I have a friend who's normal. I know, I know, is anyone really? A philosophical question I never meant to tackle. Well, at least, in my world of working with everything from autism to schizophrenia, she's just a little neurotic which hardly counts.
We like to walk for exercise and today when I met her at the corner, two of my dogs in tow and baggie of steaming poop in hand, I exclaimed, “What if tomorrow you woke up and you were in a different body?”
She looked blank. “I'm trying to get a different body. That's why we keep walking.”
“No. It's like this. Every morning since I can remember when I first wake up I hold up my hands and look at them. It helps me orient, I guess. Like, here I am, I returned.”
She cocked an eyebrow. “Was there a doubt?”
“Maybe, for me there is. I just know, I wake up and hold up my hands, recognize them and know where I am. And suddenly this morning I thought, what if I looked at my hands and they weren't mine? I woke up in a different body, and the mystery is, how to do I get back? And do I even want to? Maybe it's like Freaky Friday or something, it gets started with a wish, ‘I'd like to be living a different life' and like an out of control pinball, off you go.” I'm very excited now. “Oh, and all the social issues I could explore, I mean, waking up Asian, or transgendered, or a street vendor in Bangladesh. I mean, would you even want to come back and be in your old body, and be in your old life?”
“I don't know.” She looks uncomfortable and laughs, the nervous kind that means SHUT UP YOU'RE WEIRD.
So I do, reluctantly. And I'm reminded, not everyone is plagued by this kind of imagination. Some artists, and other writers, and people with sleep disorders and possibly, bipolar.
I'm a writer. . . endlessly fascinated with stories. And possibly, a little bit weird though I try hard to hide that most of the time. How about you? Ever wake up consumed by a new idea?