Liana says she daydreams in these kinda-idealistic fantasies where she is elected to represent all humans and go speak to aliens on our behalf. She imagines telling them of our world and sharing the secrets of humanity and the universe. She tells me this as a daydreaming scientist after tilting the bottom of her pub glass of Lagunitas toward the ceiling, clearing any residual hoppy residue.
I shove my tortilla chip into the travesty of cheesy buffalo chicken ranch dip and tell her there is no way the world is electing a lesbian to represent the world. Liana glares and asks what I daydream about. I tell her, “Honestly, I don’t know if I daydream.”
When I catch myself thinking in empty spaces of time, it is usually about things I could have said in the earlier part of the day that would have made me sound smarter. Or I am thinking about all the mean things I am not allowed to say as a professional, but that some of my colleagues need to hear anyway.
My thoughts usually veer toward the violent and charge toward aggressive clap backs that would probably get me fired if I actually voiced them. Like a good reader, I imagine that every person I do not care for is Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter’s rival, and that somehow the Whomping Willow, a violent plant growing at Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, will happen upon them unsuspectingly.
Of course, I identify as the ever-amazing Harry. The truth is that I am probably Ron but I don’t let Liana know that. We haven’t been dating long enough for her to know that I am a crotchety ginger.
Similar instances of mild disagreements have led me to my more insidious daydreams where no one gets hurt, per se. Once I had a tiff with my mother, and I stood in the shower thinking about how I knew her Facebook password. I could hack it and post one not-funny meme from her Facebook every day until no one thought she was funny anymore.
“Who is laughing now, Mom?” was literally a thought that crossed my mind while shaving. My micro-agression daydreams have very little to do with the grandiose dreams of my lover. My diary daydreams are fodder for the daily fights I long to have but hold back for fear of someone not liking me.
The only person from whom I never held back was my childhood imaginary friend named Destiny. She surprisingly looked a lot like my childhood friend also named Destiny. But real Destiny changed day cares when we were 5, and I never saw her again.
Imaginary Destiny was way cooler. She did what I told her to do, followed me around and supported me. During that month, when I was 7, I decided that I was only going to speak Spanish for a while. I didn’t actually know Spanish, but my mom didn’t know that, so I made up my own Spanish that Destiny totally understood.
I spoke to her in my gibberish Spanish while I played with my plastic dinosaurs and ignored anyone speaking English to me. That came shortly after Destiny and I decided that we would not take baths anymore. We would sit in the bathroom and run the bathwater while sitting outside it speaking in gibberish about our day.
Not very much longer after that, I burned my finger on the oven. I had been playing where I was told not to and grabbed something I wasn’t supposed to. I am not even sure if I remember what it was that I grabbed. Either way, Mom yelled at me and threatened to spank me for directly disobeying her orders to stay away from the hot oven.
I remember my eyes narrowing, much like they do today, and thinking, “I will show her. How dare she threaten to spank me?” I wanted to crawl in the oven and die and blame Mom for my melodramatic oven ending. Unfortunately, I was too much of a chicken to actually crawl into the hot oven. I had just felt what an oven could do, after all. So I told Destiny to get in the oven to teach Mom a lesson.
When I was a 7-year-old, dirty, dingy, gibberish-speaking, vendetta-holding, aggressive little brat, I inadvertently killed Destiny to try to have a teachable moment for my mother. While I did stop having an imaginary friend, I never stopped having these melodramatic daydreams that perch on the phrase, “That will show them.”
People live in my memory as terrible adversaries that I must defeat with trivialities. These sometimes come in the form of not liking someone’s Instagram photo when I usually would have, or conveniently forgetting that my mother likes mushrooms on her pizza and then ordering a pepperoni pizza.
My daydreams are my opportunity to be the petty, petulant 7-year-old with narrowed eyes and a general disdain for authority that I am not allowed to carry with me into adult life.
I look off into the neon lights across the bar and wonder who I would be if Destiny had intervened.
Megan Bronson of Fresno is the story coordinator at My LGBT Plus website. She is a recent graduate of Fresno State, where she was politics and opinions editor for The Collegian. Her column was awarded third place nationally by the Associated Collegiate Press. Connect with her at Megan@mylgbtplus.org.