Dancing, shape-shifting, archaeologist/rock star FROM SPACE.
I was… kind of a weird kid. Good natured, but overly intelligent for my age, and I hadn’t quite figured out that other people couldn’t quite keep up with my mental jumps. And as for imagination… phew. Well, kids are imaginative at the best of times, but me…
Ok. To explain. My childhood ambition (and most common type of play) was: Dancing, shape-shifting tiger archaeologist-rockstar FROM SPACE. (this was also the first story I ever told.)
I don’t think I need to tell you I didn’t have many friends.
Which is where BOOKS came in.
I met my best friend after we moved to the tiny country village that shall remain nameless. If I’d been weird in the previous school, here I was a positive pariah. I was friendly at people, but one of the first things said to me was that they ‘wouldn’t talk to townies’ so I was alone.
Till I met L. I gravitated to her. Outcasts can spot their fellows no matter where they go. It’s the tendency to mutter to yourself, to wander around alone with your eyes unfocused (perhaps I should say focused on another place)
So I went over to say Hi.
“Hey. You’d better be my friend, or my invisible wolves will eat you.”
It was not a success.
Until my parents signed me up for drama class. They thought it would help my confidence and encourage me to use my imagination more constructively. And, as me and L were within 6 months of each other in age, and in the same drama class, they assumed we’d be friends and arranged for me to go around her house after school.
It went like this.
“That’s lot of books!”
“I like to read.”
“Me too. Can I read that one?”
My parents came round later to find me and L immersed in our books, ignoring each other. A life long friendship was born.
Since then, L has been the Maid of Honour at my wedding and there for me at every major positive and negative event of my life. She is the best friend a woman could have, and I plan to have her in my life until I’m old and grey.
And without books, we’d never even have been friends.