I think I was a shy kid. I grew up without television. I had a dog, and we lived up in the White Mountains in summer, and I had no friends up there. And I would just go play hide-and-seek with my dog and probably had some imaginary friends.

– Dan Brown

Imaginary friends visited daily when I was a kid, conversed with me, shared ideas and thoughts, asked questions, and offered answers that sometimes made no sense. I listened anyway because they were part of me.

Those friends still visit over tea when I’m alone, in need of conversation. Thank goodness they come. I need their adventures and unrelenting charge into life. They stir me up and get me going, encourage me to persevere.

As a youngster, I hid in books and journals, channeling my wishes into imaginary lives and made-up ones written in my own hand. While reading The Stand by Stephen King, I’d listen to Depeche Mode and really get into the devastating feeling of it all.

Once in Truckee, California, living life on the run from myself, I stumbled across Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and found another world to live in for a while.

Albert Camus kept me thinking and questioning my life. The Stranger permeated my every waking moment for a time. Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet was another anchor, kept my mind from falling completely out of its skull. And, let’s not forget, e.e. cummings. One of my favorite poems—i like my body when it is with your.

Other books, some remembered, some not, populated milk crates that I moved again and again, always more important than my clothes or my bed. Books did more for me than anything else.

I was always searching for quiet, secure places to rest and reflect, gather strength to venture forth again. Books and writing forged my way, helped me gain footing, lifted me up when everything else seemed void of oxygen and light.

My imaginary friends helped me throwback and laugh, bumble through snotty tears, and rush to start life over.

Image Source: Pixabay

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