I was never alone as a child.
Until I was eight there were aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, a sister, a brother, Dad – that I remember.
From eight until twelve there were new brothers and sisters, cats and dogs, budgies, ferrets, Mum.
Later there was Dad again.
Then there was a husband. And a new family – his family, then our family.
So no – I was never alone – even as an adult.
But I was often lonely.
I didn’t fit you see.
Square peg – very round holes.
As a youngster I had trouble at school – not making friends, that I knew how to do well. It was keeping them that was difficult. I had learnt, from changing schools at a rapid rate, that you needed to fit in to a certain mould for people to like you. But after a few weeks I always found it hard to maintain the facade.
You see I was odd. I saw the popular girls all wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, liking the same boys. At every school there would be a different set of guidelines to follow to acceptance, but basically the rules were the same.
Blend in, don’t show your individuality or brilliance at anything too soon – actually don’t show it ever.
Never dance to a drum they don’t hear.
So that’s where I was doomed.
Because I was very much an individual (no matter how hard I tried not to be), and I had a brain that flew on a very different astral plane to all the rest.
I was also intelligent, another trait that I tried to hide, but my damn arm was the problem. When the teacher asked questions I knew the answers to, it had a life of its own. It started off with a twitching feeling, then my elbow would bounce outwards from my side, where I was busy desperately trying to hold it against. Hanging on to my hand with the other hand never worked. It was dying to wave about in the air as well.
I think it was the unicorns and fairies that were to blame for the worst. They inconsiderately followed me from house to house. Their presence wrecked any chance at maintaining other more normal friendships.
It is hard when you are continually having to push people out of their way (unicorns take up a lot of room turning around), because they choose only to reveal themselves to you.
The fairies were – pesky.
Their shenanigans cost me more than one budding friendship.
It is hard not to laugh out loud when they play hide-and-seek in someone’s hair. I have learnt to keep it to a polite smile, but the corner of my mouth does twitch a bit at times.
These days there are not so many people around – and I often find myself alone, by choice. Except for the unicorns, Wraith in particular spends a lot of time here – and he is a big boy.
His movements are particularly graceful, but something that size – always causes a few problems. Oh and let’s not forget the fairies, and D. Who is D you ask ?? He’s the protagonist in THE BOOK.
D and his brother Z have come to stay at my house. At times they are worse than the fairies and unicorns combined. They argue a bit when they are not dashing about trying to save their world.
Then there is Joe. Joe is in his fifties, looks a little like this.
He is Catholic, ex-Army, and in love with a Brad Pittt look-alike. Joe has issues. Issues he likes to discuss at three am – around the time the Grumpy Cat is trying to flick the window catch, to escape all the insanity, she mumbles as she dives out the window.
But – here’s the thing. I don’t try anymore to hide them, the friends that only I can see that inhabit my world. And no-one seems to think me certifiable.
Maybe they’re just not voicing that – but I don’t care, because these days I’m not lonely. Both of my worlds have come together.
It had to do with accepting myself. I needed to do that before anyone else could.
There are still the naysayers, these days I sense them as they round the corner and quickly cross the road.
I have time only for the embracers of fantastic. There are a lot of them out there.
For now and the future – I will weave my dreams into new worlds…