Imagine.Submitted by Ducky at 2008-03-25 17:50:42 EDT
Rating: 1.42 on 16 ratings (16 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Sometimes, when I am alone, and walking in the semi-desert wilderness that is but a hop, skip, and jump from my backyard…I find myself daydreaming. Fantasy, something so precious, so cherished in children, is often squelched as the added responsibilities, stresses, and realities of life that adolescence and adulthood bring begin to pile up. It’s unfortunate, and I feel angered when I see parents taking those carefree and creative moments away from their children.
As an aside, I was fortunate enough to be invited to dinner the other day, Easter dinner, by a friend of mine. I went to his mother’s house, where we ate a lovely meal replete with turkey, stuffing, casseroles, and salads. While there, I evidenced something that I found strange.
It came in the way the granddaughter was treated over the course of the meal. Dining at this particular table, on this particular day, were my friend, his sister with her 6 year old daughter, their mother, and myself. While we ate, the child began to sing softly under her breath…it was a very sweet song I didn’t recognize and I found it incredibly endearing. It ended when the girl was reminded, via incredibly terse voices by both her mother and her gran, that she should NOT, be singing at the table. A while later, the girls mum sat and told me that a few days just prior to St. Patricks day, the sweet child had made a house for Leprechauns. The house was complete with little beds, bedding, couches, throw pillows, and the like, and every morning the girl would place a penny inside the house as a gift for the leprechauns. This isn’t something that the girl spent all day with…but every morning she would spend about 5 minutes making and remaking their beds, fluffing their little pillows, and leaving a penny. Her mother relayed this to me as if the girl had some sort of deep-seeded mental problem. “It was obsessive” she reported. Over the remainder of my time there, it seemed that every time the girl made a passing attempt to foster the wonderful fantasy world that plays in the heads of all children, she was immediately silenced and reminded that it was impolite to draw attention to herself. The visit ended with her sitting on a chair in the living room, hands in lap, silent. I felt so overwhelmingly sorry for her, and it made me feel so completely lucky that my parents never tried to silence the creativity and playfulness in me.
My deepest apologies, lovely readers…and now back to the story.
As I walk alone up in the hills, music of choice resonating in my ears, I often find myself pretending that I am being stalked by a cougar. Not to be confused with the older woman variety, though I’ve had a couple of encounters with those as well, and while I have never actually seen a real cougar, I am still at a loss at which I would be more afraid of if I felt that either had their eyes cast intently upon me. I have seen many a young lad look over to me, pleadingly, as he is encroached upon…nothing but a billiard table between him and his mature, back-combed hair, blue matte eyeshadowed demise. I typically offer up my glass, and then turn away while the carnage ensues. Far be it from me to come between a hunter and its prey.
And so, as I walk, this man-eating cat crouches in the sage….staying downwind, looking for signs of weakness and vulnerability. I walk quickly, with a sense of purpose…checking my peripherals…I know that when the attack comes, there will be little chance for my survival. At best I may hear the beast cutting through the air just moments before it sinks its razor sharp teeth into my jugular. Spurting crimson would paint the otherwise muted canvas a sickly red, and I would be dead before I knew what had happened. But I know something this cat doesn’t…I know that it is there. As I walk, I scan the terrain for something that could be used as some sort of rudimentary, caveman-esque weapon. Stooping, and without breaking step, I pick up a rock…play with it in my hand…find a comfortable way to hold it in my palm. It isn’t overly sharp…but I decide that when needed, I will be able to perhaps jam it into one of the animal’s eye-sockets. I silently thank nobody in particular for having opposable thumbs, and tell myself that this will help me in my aim as I attempt to best the hunter.
It is time…
I hear the rush and instinctively drop, rolling…onto one shoulder as the animal sails over top of me. Almost instantly I am on my feet, standing face to face with the creature. I think of my cat…fat and happy…sitting at home and looking at me intently. It hits me. All the times I tripped down the stairs as it wove in and out between my feet…the little bastard had been plotting my demise. I FED THAT FUCKER FOR YEARS AND IT SECRETLY WANTED TO KILL ME. I tell myself that if I make it through this, the cat is history. It paces in front of me…back and forth. I can see the sinewy muscles in its strong shoulders flexing and releasing as it shifts its weight with each passing step. I hiss at it. I have no idea why…but I do. Show my flat, non-threatening teeth to the beast. Realistically, I know that I may as well be a sacrificial lamb…have the mascara painted on my eyes and be fed a sugar cube just prior to the slaughter.
In my fantasy though, I always win because of my inherent awesomeness. In my fantasy, I am hard as fuck. It lunges, and I deke it out. Shuffle to one side and with one deft motion, bring the rock down and shove it through the beasts eye. It skulks off into the wilderness, and I march home in victory.
I love that I can still enjoy these silly moments. That afterwards, I can chuckle at my ridiculousness. So uber, I wonder, do your remember some of the gems you used to come up with as children?
Perhaps you made soup out of dirt, nails, and aerosol cans. Until your mum showed up, dragged you home, and scrubbed your hands for half an hour, until they were red and cracked and sore while you cried and told her that it was the best tasting soup in all the world? Maybe you ran away from home with a stick in hand, pillowcase drooping from one end? Filled with two cans of food and your favourite stuffy? You were an explorer! Out to see the world! Heading to the river where you would build a raft and sail until you met with the great wide ocean? Making it a couple of blocks from home and realizing that you had to go back because you had no can opener?