“Can you open my window, please? Flaggie sees some trees he wants to eat.” I turn my head and see that H. is moving his hand back and forth, bobbing it up and down.
‘Flaggie’ is the latest in a series of recurring alter-egos that H. likes to bring out on a regular daily basis. There’s Flaggie–be very careful how you say that one–a talkative hand who appears mostly when we are driving in my partner’s car but who can appear at other places such as the Costco check out. There’s Fluff, a lint eating character who appears only in the mornings hidden under blankets, and Ruff the dog. This is one of my absolute favourite things about H. that I love love love. And I wonder if these characters will remain a part of H.’s life and if they do, how long will they be visible to me?
I too, had a richly imaginative inner life growing up. I like to think I still do. I carried on conversations out loud with whomever I wanted to talk to. I still do. Usually these conversations involve me answering questions as though I am being interviewed and serve as pep talks of a sort.
“Why yes, it’s difficult to be always recognized for being smart and beautiful. I guess I keep myself grounded with reminding myself that I’m just a regular person, with 3 kids and a dog. How does it feel to have discovered my voice later in life? It’s funny, because I was never the star soloist in the school choir–far from it. So it feels good, I guess.”
In this conversation I am a famous super model/actor/singer/thinker of some sort. And just to be clear–I cannot sing. At all. My singing is limited to the shower and driving in my car which is probably where this conversation took place.
I’ve often wondered but have never been bold enough to ask–do other people let their imaginary lives continue in such a vocal way past childhood? Why have I never shut this nonsense down? Perhaps because I don’t think it is nonsense, and that I feel I am blessed and lucky to have such a rich imaginary life. I hope the same holds true for H. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an interview to give.