I was a very lonely kid. I had very few friends. As a result I spent a lot of time alone. To my own devices. That worked out pretty well for a budding writer, but as far as social interaction goes? It fucking blew.
I've been watching a lot of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION lately. I just came upon an episode where a young girl has an invisible friend, and it brought back a few memories of my childhood. Since I was so lonely, I tried to create an invisible friend. I'd come across the concept in fiction, and I tried to apply it to my real life.
My invisible friend's name was Mack. He knew a lot about books, and he was a tough guy. He could kick anyone's ass, which was important to me because I was severely bullied as a child. I didn't have the strength to fight back, but he could. He even knew how to put authority figures in their place because once the kids at school were done fucking with me, I had to go home to an abusive step-father and a neglecting mother.
The invisible friend didn't last long. I tried. I really did. My mind is too suited to reality. It refused to believe in Mack. I remember trying to talk to Mack about my shitty day when I was seven years old, and in that moment, I felt like an idiot. My imagination worked pretty well for working with toys and such, but when I tried to pretend I had a friend? Nope. I couldn't trick myself into believing. I just felt like a dumb ass talking to air, pretending it was real.
My invisible friend lasted a week. I couldn't even succeed at faking social interaction. As a result, I spent a lot of my life shunning everyone and everything. It took me a long time to recover from that. In all likelihood, I wouldn't have done it without the help of my friend, Robert Tannahill.
I still can't believe that I'm surrounded by awesome people today. People I'm proud to call friends. People I'm proud to call family. If I could go back in time to tell that young version of me . . .