Crumbs: Imaginary

Growing up, I noticed so many of my friends had imaginary friends. Complete with names, histories, and tall tales of adventures shared they would have long conversations on the playground and take turns going down the slide. They were each other’s confidantes, divulging their deepest, darkest, secrets.

I often wondered why children, who are so often surrounded by other children at school and at home, needed imaginary friends.

I mean, I had a real best friend. Her name was Maadar-Jan (Mother Dear). We’d known each other since I was only 9 years old. I didn’t need any other friends.

She taught me so many things; to love, to care, to feel sympathy. She taught me patience and perseverance. She taught me about God and His Wisdom. She told me stories of peaceful eternities soon to come in the Afterlife. She taught me about hope.

She was so generous and taught me how sharing never decreased what you had.

But my friend also taught me about pain. She exposed me to fear and stress. She illustrated how no amount of tears would change my path and how love and care would never affect some hearts. She showed me desperation. She taught me what it was like to be hopeless.

I learned how to survive and scrape by from my best friend.

We shared our dreams and our fears. We whispered our sinister desires to each other over ice-cream in the twilight of sunset. We plotted our escape. We hid together. We ran together. We cried together.

When I was older she even showed me what betrayal felt like and what losing a friend did to your heart. But my friend was smart. She had already taught me forgiveness. And so I forgave her and we moved on.

As I child I didn’t need imaginary friends.

I did have an imaginary mother. Her name was Maadar-Jan.

…and she protected me.

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Crumbs: Clicky

Clicky.

Not a typo.

A word coined in our household.

Control was of the utmost importance to him. From how long we were in the bathroom, to the way we walked up and down the stairs, and like many normal households, the temperature of the house.

It was as though he wanted us to literally feel like it was hell on earth during summer vacation. Our split level home would swelter as the afternoon sun beat down upon it.

And in the winters it would feel as though hell was freezing over, our noses perpetually red and half-frozen.

On the rare occasions the A/C would kick on, he would shuffle out of his lair, down the stairs and turn the manual dial until it audibly “clicked” off. The memory of the brief blast of cold air faded as did his steps back to his room.

Whenever one of us would pass by, to get a sip of water or a trip to the bathroom, the rest of us would whisper loudly “Clicky!”

This was an art. To turn the dial just enough to click it on and then turn it back to the setting it was originally on without it clicking off all the while holding your breath with eyes trained on his bedroom door. Any sound or sign of movement sending you scurrying.

It took years for him to realize this game. We were older and careless and fed up and hot.

We would leave the dial on 60 in bold faced protest.