Monday, September 5, 2011

Imaginary Friends

When I was growing up in Palmer, Alaska, there was a kid in school who had an imaginary friend. He'd walk around the playground during recess talking to this friend. He'd talk, then listen, then shake his head or nod or gesture, and reply. This is supposed to be a harmless aberration in kids, but an aberration nonetheless. In adults, it's considered to be not so harmless (Unless it's some guy talking on a bluetooth).
But, 'cha know, I have a host of imaginary friends. Everybody does. We talk about them as if they are real, and I think we realize only dimly that they are not. My friends include Sherlock Holmes, for instance, Long John Silver, Mary Poppins, Hamlet, Elizabeth Bennett, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Tugboat Annie, Harry Bosch, Bertie Wooster, Frodo Baggins, James Bond, Little Dorrit, Huckleberry Finn, Uncle Remus, The Scarlet Pimpernell, and Lord Peter Wimsey.
I care about these people. I worry when their lives don't go right. I rejoice in their triumphs. I read "Pride and Prejudice" once every two years or so, and am always tickled to death when Lizzy and D'Arcy finally get together.
I mention this because I'm worried about one of my favorite TV characters. She was shot at the end of the season last year, and it looked like she died -- right there on camera. I'm pretty sure it was a cliffhanger, but I can't be certain. What if she's really dead?
There's a part of me that realizes she's a figment of someone's imagination; that the actress speaks the lines she's been given. But there's also a part of me that wonders where to send the flowers.

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