Monday, July 21, 2008

Imaginary Me

A funny thing happened in the awesome J. Erik Jonsson library today. I was sitting by the window, staring out through the curtains into the afternoon heat and I started picturing myself sitting out there on the front steps, calm and collected, watching the people go by. Right in the middle of downtown Dallas Imaginary Me sat, fearlessly taking out a cigarette (I don't smoke in real life), lighting it up and coolly gazing at my surroundings. Imaginary Me had no rules and since in reality I was inside, the scorching sun bothered me not. I just wanted to sit and stare out that window forever, picturing myself un-crippled and un-needy. My imagination is my only home.

Like I said, Imaginary Me had no rules and had someone wanted to come up and talk I'd have gladly done so. Offered them a cig if they liked. Or maybe just shoot the shit. Anything was good. In real life, I hate questions, the one most dreaded being, "Who are you?" (How are you supposed to answer that? Should I say "Misunderstood Genius" or "Understood Loser" - or maybe I should go with the God line: "I am who I am." How the fuck am I supposed to answer it, really? How can anyone answer that? "Who are you, motherfucker?") But the Man With No Rules can be asked anything. He's happy to oblige.

It was also cool because Imaginary Me didn't need money. It wasn't because he had money, he just didn't need it one way or the other. This was a complete man I was looking at here. Imaginary Me peered up at the sun and sky, absorbing the day, clearly a man at peace with himself. Imaginary Me couldn't be rousted or questioned or hassled in any way. He was untouchable by the Stupidity of man and every man's sins were his own. God, that was sweet! You pay for your sins and I'll pay for mine. That's the way it should be - and will be.

The sun drenched steps held me spellbound in my own little world. Transfixed as I stared outside, I could hear the Voices of Unenlightenment dissuading me. "This is not productive - and therefore not permitted." "Only the real world counts, not this feeling." "No dreaming in public! That's not what life is for!" But none of that bothered me as I saw myself pull out another cigarette with an easy and knowing smile. To know thyself is to be undefeatable. Imaginary Me took an extra long drag as he looked at the world around him - and then blew smoke in its face.

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