I purchased 50 tickets at the Latham Market convenience store next to Iron Hen restaurant in Greensboro, NC.
Before heading out to meet people and learn about their hopes and dreams, I walked my dog around the neighborhood. I encountered a man working with a large crew trimming trees. He asked how I was and I gave him the usual reply of “fine.” When I asked him how he was, he replied that he was working too hard and in need of a vacation. At that moment I realized that he would be an ideal participant in Dreams for Free. I raced home, gathered my supplies, and set out to find this man with whom I’d had a pleasant exchange. Because the man was part of large almost identically dressed crew it was difficult to figure out which man I had spoken to. I approached a group of three men cutting down trees, one of whom resembled the man I met earlier. They were eager to share their dreams with me in exchange for a lottery ticket. As they laid down their tools, their supervisor came over to us and requested that I refrain from talking with his employees as they had important work to do. The crew picked up their tools and hurried off. I turned to a local homeowner who was observing the work on the trees and shrugged in surprise at what had just occurred. As a result, this neighbor I had never met was the first person to share his dreams with me.
From there I set out on foot in my neighborhood and asked a variety of people engaged in various activities to participate in this project. I approached mail carriers in the middle of their route (all of whom would resign from their jobs immediately), people passing time sitting in their cars next to the park, and some people exercising in the park. I wandered into a few restaurants: Fishers Grill and Corner Slice. Some people were interested in talking with me—others weren’t. I didn’t expect as much resistance as I encountered.
Later in the evening, I resumed collecting dreams and headed over to the Lindley Park neighborhood where there are a number of businesses close together. I went into Suds and Duds thinking that people drinking and doing laundry would have time to share their dreams. Most people did and had fun telling each other what their dreams were. Then I headed to the Filling Station and the bartender and all but one patron contributed their dreams.
Next stop was Fishbones—it was a Monday night and there was quite the cast of characters at the bar. One woman said to me with a deadpan face, as she was working on her list of dreams, that she had given up gambling for the New Year and this would break her resolution. I must have looked concerned by her confession until she exclaimed, “Just kidding.”