The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THREE: WHERE I GOT TIME TO TIME.
Excuse me if I have some place in my mind
Where I go time to time
Tom Petty – It’s Good To Be King
I’m a kid to older parents.
Of course, they were older than me. DUH.
But my parents were older than most parents of my friends and my peers. My dad was forty and my mom was mid-thirties when I sprang forth. My parents tried and tried and finally adopted my sister. They believed they would never have their own children.
So, back to what I was saying. I had/have older parents. When I was ten and wanting to play, my mom and dad wanted to relax more. As I get closer to their age that they were then, I’m starting to understand. Oh, yeah. I get it.
Back to me as a kid.
I found myself playing on my own. My sister was older than me by ten years so she didn’t want much to do with me. Again, I get it. Kids my age around the neighborhood were older than me and had their own clique. Sometimes I was able to get involved in that clique when they would come over and play kickball or soccer.
As for playing pretend with Star Wars or Indiana Jones or even G.I. Joe, I was out of luck.
There were two guys that I did find in that neighborhood that I spent time doing those things. Greg and Jeff. Greg liked Star Wars and G.I. Joe and would have sometimes had battles or pretend to be Luke and Han (he was blond, I have dark hair, so guess who played who). That was a good couple of years before he and his family moved away. Then there was Jeff. Honestly, I don’t think we ever really clicked (our clique didn’t click). We tried but I found myself staying to myself instead of involving him. I eventually moved away and to this day, I’m not sure what happened to him. I hope he’s well.
The person I hung out with the most around my house was whomever I invented. Whether it was somebody from my own imagination or characters from a movie or TV show or it was my G.I. Joe’s or Star Wars figures. I would play in my room or downstairs in the den or out in the yard. When I played in the yard, I would try and not be seen by the other kids. I started to shy away because I was afraid they would make fun of me for hanging out with imaginary people and talking to myself in those imaginary people’s voices. There were a couple of times they did, so it pretty much put those last nails in the coffin that I would ever be in their group. As much as I love the house I grew up in and those memories I have, part of me was glad to leave it behind to live in the country.
Because of those things, I lived in my mind a lot of the time. I liked to pretend and dream and imagine. Even when I got older, past the time when you are expected to give those ‘foolish’ things up. Even when I started driving and had a job, I still pretended. I would have Han and Chewie in my car and it would be a spaceship going to another galaxy in search of Leia. Or when I walked in the woods behind my house, I was walking with Indy in search of some idol or treasure with Marion or Willie Scott or Short Round following along on my days off from Highschool or my job.
Even with a girlfriend and actual friends and real things to do, I would always come back to my fantasies and my imagination when I was alone. Movies, TV shows, books, comic books, and crushes on female celebrities just helped fuel those plunges into what I could mentally create. It became so much easier to be there than be here.
I believe that’s why I started to write. I wrote my first story when I was in the seventh grade. From there, I wrote to create a physical thing based on my dreams and fantasies. From being a character that was looked up to and admired to being the good guy who got the girl of his dreams. In my dreams, I was the leader that people loved to follow. It was something I wanted so badly in the real world. The, instead of following Indy into an adventure or flying with Han in the Melinnum Falcon, I became Indy or Han. Instead of seeing Han get Leia or Indy get Marion or Willie, it was me holding them and kissing them.
My inner life was becoming the one I preferred to be in. It was something I could control and I could make it as perfect as I wanted.
Now, here I am in my late forties… and I’m still pretending. Not as much as I used to (there are days I’m too tired to even pretend. See, I get it, Mom and Dad) but it still happens. When I’m driving alone early in the morning and before there is any light in the eastern sky and when I know nobody can see me, I feel safe enough to talk to myself and pretend a little. It might be acting out something I have coming up in a story I’m writing and I want to see how it plays and feels or I’m working out some sort of worry and I want to hear how it sounds out loud. And sometimes when I find myself alone, I might pop in my earbuds and play the guitar in front of a HUGE audience and show them how to really do it. I can air guitar with the best of them and I have played Comfortably Numb so many times, David Gilmour could learn a few things. And if I’m really linked into my inner child, I can pretend I’m back in my yard or the den or the bedroom of my childhood and bring it all back.
I have thought about all of this over and over as time has gone along and as I’ve got older and wondered if I should still be pretending and imagining. Recently, I’ve been pretending that my blog got made into a TV show for Netflix (It could be Amazon Studios if they want it bad enough). I pretend I’m playing myself (after a weight loss) and the show becomes popular and even award-winning. Due to the show’s popularity, my fiction stories are turned into films and I’m suddenly on the same level as Stephen King. I’m looked up to. I’m admired. And my pretending is celebrated instead of being ridiculed.
I think about all of that and, even if those lofty dreams don’t become true, it still helps me get out of bed in the morning. Silly as all of it might be, I feel it helps me cope with real life, the same ole day to day when you feel you have no control at all. Maybe, someday, it might be possible for some of these imaginings might get pulled out from the dream world into this one.
There is a huge need to go back in time and tell the kid that I was so long ago when he felt the need to imagine his friends that it’s alright. Imagine to your heart’s content. You must live in the real world but it’s perfectly fine to imagine and dream.
And to be Indy and kiss Marion with your arm wrapped around no one but thin air while standing in the woods.
(Trust me, I looked around real good to make sure nobody was watching when I did. I mean, I’m not crazy.)
-Loyd Elmore Jr
July 12th, 2019
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.