My childhood just died in an apartment in California today. He died of reasons called asphyxiation. Word I couldn’t spell when I was a kid. Word I don’t understand even now. And my childhood died of it.
Peculiar little character, my childhood. Delightfully notorious, painstakingly hilarious and insightfully thoughtful. He taught me the meaning of a whole new word. And no, the word wasn’t asphyxiation. It was hope.
I could still hear him whistling his way through as he came into the classroom. In a world full of educators who made me feel like a deposit fund to be broken someday, he came in as a teacher and showed me that I am not a cheque to be cashed in someday. That I exist! “Carpe Diem”, he said and I believed him.
I remember him as a tall, blue giant, with a funny beard and a funnier demeanor. I remember him sweeping in on his carpet, taking me places I couldn’t imagine existed. He taught me that wishes do come true, all you have to do is believe.
I remember him as a lunatic who lived inside a board game. I remember him taking me far away, in a mystical land with creatures that are both haunting and adorable. Does he still live in the board game? Would he come back if I roll the dice?
I also remember him as the psychologist who never charged me for his time. Who listened to me, who understood me. Who showed me that all my miseries and all my demons aren’t something I have to live with for the rest of my life. “It’s not your fault”, he said to me over and over and over and I believed him.
Where has he gone now? Have any of you seen him? Does he not see me rubbing upon a lamp wishing he’d come back? Or does he not see me rolling the dice over and over until I could get the number that might bring him back? Does he not see me wishing upon a star, waiting for him to come back,because he was the one who taught me that wishes do come true?
How could he manage to give the whole world around him hope and happiness and contentment? How could he not find the same from the world around him? Was he a hypocrite all this time? Or was he a skeptic of his own beliefs?
I wish I could’ve saved my childhood, just like he saved me. If you ever come upon him tell him that I thank him. Also tell him that I forgive him.
Will my childhood come back as the tall, blue giant that I always imagined him to be? Will he grant me 3 wishes? Because if he would, I’d wish for him to come back all the three times…..