My Imaginary Friend
I have never had an imaginary friend until four years ago, when one suddenly appeared. She has a special function in my life: memory. When I’m driving to town and suddenly forget exactly where it is I’m going, I prod her and within a few seconds, she has the answer for me. She never tires of these prods–even when I ask her the same question twice within the space of an hour or two. Sometimes she even leaves me notes on the refrigerator. “Catfood,” she scribbles, “Lampshade.” “Hem pants!”
As is necessary with good friends, I forgive her her shortcomings as she forgives mine. When it took her an entire week to come up with the name of a woman whose name I keep confusing with another, I did not chide her. When I forgot the name of one flower for an entire year, I ceased even asking her to provide an answer and in its own sweet time, memory brought the name to me with no prodding.
As with all imaginary friends, I do not call attention to her in public. We have our conversations in private, usually as I rail against myself, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” when the correct information will not come with the ease that it did before this particular decade.
It is she who decided I needed a wall hanger for glasses and keys and after fruitless minutes of my daily searches, reminds me that my car keys and reading glasses are where they’re supposed to be–on the rack! She has been doing this for years, without complaint, and one of my main fears in life is that she will pass on before I do.
We have a pact, my imaginary friend and I, and if it is up to her and me, we will die peacefully, side by side, forty years from now when we are 110. By then she will be so worn out that she will deserve a rest, and by then I will probably be all too willing to go with her.
The prompt today was “imaginary.” This is a reblog of a piece I wrote a few years ago.