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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adventures In My Imagination

Writers have vivid imaginations. We have to in order to tell a story, and most of the time I love it. I'm rarely bored because if I'm stuck somewhere, I just play a story in my head. Saved me countless times when I was a kid and my parents dragged me somewhere. There is a downside, though, to this overactive imagination.

Muscle soreness? It becomes the symptom of some fatal disease. Who cares if I raked the lawn yesterday? Someone I'm expecting is late? I'm picturing them involved in some horrific accident.

Which leads to last night...

I'm off from work this week, which means I can stay (and do) stay up later. Last night, after 11pm (while I was watching the Dodgers/Braves game), I heard a helicopter. They fly by all the time and I hate it, but usually they don't linger. Last night, he hovered nearby. For a really long time.

Immediately, thoughts of a fugitive on the loose leaped into my head. I live about a half mile away from a couple of gas stations/convenience stores and in the mile radius, there's even more gas stations/supermarkets/small businesses. I'm picturing a criminal--maybe more than one--attempting to rob one of these businesses and then running. Into my backyard!

I become hyper-alert, listening for the sound of glass breaking in my basement. Should I get up and get the phone now or can I make it three steps to grab it before the wanted man (men) open the basement door and shoot me to stop me from making a call to 911?

The helicopter is still hovering. I expect the search light to illuminate my yard like daylight any second. I wait for my own motion-sensor light over my deck to come on.

I tweet about my potential adventure.

One of the responses I get back? Maybe it's a tiger who escaped from the zoo or a cobra. Now my imagination has another path to explore. I don't live anywhere near either of our zoos in the Twin Cities, but residents own exotic animals, too. What if someone's pet tiger did get loose?

You'll notice I'm not too concerned about the snake. There's two reasons for that. First, it's still cold in MN. Really cold. They're predicting three inches of snow here this afternoon and into tomorrow. Snakes are cold-blooded creatures and cobras in particular aren't going to function well here since they're from Egypt. Second, I figured even if a snake was capable of moving in the cold, he wasn't going to break my window and slither into the house.

Unless of course, it's a huge, mutant snake with genetically altered brain cells...

Um, but I didn't think of that last night. I did consider whether or a not a tiger had the interest in jumping through glass to get into my house.

At last, the helicopter left. Instead of relieving me, I started thinking, well, what if the criminal/tiger is still out there and the police in the helicopter just didn't see him? They didn't turn on their search light and there's handy foliage around to hide in. Maybe I'm on my own against this threat.

After it stayed quiet for a little while, and after the Dodgers and Braves ended, I decide to go to bed. And the helicopter returned!

It's not easy having an overactive imagination.