I think I make a good friend to my close pals.
Though according to very reliable sources I exhaust people, I talk too much and I don’t really listen.
This last bit could be true as I know that sometimes when people tell me their problems I am mentally redecorating their flat or imagining what I would do with such a cute alcove. Or I am off on an Arabian adventure.
It’s a problem I call attention deficit disorder. It hasn’t actually been officially diagnosed by a real doctor but it’s my excuse for being annoying when it suits me.
I can fake interest and go away to a place inside my head and run barefoot on a sandy beach.
I have been known to speak and drift away at the same time.
No one really notices this gift except my daughter Ashley.
“Mum, are you listening to me? I just told you I broke my ankle” she said one day in the middle of a conversation about all the things that happened that day at university.
“You haven’t broken your ankle, you are fine” I muttered as George Clooney kissed me on the mouth as I lay in a swinging hammock on a beach in the Bahamas’.
“Yes but I am trying to get your attention” she moans.
I can pay attention and pay lip service in the same moment.
But she says she can see it in my eyes, I have a ‘distant’ look when I am supposed to be focussed.
When I was a child I could very easily take myself out of horrible situations and completely immerse myself in another world. Handy when you are being sexually abused or watching a screaming fight between your parents, good for distraction all round.
I call this gift ‘Drifting’ and I love it. The sheer amount of times I have been in a drudgery of hell and transported myself to another place.
Like when Ashley was a baby and was taking at least four hours to feed on one bottle and by the time that bottle was finished it was the time to start her next feed again!
I would sit there and have conversations in my head with Charles Dickens, Voltaire or have myself walking through some Amazonian rain forest looking at all the different plant life, smelling the deep earthy wet undergrowth or be simply swimming up and down a huge open air pool. The water lapping at the sides of my arms relaxing and refreshing me with every stroke, never once leaving the room or disregarding my baby’s welfare, drifting is a gift.
Sometimes I have had to sit through the worst of comedy nights as new acts or even established acts who have bored me to the utter depths of insanity and off I go…to the Great Wall of China, to tea at the Ritz, to lying on a quiet grassy headland looking out to sea, the gulls above me calling out, the water crashing off the rocks…all easily accessible in the darkest and nosiest of comedy clubs.
Even sexual imagery is a wonderful escape; I can be with any man in any place at any time. The amount of times I have made Brad Pitt exhausted on a train to Edinburgh is obscene. Daniel Craig, the new James Bond has kept me well entertained on tube rides through London, and 50 Cent my favourite rapper doesn’t mind I am 46 years old as he drags his big leather belt off his jeans and strips, dances and lays me down on his bed whilst I have been sitting through a mortgage meeting with my bank manager.
I call it a vivid imagination; my mates call it ignoring them, but who can tell?
Would you rather listen to an hour of ‘What shoes should I buy?’ or go fuck Justin Timberlake in the back of his limo as he begs you for more?
As Einstein once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”._