“Guess Where I Am?” was a childhood game that I played by myself. All of the other kids in the neighborhood were younger than me, so choosing a companion of equal intelligence was difficult at best, but worse if I chose someone with limited dexterity or imagination.
Usually, on afternoons when the world seemed to be sleeping, I’d find myself thinking of wild and curious things that may be real, or at least I would try my darndest to bring things to life.
There are no rules, not written anyway, but I’d begin in the same manner. I would take a piece of chalk, most likely one that is but a nub, any colour of my chosing. though I ususally picked the white one first. I’d sit in one square of the sidewalk. I would make sure that it was right in front her grave. She was my friend and my drawings were meant for her.
First, I would draw all around me… A Big Circle. Then, this is where the fun starts, I’d take a fallen leaf or leaves, some rocks, maybe an earthworm, if he was squirming around and I would place them within that big white chalk circle. Using other colours, I would design a town or a country, or a hidden place that only I would be able to find with my friend.
Some of my drawings were glorious feats of imagination and reality. I talked out loud, shooing away squirrels. Those sneaky rascals became foes of the Kingdom and would surely ruin everything! I had to protect what was mine!
If my brother or some other boy left a Tonka truck out on the lawn, I used it to build a fortress with sticks and mud. If I was wearing a headband or rubberbands to hold my braided pigtails, you know the kind with the ball on them, I’d use them as catapults to sling-shoot any enemy that was closing in.
Time escaped me back then. I did not realize it until I was being summoned back to this world when I’d hear Mom yellling my name to come in for dinner. If I was lucky, the sun or rain didn’t fade what I had drawn the day before, but I most likely was bored with yesterday’s play, so, I’d move on to another sidewalk square.
One day, I found an old, tattered guitar case leaning on the dumpster. I looked around, saw nobody watching me, and took it. I wanted to use it to store all of my weapons and ammunition, I even stored the Tonka trucks, a gyroscope and a frisbee in there.
Another day came and when I went outside to play, I found that someone had put a lock on that guitar case. I thought that I hid it so well, but someone was tricking me, or maybe they didn’t want me to play anymore. I tried to pry it open. I stomped on it and went so far as to blow it up with firecrackers! I failed to open it.
I sat next to my best friend’s grave and cried, then apologized and said that this was the last time I would visit her, and ran off to catch a butterfly. That was the last time I played “Guess Where I Am ?”.
This has to be over forty years ago. Long gone are the hours of playing with toys and earthworms. Long gone are the times when it is okay to just “be”, the world has, quite simply, gone insane, and I’m still waiting for my Prince in shining armour.
-dld September 18, 2010
T10 Canvas/Capstone Challenge
In front of her grave,The world is, quite simply, insane. (1) white, (2) fade, and (3) lock, A piece of chalk, A guitar case