I saw the word ‘imaginary’ scrolling through the Daily Prompts looking for inspiration. I’ve not written much recently and I’ve noticed that my fingers haven’t met keys in some time. I’ve realized that I’m not always going to talk about my problems on here. I’ll keep it light and jovial when I feel the need to crack a smile or two. SO IMAGINARY it is.
When I saw this word a memory came to life in me. I envisioned a time when I was quite young, perhaps eleven or twelve. I used to be obsessed with sticks I’d find out in the woods. What boy wasn’t? I would pretend they were futuristic laser blasters and while alone in the forest on my parents’ property I would pretend I’d be running head first into battle – plunging myself into a great war where the odds were always against me.
Cartoons have always been a big part of my life. I can say that I probably watch more cartoons than I do live action shows. I’m a 35 year old kid and not ashamed of it. Among some of my favorite cartoon shows was X-MEN. You know, the original from 90’s. It was on every weekday after school at 3 or 3:30 PM. I loved that show. After watching an episode I’d promptly head outside. Mostly because I had to. My mother would say to my siblings and I, “Your father doesn’t want to see you sitting on your dead assess.” Colorful, but as an adult now, especially with the increase of media, I get it. So, again, I’d head for the treeline.
Once outside my imagination would ignite. At times I’d find a good sized stick. More like a branch. One that was slightly taller than I, preferably with no bark. If I had to make alterations it was no bother. All part of my master plan. This was my staff. A staff of great power and majesty. I could summon anything with it. I could devastate anything with it. I was almighty with this staff. I’d rapidly blink my eyes to create special lighting effects for explosions I’d cause with my staff. My mouth would attempt to conjure the sounds in sync. I’d venture deeper into the woods.
Sometimes I’d test my strength. Often I’d just grab a stick off the ground and swing it like a baseball bat squarely at the side of large solid tree. My goal was to snap the stick in half and, if I did so, feel good about it. I’d jeer and brag like I was taunting an opponent or a crowd. Maybe even flex a little if no one was watching. Occasionally one of my sticks would outsmart me. The result of me whacking said deceiving branch against a tree would result in a rattling vibration that would travel through my hands and arms causing some funny discomfort. That’s usually when I’d stop proving my might and just accept being second best. Resorting to pushing over dead trees would prove a better (and safer) altenative.
I grew up on 26 acres of land seated in the Swan Creek Region of Swanton, Ohio. My parents’ property is made up of mostly thick forest that my dad mowed a good long trail around with his Kubota. I have good memories of growing up and part of that was being able to spend time in the trees. One day the imagination faded and my trips into the woods became less and less. Fighting battles and ruling the world gradually turned into sneaking out to smoke with friends. Funny how things change.