I think it is safe to say that I have an imagination. An active imagination. Active enough that quite a few teachers, over the years, went so far as to say an overactive imagination.
But I don’t like to brag.
Like anything, an overactive imagination has positives and negatives. If, for example, you have a sister who, despite her protests to the contrary, may be the spawn of Satan, an active imagination can help you get out of a tight spot.
Although, no matter how imaginative you are, you still might get blamed for something you didn’t do. Not that I’m still bitter, you understand. Just saying.
But it can get you into trouble, too. Like if, in your imagination, you are an heroic figure – buff, tanned, and filled with cool, Schwarzeneggeresque one liners – but in reality you are a pale, scrawny lad with a penchant for opening his mouth when it should remain closed. Not that these things have happened to me. Again, I’m just saying.
The other night, my imagination nearly got me killed*
One of the side effects of an overactive imagination can be dreams. Happy dreams. Dreams where you meet the love of your life and have lots and lots of … well, I was a teenager, once, so you can fill in the blank.
Unfortunately, I rarely dream like that. My dreams are more on the dark side of things. Less “Ha Ha” and “Tra la la” and more “Holy Crap! I’m about to die!”
Others might categorize them as horrible, terrible, and possibly demonic, but I’m not one to judge.
I don’t know if you remember the movie Dreamscape from the 80s. In this movie, an evil dude can go into other people’s dreams and control – or kill – them there. And he has trapped – oh no! – the president of the United States in his own dream.
If this were actually a thing, I would be the king of the world. Cause I’ve dreamed some nasty sh … er, stuff. You wouldn’t stand a chance. Trust me. In reality, all of you would kick my butt.
But in dreamland … well, in dreamland, my friend, I would be your king.
Anyway, my body doesn’t know the difference between dreamland and reality. So, if I’m fighting to save my son from being pulled into the depths of hell by a demon – a possibility, I suppose, but that would be his choice – and I happen to wake up, I am drenched in sweat. My heart is pounding. And I usually have an overpowering need to urinate.
So, the other night, I was woken up from my peaceful nighttime ritual, by … something. I had jumped out of my bed and was ready to do battle with … well, I’m not sure with what, as I can’t remember anymore. I was drenched in sweat. My heart was pounding, and I was experiencing some slight … umm … pressure.
By the way, if a person in the health care field ever says “You may experience a little pressure”, you can assume something painful is about to happen. Something very painful.
“We’re going to start your open heart surgery. You may feel a little pressure.” “We’re going to reset the bone. You may experience a little pressure.” “My fingers are small. You may experience a little pressure.”
So, I’m standing there. Beside my bed. Ready to do battle with whomever – or whatever – is out there.
And I hear a noise. No. It couldn’t be. And yet …
Yep. Someone is moving around. Stealthily. In my house.
In. My. House!
My heart kicks up to another level. My vision tunnels on the doorway to the bedroom. I can hear a pin I dropped three days ago.
More movement. Then … the sound of water running.
The audacity! Some thief has the balls to break into my home – while I’m at home! – and then takes a drink . Oh, the cheek! Oh, the presumption! Oh, the effrontery of it all!
So, while adrenaline kicks in your “fight or flight” tendencies, I was definitely tending towards fight. In a very gentle and Mennonite way, no doubt, but fight nonetheless.
I debated whether or not to go out and confront the villain head on, or wait until he made his way to the bedroom and pounce from behind the door. Before I could decide, he comes creeping down the hall towards me!
I had about a second to size him up. Thankfully, he was quite a bit smaller than I. If I’m going to confront a burglar, I prefer them to be smaller. A little smaller is good. Considerably smaller is better. Tiny with a gimp and a small cane would be best.
Although, he might use the cane on me …
As I prepared to leap – like a graceful, yet terrible, leopard on the Savanna – he totally blew my mind. He strode – like he owned the place! – over to the other side of the bed and …
He slipped in!
It was at that moment when reality showed itself. Trying to sound cool, but with a little Eastwood husk in my voice, I said “Sue?”
And Sue said “What? Did I wake you up?”
“No,” I said, clenching my … whatever it is you clench to keep from filling your boxers. “No, I just needed to go to the bathroom.”
There are positives and negatives to having an active imagination. Sometimes I’m not sure which is which. Just saying.
*It didn’t really nearly get me killed, folks. Again, I like to keep these rated PG13. ish.