serving of popcorn. They watch television until Anthony falls asleep after two hours and he’s ushered off to bed.