Dreams Die Hard

by Mark Hahn


Dreams die hard when you construct them out of stone and empty bottles. Sometimes you have to question if they’re acts of love or acts of desperation. The answers to these questions will not be found in this little abandoned house on the outskirts of Tucson off Old Nogales Highway. The only date to be found is 1966 and the only name that links this place to anyone real is “Della.”

Della’s hands were huge. I put my hand in hers. It didn’t get me any closer to understanding who built this place. It didn’t get me any closer to knowing who Della was or where she ended up.

Part of me wants to believe that this whole place is a fantasy. A dumping ground for tragic loss. Somewhere I can leave my own load of heavy things and broken bottles — let them bake away in the desert sun while I move on.

If you were to stay, a place like this could anchor you in sorrow. Once you build so many monuments to yourself there can be no getting out. You cannot bring all of this stuff with you. Better to hold onto the spark of everything good that’s in your heart than hide in the shadows of your past or your misconceptions of how you think things should be.