I’m a jerk. Or, perhaps even a “dick”, as you kids like to say.
It’s something that’s been pointed out to me quite a bit lately by a few of my imaginary friends, and after some initial resistance on my part, I’ve decided that I’m largely OK with it. I am who I am, no one on the internet really “knows” me, different parts of the elephant, et cetera and so forth.
Last night I drafted a piece about this, and while it was an awesome hunk of prose, it turned out unsuitable for publication to the Tumblrthingy, due largely to its having more F-words than nouns and verbs put together.
So instead, I will offer you this true story from my youth, noting that there may or may not be similarities–thematic, literal, or allegorical–between this tale and the instances I wrote about in my unpublished screed. Take it as you will.
In the summer of 1980, I remember being invited over to my friend Mike’s house to play with our Star Wars stuff out in his huge backyard, with all kinds of awesome trees and bushes and a tiny little pond. I took my Millennium Falcon, stuffed with figurines.
When I got there, Mike looked through the stuff I’d brought, and said “Is that all your guys?”
“Most of them, yeah.”
“Where’s Boba Fett?”
“I don’t take Fett outside. I don’t want to get him all muddy.”
“Oh you lie.” Mike was not happy. “Because Scott told me you brought Boba Fett to his house the other day.”
Which was true. I had taken the Fettster over to our friend Scott’s house on a previous day. But, being ten, I didn’t think to make the subtle point to Mike that we’d played with Fett indoors. Mike was angry and hurt and thought I was a jerk because I’d shared something of mine with another friend but not with him. And it made me feel like shit, even though in the scope of things I’d done nothing intentionally wrong or hurtful to Mike.
Mike and I didn’t talk for probably a week or so, which is years in terms of a boyhood summer. And ironically, he and Scott allied themselves during that time, leaving me on the outside looking in. We all eventually started playing again, mostly backyard soccer or riding bikes, but we never played with our Star Wars toys together after that.