Cinderella and Prince Charming. The slaveholders exploit every opportunity available to spread the institution, proliferate its victims, prolong its perniciousness, protract its duration. Laughing, dancing in the limelight. Yet no one sees them. They promenade alone. They are invisible. An illusion. Unreal. Tis all a dream. Pathos fills the open air, emptiness pervades, lingering hope evaporates. Tis not meant to be, dreams are for others. Life is meaningless: Ecclesiastes spoke the truth. Reality sets in, another day of hard labor ahead, the fantasy a mere placebo, temporary and fleeting, ephemeral, evanescent. Not for the feeble, the weary, the weak, the downtrodden, the brokenhearted is escape, rest, joy, happiness, peace...of mind, of comfort, of love. Dreams are meant for sleeping. The cynicism, the nihilism, the doubt, the unbelief that inevitably accompanies crushed hopes, broken dreams, lost causes, defeated will, dead souls manifests itself through inanition, grief, angst, agony, estrangement, confusion, inquisition eventually breeding anger, indignation, a desire for confrontation, vengeance, repudiation, restitution, reparation, equality, egalitarianism, finally succumbing to disconsolation, forlornness, solitude. Contemplation provides no solace, clockwork silence no closure. Absence of realization, epiphany, redemption, solidarity, consolation, absolution. Chivalry, morality nowhere to be found, dead, leaving the town lifeless, without vitality, diversity, energy...potential or kinetic. "The three men I admire most, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, they took the last train for the coast...the day the music died." All ignorance toboggans into know and back to ignorance again. Social, economic, political acceptance, civil rights, equality, liberty and justice for all. False pledges, blank promissory notes and checks, hollow promises, meaningless, unfruitful branches on trees cast into the fire like a spider held over the pit, trembling in the presence of His raging wrath. It goes on and on and on, unrelenting, neverending, indefatigable. A seemingly, no indefinitely, impregnable pass, a dead end. Why not a torpedo of doom or a literal fork in the road? A last chance, perhaps? One final, desperate, life dependent attempt to make life what you want and not merely what is parceled out randomly, without regard for effort, endurance, perseverance, silent suffering, humble patience, devout servitude, unconditional gratitude, heart. Just when the oppression intolerable, the hypocrisy unbearable, the adversity unsurvivable, the tears streaming hopelessly, uncontrollably, flooding every river and stream, ebbing with a desperate plea of divine passion, knowledge, wisdom concerning humanity...and then, sudden silence. One begins thinking, "This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whisper." Waiting, wishing, though for what one is uncertain...after an interminable hush, one recognizes the vital signs still operating, the heart still beating, the limbs and communication facilities still functioning, the outside environment still very much intact. The heart saved, the burden relieved, the struggle overcome as forecasted with odd prescience that it would be someday long time ago.