Saturday, March 05, 2011

Imaginary Friend

"We're in a holding pattern, Miss Turtle."

"Yes, we are," I say. A seagull is calling in the distance. I'm standing on my sloping rock but it's hard to be comfortable, my feet keep sliding down. I hop off and sit down on it instead. There's a large rock next to us, bigger than me, very smooth. It's an overcast afternoon at the shore.

"I suppose it's easier when you have hooves," I remark, "To keep from sliding off, I mean."

"When you have hooves, yes, I suppose it is easier. I don't have hooves," he says. He stops speaking for a moment then resumes, "You're trying to distract me again."

"No, I was merely remarking about the rock. I don't think I've ever mentioned it before."


Mr. Gryphon and I are standing in our usual places, the place of our origins. I'm not sure why we're here but it probably has something to do with the fact that we haven't spent much time on this stretch of shore since I started these blogs. The tide is going out. It's almost like the sea knows we're supposed to do the Lobster Quadrille soon.

"Shouldn't you be going to take a nap? Our girl is supposed to arrive at the appointed spot with the Duchess soon," I say. The wind ruffles my hair. It's breezy but not cold. The salty ocean smells gentle: tender rocks, soft sand, warm water.

"As I said, you're trying to distract me, Miss Turtle. I liked the other post better, the one on the spaceship. More importantly, there's another story to write about us. You haven't even started it yet."

I shake my head and turn away, looking out to sea. He walks around the rock and stands in front of me. I can't look at him. He opens his wings so quickly that a golden feather or two goes flying, startling me. He kneels down.

"Don't look away from me. I'm getting sick of it," he says, glaring at me.

"Don't yell at me!"

"I'm not yelling," he says, and for a moment he reminds me of someone. A unexpected memory shifts into my awareness, leaving me disconcerted.

"I'm busy. There's too much going on. I can't write this story down now. It will take forever, it's going to be long, and I really need to make some progress on my other writings," I say. I stand up and step around him, striding towards the water. The waves are rolling to shore in neat rows and the lowering tide has revealed many shells and rocks. In Miss Turtle's world, the beaches are not picked clean of such treasures. He comes after me, of course.

"We're in a holding pattern as I said. Everything is grinding to a halt. You need to work on this one," he says, right behind me. I mumble. "What?" he says.

I turn to face him. "I don't need to do anything. I don't even have to write this down if I don't want to," I say. He puts his hands on his hips and I feel the frustration rising inside me. "You! You are just a voice in my head, something that flies out of my fingers onto the screen! You don't exist!"

He folds his arms, a very familiar gesture. "I thought I was your imaginary friend."

This response makes me want to cry. I feel stupid all of a sudden or maybe I always feel stupid but am able to keep that feeling at bay some of the time.

"Write it down, please. You know it needs to be done," he says. He is unmovable.

I stiffen and clench my fists. "Who are you to tell me to just 'write it down'? Do you have any idea how much work goes into these stories? How much emotional energy is invested? For God's sake, I JUST LOST MY DOG. CAN'T YOU GIVE ME A BREAK??" We stand there looking at each other and I have to consciously let my shoulders relax and lower. I open my hands and look away from him again.

"I...I can't look at you anymore, Mr. Gryphon. I'm sorry," I say. I'm thinking that my level of stupidity has reached some serious heights now. Why do I torment myself like this? Is it so I don't get bored? Is that why?

"This is precisely the reason why this story has be written down," he says.

"I don't even plan on posting it. I think it's going too crazy for even me to read after I've written it down."

He opens his mouth to say something but he doesn't have to.

"You're right the other post is better but it sets the bar too high. How am I supposed to fulfill those kind of expectations?" I ask. A light rain is starting to fall. I look at the gray water and gray clouds. There's a sliver in the clouds far off shore and a stream of sunlight is shining on the water.

"I suppose our girl isn't going to show up after all. I don't think she has an umbrella with her," I say. The rain is warm and feels good. I raise my face to the falling water.

"Our conversation would be entirely too depressing if she came now," he says. I glance up at him and then away again. Normally, I'd call one of my blue doors so we can go to the parlor and have tea but he can only maintain the facade I've stuck on him for so long. Tea is out of the question. All of sudden I'm dead tired and want to be alone in my library or in the Conservatory but I know he'd follow me. He has to. As he said everything is at a standstill.

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