Through two innocent blue gems I see the world. I’m the person hiding in the corner wishing not to be disturbed. I’m the person waiting in line at the local café that nobody ever notices- the one whose order is never taken. I am somebody, wouldn’t you gather that? I’m not just another nameless soul wandering the corridors of a haunted castle, dreaming of an escape.
What I dream of is similar. I envision an escape into reality, but I wish to pack my childhood amongst my luggage. Where all my innocent little fantasies may possibly come true. I’d pray for the fluffy white clouds to be my pillows and for the crescent moon to dangle low enough to be my bed so that I’d face the stars each time I closed my eyes at night. I’d wish that broomsticks could fly and that cupcakes would talk to me about why they shouldn’t be eaten. Let’s go back to our childhood dreams. Why can’t they be what happens here on earth? All those pretty little leaves that brush against my windowpane at night, I’ve imagined them as alive. They whisper to me. ‘Let us in, it’s cold out. May we please come in? Let’s bake mud into golden brown chocolate cakes and sing and skip around a campfire’. Bring it on.
I crave these moments. But my fantasies are further away from reality than Pluto is from the sun.
Mother comes in and kisses me on the forehead. A routine ritual since before I could remember things and it left a moist residue on my young skin each time she pressed her lips. I am seventeen and unlike the rest, I’m not a young man, but a child trapped in the cocoon of a morphing butterfly. I don’t want to change, I don’t ever want to grow up- I’m my own Peter Pan and my own Harry Potter too. I am the boy who lived.
Each day I wake up from eternal slumber and on the way to my sunlit bathroom, I must creep through the forest that is our house. Around the small rocks that coat the floor and underneath the dangling ferns that are harnessed onto the walls, and sliding past the mossy lichens that cling to the remaining gaps, I wander through a jungle.
At home, looking through a window pane of reality, you can see that we have a large transparent glass cage, where three tiny fish, sparkling orange, dance between the underwater plants and the bubbles that arise from the mechanized filter. I refuse to believe it is the only nature in our home that I do not need to imagine. We live in a forest, and it is ruled by the wind. It sweeps beneath my covers at night and creeps underneath the kitchen door. It follows me to my room each time I feel drowsy. Where I close my eyes and shut out any forms of the real world.
I know I’m different. I have never desired to drink, I have never craved to smoke and I have never longed for the touch of a woman’s skin upon my own. I just want to smile, to be happy and to laugh. To enjoy the days before I will be forced to become a man and the cruel world shall crush my hopes.
Yet, everybody that may think they know who I am, without really understanding me, is the reason I retreat into myself. I’ve been alone so long before that I’ve become unique. My independence is what has made me the person I am. It has defined me as the crazy child on the block, the one that talks to ghosts and the one that whispers to the willows.
I don’t like to boast about being able to cope in the wide world without the help of others, and I don’t like to think that my joys in life should be held solely responsible to the fact that I enjoy singing with the nightingales in my backyard. I know it appears I take some form of hallucinogenic, yet my abnormality is somewhat natural. You see, my father was not present during my childhood; he died when I was two. Mother thought it odd that I seemed to play for hours in the garden amongst the unwatered roses and she even decided that I may need psychiatric help when I told her that I was chatting with daddy.
Doctors constantly told her I was normal, just going through a phase and mummy began to tear away from believing her own son. They were wrong you know. It isn’t a phase; it’s my life. I figured her alcoholism may have some mere connection to her own attempts at communicating with dad, yet she’s never going to join an Alcoholics Anonymous group- she’s shier than me. Ever since that very last doctors appointment I’ve continued to speak French to the neighbour’s cat, and I will continue to whistle with my dear friend, the wind.
Now as my eighteenth birthday is coming round the bend, I’ve decided on one important thing; to never grow up. I’ll ignore my mother for what she’s worth and I’ll still get on with the regular parts of life. For when I get home at the end of each working day, I shall come home to my forest and go back in time, to fool around with the dinosaurs that wander our hallways and to continue talking to my father’s ghost. Being alone has given me the chance to be me, and I won’t change that for anyone. Not anyone. I’ll always remain true to me.