Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I Remember You


There was talk today of imaginary friends, and I began to think that - as a child - I never had one. Then I remembered the weeks of lone, hot, summer holidays when I cycled the same 50 yard route outside our house, over, over and over again.

For some reason, the tune "I Remember You" by Frank Ifield was played repeatedly in my head as I rode obsessively across our front entrance, over the lump in the tarmac caused by the bulging root in the Poplar tree, past the other entrance (we had a big house), then round the other three gateways of our millionaire neighbors and back again, just to repeat the process for another 20 or 30 times until the light began to fail and I went in for tea.

It was little like the zoo tiger that walks to one side of his cage then back again - over and over again - but it lasted only until I had reached the point when the average captive tiger would have died through boredom or heartache.

Then today, I remembered that I did indeed have an imaginary friend, but she was an imaginary girlfriend. Nothing unusual about that, you might say, especially in an adolescent boy.

She was American - probably because of all the imported TV I had watched up until that point - and I spent the rest of my early adulthood trying to find her.

In this search, I had many American girlfriends, but none of them were her. I no longer look for her, but she still exists if I really did want to meet her again after all these years.

In any case, I am too old for her now. She is the same age as she always was, but I have grown into an old man. Any further contact would be inappropriate.

9 comments:

  1. I had a terrapin called sidney

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  2. Oh Tom,
    I love reading your posts as, being the same age as me, you often bring up little reminders of my childhood. When we were on a summer holiday in Ilfracombe, we went to an 'end of the pier' show and Frank Ifield was top of the bill. My mum and dad shoved me up on stage and I sang 'I remember you'. I was rewarded with a box of Poppets ( remember them ?) and , the bit that annoyed me was that they gave my sister a box as well and she didn't have to do anything !!
    I never had an imaginary friend but, if I had, he/she would definitely have been American...... America fascinated me when I was a child. I had an I Spy book of cars and I remember there being two pages of American cars. I just wrote that I spied them all in America....I was such a cheat !

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  3. Bless, John.

    Yes, Jacqueline, we are the same age and we have the same taste in hats. I had a REAL girlfriend called 'Poppet' when I was about 3 or 4 - I remember her well, even though I only met her once. I thought that a 4 foot high fence to protect us from the prying eyes of adults would suffice when I took her there to peck her on the cheek. I still remember her brown legs. Cheating is ok, in my book.

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  4. The girl above looks like Rosie.

    Nowadays I just have a Bunbury; similar but much more useful.

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  5. It is Rosie, Cro. Shamelessly ripped off from the book cover. What's a Bunbury?

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  6. She may be out there somewhere waiting for a word from you - so watch your e mails Tom.

    As soon as I saw your title today that Frank Ifield song came to mind.

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  7. A Bunbury is a fictitious friend, as in The Importance of being E. Mine (as in the play) is mostly used for refusing unwelcome visitors or invitations. Everyone should have one!

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  8. I've got an imaginary cleaner called Raoul. He's fantastic. xx

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  9. That's strange, Bris - I think I employ his imaginary wife.

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