Friday, May 6, 2016

Page After Page

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

If you ever had an imaginary friend, tell us about them. If not, make one up right now and tell us what they'd be like.

It was submitted by:


I never had an imaginary friend in the truest sense though having a Drop Dead Fred in my life wouldn’t have been all that bad all things considered. Childhood wasn’t exactly an easy time, and I found myself living in books, escaping the world I lived in with its darkness and chaos and taking up residence in the creative constructs of others rebuilt in my own mind with any tweaks I saw fit.

The characters from Louis Sachar’s Wayside School series were regular guests along with the kitties from Snot Stew (Bill Wallace). Ramona Quimby made me want to be a little sassier with all the times she made me laugh. Amelia Bedelia first made me wonder what it might be like to have a maid working for me that made me think about my words more carefully, but I stopped having to wonder so much when I had silly conversations with her in my own world spun so carefully out of pieces of others’ imaginations.

I had adventures with Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth wondering through the Doldrums because that’s a place I was most familiar with and I wanted someone to be there with me. I never cared much for spiders in real life, but Charlotte’s Web ensured I had an immortal one that crawled onto my shoulder whenever I needed a friend of the most understanding variety.

I made up mysteries to solve with Nancy Drew and turned my parents shed into a boxcar with The Boxcar Children and shrunk myself to just a couple inches tall to hang out with The Borrowers.

The older I got the fewer real friends I had and the more I lived in books, in the imaginary worlds I constructed and demolished and changed. The more alone I felt the darker my tastes became. I picked up Dean Koontz (who I never really liked) and Stephen King. Characters like the little kid from Firestarter and Carrie started showing up which sounds morbid, and it absolutely is. But, these were dark times in my life. An abusive addict of a parent, my parents divorcing, death threats from my dad against my mom, mom’s new boyfriend beating the absolute shit out of my dad, sexual assault… I mean, it’s a bit more than a 13/14 year old can handle. Not to mention I started drinking and smoking pot which, at that age, probably didn’t help the depths of my gloom.

Even as an adult, I can’t give up on those characters. Some have remained through time, and I have added more with every character I connected with in a major way. Rob Gordon from High Fidelity was, for the better part of 2 decades, the love of my life, though more and more these days I see glimpses of him when I look in the mirror more than anything. The narrating voices of Chuck Palahnuik, Minty Fresh from one of Christopher Moore’s series, so many of Tom Robbins’ characters, Hunter Thompson’s inner voice (sans his love for guns and every illicit substance known to man) all influence who I am the same way an intimate friendship changes you in some way.

In no way do the books I read really replace human intimacy, to real connection, like any imaginary friendship would be, but I honestly wouldn’t be the woman I am today without those friends and those loves.


And that, my friends, is my swap. Hope you will check out the rest of the submissions. 

Baking In A Tornado
Southern Belle Charm

Not That Sarah Michelle

Spatulas on Parade

The Bergham Chronicles

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

My Brain on Kids

The Lieber Family Blog

Never Ever Give Up Hope


Confessions of a part time working mom

The Angrivated Mom


  1. I'm so sorry for all you had to endure growing up, and am glad that at least you had books to allow an escape.

  2. Nancy Drew was cool, I liked her, too!
    Book characters aren't the worst imaginary friends! On the contrary!

  3. I never had an imaginary friend and I wouldn't know who/what to pick if I did. This took some thought -- good job.

  4. You have a wonderful imagination. I loved a lot of those characters myself and we became pretty good friends too.

  5. My daughter had am imaginary friend. It was fun talking about him and hearing of their adventures together. Now that I read this I realized we haven't heard from him for a while. Maybe I should ask her how he's doing!

  6. Some of the best friends are paper ones, but you're right. Nothing replaces intimate human contact, as long as it's warranted.