Monday, March 17, 2014

Fulltime Daydream

The sabre toothed tiger would follow me everywhere. We were allies. I never determined the sex or name of the creature. For an imaginary friend it was both rock solid and elusive. It emerged in grade four when I devoted a considerable time every evening and morning for full on daydreaming. This would happen before and after sleep. I would continue the adventures and the adventures became complex as I aged. My sleeping patterns changed at twenty-three and with them my fantasy life.
    Vehicle design, prehistoric allies, damsels in distress, monsters to be fought, devils to be avoided, God to fight alongside of, schoolyards bursting into fantastic drama, walls sliding open in classrooms to reveal rocknroll shows, bodycounts justified with cloning, motorcycle races, undersea laboratories, magic staves, awesome displays of telekinetic prowess, loss of control, sympathy parties, illness leading to super powers, superpowers, earth spanning adventure. A head soaked in fantasy, fuelled by cartoons, movies and comic books. And sugar. And drawing, drawing so much since age three. Monsters and monsters. And monsters.
    My blue pajama bottoms cut into shorts, decayed with time into shreds, worn as a loincloth, better to fight the lava pillows with a letter opener. The loincloth stretched out, worn over one shoulder. Ka-Zar. Later Tarzan. Later still Conan.
Scrawny boy jumping from couch to chair, snapping his head at the slightest sound of enemy approach. Blood curdling screams as monsters were faced and wrestled with. Sweat, twisted ankles, giddy exhaustion. Tangle of blue fabric folded as best it can be, stored with tiny t-shirts, Rocky, King Kong, Star Wars.
    I grew up. The fantasies had more to do with classroom hierarchies and girls, rock bands and age appropriate showing off. The tiger faded. I kept the tiger as a cherished memory. The memory faded. I hung out in the park. I read Hesse. I worked in warehouses. I jerked awake one day in my early thirties and I wept for my long gone friend, frozen again in some glacier of childish things. I penned some sincere cloying poem about my forgotten ally. I felt more shame for leaving that friendship dwindle than I felt for not keeping in touch with my over seas cousins, for not sending countless thank you cards, for not buying a pack of smokes this time instead of just mooching.