I just found out I’m an imaginary character. Maybe you are too. I never would have noticed except whoever is imagining me, imagined that I would know I’m imagined.
Do I really write a blog? Do I actually love Pop Tarts? Did I even poop in an ever-so-satisfying way last night – or is it all in somebody’s head?
(I pooped in your head!)
I still feel real. I still care. I still worry about deadlines and lactose intolerance. Nothing has changed except that I am now aware of somebody in the room. Some guy (I assume it’s a guy because any woman who looked at my life would ask, “What’s the point?”) watches me, what I do, what I think, and then occasionally says to himself, “no, Headley doesn’t think that.” I get no choice in the matter. I just go from thinking that to thinking this.
And this is what I think – that sucks.
I’m a big fan of Danny Kaye – or at least I thought I was. One of his movies was “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Ben Stiller did a remake recently but Ben Stiller is not really an actor as much as he is an irritant, so I didn’t watch it.
The point of Walter Mitty was that the fantasies he lived through were so real to him that they became more important than his real life, and in the end, transformed it.
I think that I, Headley Hauser, am the imaginary creation of some desperately evil Walter Mitty. Maybe I too, am more important than this imaginer’s real life, and I am transforming it.
But it leaves me afraid. What will this guy imagine next? Will he decide that I love Diane Keaton movies; that I go on a low-sugar diet, that I become political?
As horrifying as all these possibilities are, the most horrifying thing is that I have no choice in the matter – unless my evil personal Walter Mitty decides I have a choice in the matter. Then I’ll be able to choose and there will be nothing he (or I?) can do about it.
Turns out we all have our strings. Who’s the imaginary character now, Pinocchio!
Here’s wishing you all, kind and creative Walter Mittys in your life, and may you imagine a wonderful existence, free of strings and full of Pop Tarts.
Or at least I wish that now. Who knows what Mitty will have me wish tomorrow.
Walter Mitty (certified to be at least 98% Ben Stiller free for your protection.)