My cellphone is old, clunky and low on minutes but it works well enough to call my imaginary friend, Fancy. It's 3 am in the morning but I have a feeling she is awake.
"You again? Geez, that's like twice in one week. What's the matter this time? Someone cut you off in traffic? Did a cashier hurt your feelings by not offering you paper instead of plastic?"
"Well, what then?"
"I kinda fucked up."
I could hear the grin spread across her face as I said this...for years, I have been on the receiving end of Fancy's neurotic circus-of-calamity calls, usually in the wee hours, and I have almost always been somewhat rude and sarcastic to her. Now it's her turn to do the mocking and she's enjoying it, gauging how far she can push it.
"Oh, boy. Let me guess. You fell off the wagon, went to Vegas and now you're married to your rock chick friend, the one who drinks those malt liquor energy drinks. Well, good luck."
"OK...you fell off the wagon , went to a Star Trek convention and got married to Cousin Dee in a ceremony performed by the Captain of a Klingon warship."
"But Dee is my cousin. And leave wagons and hitching out."
"Not a cousin by blood. And Dee is a hermaphrodite", she continued on, oblivious to my mounting discomfort, "so the two of you could probably get hitched in West Virginia or Vermont, your call."
"Dee is a herma...?"
"You didn't know? Yeah, let me tell you about the first time I found out..."
"Besides" , I continued, "that's not it. It's Alicia. She broke a promise to me on my birthday."
"Alicia? Yeah...that was what , nine, ten years ago? Get over it. How can she still matter? Tell me how."
So I told her what I had done and waited for the burst of laughter that I was sure to follow. Fancy shook her imaginary head in real dismay.
"Dude. You aren't smart enough to second-guess yourself, so stop trying. Stop over-thinking so much...it's making you under-think. I mean, yeah, you are a dunce, but think of this: if what you created had such a profound, albeit unwanted, effect, then once-upon-a-time you must have been able to tap into something incredibly powerful. Maybe you could find that tap again, only without fucking up this time.
And don't double-track your vocals until you learn how to sing in key. Because you sucked at that."
"Say", I told her, "I hadn't looked at it like that. That's pretty good advice...sometimes you make perfect sense. I wonder why none of my friends like you- you really aren't that bad."
"WHAT?! Who doesn't like me? What did they say? Tell me!"
"Uh, nothing much...I mean...um..."
"Oh, geez. Lighten up. I was only kidding, anyway. Although that guy down the street who can see me is starting to creep me out with his yelling. What's his deal? Is he imaginary too?"
"Scotty? He's schizophrenic, homeless and can't afford his meds...plus he has Tourette's syndrome. You guys should hook up", I said with sudden inspiration.
"Yeah", she said," is he around now? I'll pop by."
"Not now, but he'll be picking up the neighborhood cans around dawn."
"Great! I'll see you then!"
"I hope not", I said, reverting to form.