by Pat Donworth | July 23, 2012
I’m not sure exactly when it was I met him. He just seemed to be always there.
I was young. Really young. Maybe 3 years old? He was probably there even before then. He was by my side, like a buddy or friend or a living stuffed animal. Always at my side, sometimes quiet and watching, usually engaging in conversation or speculation with me. We’d make up adventures, go to far-away places, ride horses and dolphins, and visit stars. That we were just imagining these made no difference and we would be laughing and having the best time! Never mind that he was invisible, at least to others. I saw him clearly.
He had black hair that often fell across his brow and into his eyes. He had a broad, squarish face, and he was a little older than me. I thought he was very handsome.
He’d be by my side if I was reading a book. He’d sit quietly at the table while I was doing homework. He’d wait for me on the playground at school, while I was in classes. I’d come out the door for recess or after lunch, and he’d be waiting for me. If I was with other kids, I’d always be aware of where he was, just on the edge of our group, whether we were talking or playing jump-rope or lined up against a wall selling penny candy. If my mom took my sister and me to the Saturday matinee cartoon, I’d make sure he had enough room to sit next to me. If we were at the lake or seashore during summer vacation, we’d play in the sand or water together. Never mind that he was invisible, at least to others. I saw him clearly.
On the weekends, I would listen to records (remember them?) on the record player in our living room. He would lounge on one of the couches, listening to the music or he’d come by the record player, lean against the wall, and listen to the music. Other times, we’d talk and plan and discuss things. When I got a little older, we’d go for walks in the neighborhood or down to the park at the end of our block. We’d play on the swing set or look for hidden caves or trap minnows in the park stream.
Sometimes, on a Saturday afternoon, while my dad was cutting the grass and my mom was painting in her studio – in other words, the ‘coast was clear’ — I’d put on my roller skates and skate around our dining room table, into our adjoining living room, then back into the dining room. (I’d made this kind of ‘figure 8’ loop around the furniture.) My parents were none too pleased when they’d see my Olympian roller skate tracks pressed into the carpeting (but that’s another story).
Anyway, he would roller skate right next to me. Sometimes we’d hold hands, like they do . . . well, somewhere. I’d put on my favorite record by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing “Have faith, hope, and charity, that’s the way to live successfully . . . how do I know? The Biii-ible tells me so.” (I must have played that song 13,000 times during my childhood.) I’d (we’d) skate round and round and round to that song playing over and over. I felt like I was in heaven.
If I was outside playing kickball in the street with the neighborhood kids, I’d know exactly where he was, watching the game. Or if I was riding my bike, alone or with the other kids, he’d be on his bike riding along with us. Of course, only I could see him.
He was invisible, obviously, to everyone but me. The proverbial ‘imaginary friend’ I suppose. But I saw him clear as day. He wore blue a lot and sometimes a white shirt. When I was 3, 4 and all the way to 9 or 10, he was as real to me as . . . well, as my flesh-and-blood family, or Baffles, my cat. For me, there was no difference between who they were and who he was — at least as far as being real.
Sometimes he would be in my dreams, engaged in all kinds of adventures together, just like in waking life. And he’d wear the same blue outfit, with the white shirt.
Then, one day, he just wasn’t there. I thought maybe he took a trip somewhere or had something else to do. He never came back, but in a faded memory kind of way, I felt he was around and that he knew what I was thinking and doing. Toward the end, I would roller skate by myself, wondering if he were just hiding. I hoped he would pop out from behind a tree, but he never did.
Did I miss him? You bet. But it was okay. I knew that he was there and if I really, really needed him, he’d show up, just like he used to.
Who was he? An angel? A guide? An ET? A spiritual buddy? A soul mate? Twin flame? A karmic pal? (As a child, except for an “angel,” I didn’t even know what those other things were.) Sometimes I’d feel that he was me, and I was him. Better said, it was like he and I came from the same place. We knew one another’s thoughts. We just understood one another, without having to say a word or explain anything. When he was around, I always felt good. Very high energy. A ‘crispness’, something more or better than this 3-D world.
Even back then, as a young child, I assumed he lived in a kind of “faery” or invisible world right next to my “real” world. He could see me and I could see him, so the barrier must not have been too thick or impenetrable. But, then again, I seemed to be the only one in my family that could see him. Maybe he was more like a guardian angel, after all. People believed in them, but just couldn’t see them. Only I could.
Well, the one thing I knew back then and I also know now is he was as real as the world and people around me. Though I did used to wonder . . . if, in his world, I was the invisible one that only he could see?
Copyright © 2012 by Pat Donworth