For this week’s Remember the Time Blog Hop, we are writing about imaginary friends. A big thanks to That Cynking Feeling for the suggestion! Seriously. Last week, Emily and I stared at each other over Skype and pulled one of these: What do you want to write about?…I don’t know, what do you want to write about?…I can’t think of anything. I’ll write about whatever you want to write about…I don’t care either…Do you see where I’m going with this? We’re not idea machines, people. So we welcome your suggestions.
With that said, I did not have an imaginary friend growing up. Wah…wah…wahhhhhh:
I’m not really sure why I never had one, given my historical propensity for delusion. (Like, hoping I might one day marry the Scarecrow from “Wizard of Oz,” then Micky Dolenz. Or considering FroYo “healthy,” even when I top it with brownie bites and waffle cone pieces. Or assuming my kids will actually turn off the bathroom light “this time.” Or thinking the producers of “24” would find a way to bring back Edgar Stiles after he died from deadly Sentox gas released inside CTU headquarters because he couldn’t get into the sealed Situation Room with Chloe in time…damn, that still stings).
I think one of the possible reasons I didn’t have an imaginary friend growing up was because I lived in a neighborhood full of real live kids whom I could play with just about whenever I wanted. And of those friends, my best one was named Brian. So in lieu of an imaginary friend, I’m going to write about my first best friend. And I can break the rules like that because I own half of the RTT Blog Hop. And I said so. (Actually, you all have permission to treat the prompts as non-literal inspiration. This ain’t no dictatorship. Jack Bauer would never stand for it.)
Brian and I were the Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper of the early 1980’s (cue Joe Cocker’s version of “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends”)…minus the love story. True, we were known to play house; and I recall he once pretended that one of those flower-shaped butter cookies with the hole in the middle was a ring and put it on my finger. But Brian and I were buds. The kind of buds who didn’t really notice that I was a girl and he was a boy, evident by our habit of going into the bathroom with one another.
Our backyards were catty-corner from each other, which meant there was a lot of back and forth between our houses. Over thirty years and one house move later, my mom still has evidence of Brian’s frequent visits in the form of primary-colored Tupperware cups with rims bearing the marks of tiny teeth. The boy sure loved to gnaw on his drinkware.
But Brian’s biggest impression, and lasting legacy, was made around the age of three or four, in the wee small hours of the morning. It is a story that has been told so many times I feel as if I was actually there to witness it. But I wasn’t, because I was asleep. And so was everyone else in the neighborhood. Everyone except Brian. He was ready to play, but he needed his partner in crime. So he simply got up and walked over to our house, still in his footy pajamas, while his parents snoozed in their bed. My parents were soon awakened by a tapping on their bedroom window. “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” It was the first and only time I was serenaded at my window…except he got the wrong bedroom.
Our endless days of play eventually came to an end when both of our families moved to bigger houses in different neighborhoods. But Brian and I didn’t leave behind our friendship. We would see each other now and again, sometimes having sleepovers at each other’s new digs. As we got older, the sleepovers obviously stopped, because by then everyone was acutely aware that I was a girl and he was a boy…especially my dad. And our interactions grew fewer and farther between. Yet the friendship never faded.
When my Senior Prom rolled around, I decided that I didn’t want to mess with asking some guy I was crushing on who would likely ignore me, leaving me with red eyes from crying in the bathroom all night and a prom picture I wanted to burn in effigy. (I had unfortunately ruined my Junior Ring Dance with that plan, and it resulted in the only photographic evidence of me flipping the bird.) So I asked the only possible male at that time who was guaranteed to show me a good time: Brian. And it was absolutely the right move. Not only did I not have to worry about him breaking my heart, I also didn’t have to worry about him not getting along with my friends. Because Brian, like his father, has always had the personality of a charismatic car salesman…one you actually WANT to buy a car from. What? Those don’t exist? Well, I guess that’s why Brian never actually became a car salesman. He had the talk down, just not the lack of scruples.
Brian and I have only seen each other a handful of times in our adult lives. But whenever we do, he’s easy to be with. For me he will always be one of those very few people with whom I can simply pick up wherever we left off. Because he was my very first friend. And, dude…I used to watch him pee.
This post is part of the Remember the Time Blog Hop. You can join in, too!
1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about Imaginary Friends! Just try to stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D
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