At some point in my childhood, I began to realize I was different. I mean other than the usual brown eyes and brown hair not being like the red or blond hair and blue/green/hazel eyes of the kids in the neighborhood. Or thin when others were, well, fat. Or poor at sports while others were agile. None of that, those were all understandable.
I realized I was all alone in my head.
I don't know when it happened for the first time but it came to me that I lived inside a skull and peered out through these little portals called "eyes". It would be many years before Timothy Leary would describe the human body as a "robot" we manipulate and sometimes control with our minds. But I knew that in childhood, way before LSD became popular.
I realized that each of us is alone in that same way. We have no idea what anyone else is thinking. I had all these thoughts going on inside my head, all these fantasies ('daydreams', they call them) entertaining me when I had nothing else going on, and no one else seemed to know about them unless I told them. And that was discouraged.
My brother would make fun of them, my father frown at my lack of industry (wasting time with daydreams), my mother would listen to them but dismiss them. No one seemed to think they were important. But they were... to me.
In a lot of ways, I was a lonely child. These daydreams became my escape from that. Some kids had imaginary friends, they say. I never did. There were few others in my daydreams and, if any others were there, they were seriously second tier players in the drama. The stories were always about Me.
And I was Perfect. I was strong, I was agile, I was talented, I was error-free. In short, everything I knew I wasn't in the world outside my head.
Things were so much easier before I grew up.
A Night Unremembered
7 years ago