I have got a problem, a condition if you like – an overractive imagination. I guess this can be handy in some cases, but in many in can be a pain in the arse!
This week was a prime example. I was in the park with my daughter. It’s a small park, concealed by trees and rather hidden away. In most instances this is a blessing, and as I sat lazing in the late afternoon sun watching my daughter clamber up and down the slide pretending to be an elephant – I was appreciating the fact that no other bugger was there.
This was until the gate creaked open and a man staggered in. This man was hairy. Very hairy in fact….And was carrying a bundle of what looked like rags.
He was probably harmless, and there was probably nothing wrong with him – he might have even been the local vicar having an off day – but as he sat on the bench opposite me, staring, he really started to freak me out.
And so my imagination started to kick in…
I decided that this hairiest of men had evil eyes, and concealed in his bundle was a knife. I glanced at the bundle again and considered whether there could have been blood stains on those rags – my tummy lurched.
Suddenly I could see a scene emerging before me. The man would spring forward with the grace of a gazelle – grabbing my daughter whilst screaming devil-like chants. This would prompt me to jump up in a superhuman response and run to him, yelling like a crazed banshee. I would wrestle him to the ground – getting stabbed in the process.
My brain continued to tick over. Would my daughter have the sense to run? Would she be able to open the stiff gate? Had I taught her what to do in such instances? Should I? Or would that scare her half to death?
A bubble of panic was rising inside of me. Meanwhile, Mr Hairy was still on the bench. He was still hairy and I swear he was starting to twitch.
So I took action. I walked casually (I thought) over to my daughter (by now making elephant noises – not easy) and told her softly that we should go.
“I have something to show you…” I said, trying to tempt her, feeling guilty that she had only had ten minutes
“Where?” She was suspicious.
“Over there…” I pointed vaguely towards the nearby allotments.
My daughter did not look convinced.
“Don’t want to go!”
“It’s really exciting! It’s magical!” I continued, wondering what the hell I would show her. A broken wheelbarrow? A planted marrow?
I was half dragging her out now, feeling (i was convinced) Mr Hairy’s glare, picturing him running after us – knife in hand.
Just outside the gate my daughter looked at me in digust “You’re silly..”
“We had to leave that man alone” I whispered, trying to explain. “He needs some peace and quiet”
“WHAT MAN?” my daughter then shouted. “IS HE SMELLY?”
I think we can safely assume that if Mr Hairy was indeed phychotic, his switch would have flicked there and then and I would not be here typing this story….
My bloody brain has a lot to answer for!