A long time ago I had an imaginary friend. And because I was an extremely creative six year old, I called him Mister. My mother, who had a better grasp on reality then, never thought this was strange. I had the advantage to be able to take Mister wherever I went, could make him say whatever I needed him to say, and I could convince myself, and some of the people around me that he was real.
Mister was really cool, and he served me well until I outgrew Mister.
I needed to replace Mister somehow, so I was enrolled in Sunday School in a small town in Argentina where my family was living while our next stop was made inhabitable again after the Germans trashed it, followed by the Canadians and finally the Americans.
Sunday School was a hoot, I learned about a new imaginary friend called God. He was almost as cool as Mister, but he was also more grown up. He screwed Virgins, drowned humanity, killed off people he did not approve of. He was a grown up Imaginary Friend, and he was not at all under my control. He told me what to say, what to think, what to do and mostly what not to do. Unlike Mister , I was totally not sure that he was real. On the other hand, most of the people around me were convinced that he was real.
Later I learned that there were imaginary friends for all kinds of people. These Imaginary Friends were just as real as Mister, but a whole lot scarier, and totally out of control of anyone who did not believe that they were real. A whole army of Imaginary Friends, one for each man woman and child in the Universe. So overpowering were these imaginary friends that they were handed to you, whether you wanted them or not, and told to believe that they were real.
Along the way, I also found out that there were large herds of Imaginary Friends that had expired because people no longer needed them, believed that they were real or just outgrew them.
Nowadays I really miss Mister. He was mine, he was real, and he did what I needed him to do; keep me safe in my belief that my small world was safe for a six year old who really only wanted to be safe.
I truly believe that all those Imaginary Friends belonging to other people have made my world unsafe for even my Mister.
I want him back!