Home » Cancer » I Wasn’t There.

I Wasn’t There.


We are the sum of our experiences.

I remember when I was a girl. I used to sit on the sidewalk in front of whatever rental house we were in, in what ever city we were in and I would pretend.

I wasn’t there. I was in an alien ravaged city, escaping from panic stricken mobs, just me and my horse. That’s right, I had no family. It was just me and my horse. When I was invited to play with other kids or my sister or cousins or brothers, I would be playing another game in my head. There would be a giraffe. I would be the only one who could tame it. It could talk. That kind of thing.
Other people would see me galloping around the house, I never shouted or made much noise…it was just in my head I was shouting. Like now.

I would sit on the steps and look at catalogues and pick out clothes to suit the life of the kid I wasn’t and curtains and furniture for the house we never had.

My favorite thing to do was to look at the refrigerators and all the food in them. All that food just crammed neatly in. I wondered what kind of life you would have to live to have a fridge like that.

I would watch night coming and, lying on the grass, before I got called in for supper, I would wonder where that darkness had been. Who had it slipped over, what wonderful things had it seen? What was this darkness, this very same darkness, doing in the Pyramids? On the shore of Africa? On the streets of some ancient desert stronghold? Maybe there were wild camels! I would wish, but I wasn’t there.

I wasn’t afraid of the dark. I could see it, sometimes after we ate, and we were playing in the street. You could see it, between the shed and the wall. Night was there, hiding in the laurel hedges and way over at the edge of the school playground. The street lights couldn’t move it. Not much. It was there, even more there than ever. But I was a lion. I was a pirate. I was a robot. And darkness was my friend. Where ever it was, however much I wanted to be, I wasn’t there.

When I got older I still lived in my head. It was peopled with fabulous stories of adventure and heroism. Some I wrote, some other people wrote and some I experienced. Meanwhile I worked. I would still sit out front of whatever rental I was in, in whatever city I found myself and I would dream about the time when I would have time. The most fabulous, incredible dream of all.


It just slips away. It’s so beautiful. It’s like watching a leaf unfurl in the spring and come into full beauty and see it changing. It wouldn’t be so beautiful if it were always the same.

I feel so lucky. My life in the past was so full of adventure, real adventure and real heroism. I lived in my head but I was also ready. That’s the best part of being a dreamer. They are always prepared. We don’t panic. We already saw the robot invasion coming.

So. while I wait for this to stop, I am coming to terms with some surprising things. Such as, time, when you have a lot of it, means nothing if you are not prepared. I thought I was. I really did. But it seems I’m not at all. I’m not getting to spend my time. I am just passing time. Just waiting. Tired out…

Dreaming, though. Ready.


9 thoughts on “I Wasn’t There.

  1. I love the idea that we are the sum of our experiences, including those we’ve chosen to live out in our heads. For those of us who have spent a lot of time in our minds, this is very true. I’m just realising though how much time I’ve spent arguing with my imagination.

    Time is one of those funny things. When you finally have a huge surplus of it forced on you, it is hard to cope with. As Red said in Shawshank Redemption, time draws out like a blade.


  2. Laura, you write beautifully. You are very good in expressing your thoughts you bring me into your world. I love night and darkness too. I live in my head but my head seemed empty. I have poor imagination. I wish you could write a book and get it publish. Your words must be shared! 😀


There is no sin except stupidity.

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