I’ve talked about my imagination before; how proud I am of it and what it can do to me if left to run riot.
However I experienced something on Sunday that just made me want to curl up and die. Or at least panic in a rather unflattering way.
Dave and I went to Mothercare. In of itself nothing amazing or terribly frightening. I did manage to stave off tears (though that was hard work) and I only cooed a little bit (honest) over tiny baby clothes, wash basins and bibs. However, we were mainly in there to look for double prams and we did eventually find one that wasn’t bolted to the floor. So he unhooked it and I had a little bit of a push.
Can I just say… it was the most alien sensation I’ve ever experienced – and I’m a LARPer! I’ve experienced some pretty bizarre stuff! I don’t seem to have any memories of pushing a pram previous to this, not in any capacity, and doing so on the shop floor made my insides twist into knots.
We left a little bit after that and drove back home, but on the way I just turned to Dave and said ‘Why is it, that I can easily imagine Leicester City Centre torn part by a zombie apocalypse, but I can’t imagine myself mooching into town with a double pushchair?’
He laughed, as you’d expect. Even I managed to laugh eventually, but after he pointed out that such a question would make a brilliant blog entry (hence this post) I started to think about it a little deeper.
Imagination is a powerful tool. Mine works from things I have experienced and then runs off with it; turning something simple and/or normal into a high adventure. My imagination takes ideas that exist already and twists them into something new that suits me, be that good or bad. It also takes hold of my fears, wants, lusts and dreams and applies them to real life.So… with the zombie apocalypse; I’ve seen enough zombie books and films, played enough zombie games that its easy for me to take what I’ve ‘learned’ from those things and apply them to the place I live. In my mind’s eye I can see the train station still smoking from the fires within as streams of zombiefied Leicesterites hobble out screaming for brains. Granby Street is lined with broken shop fronts, smashed up cars and the occasional blood splash leading to a thoroughly munched body… which is just about to stand up.
But put me, two babies and a pram together and my brain seems to go into melt down. It just can’t cope. And you’d think that would be easier, right? I mean; I see family units all the time, particularly with the amount of time I spend people watching in Neros. I see lots of prams with calm babies, happy babies, screaming babies. I see cheerful mothers, harassed mothers, tired mothers, teary mothers. Several of my friends have children as well and I see them, or pictures of them regularly interacting with their offspring. Its on TV too; everywhere. So with all that food for my brain, why can’t I process it and apply it to myself?
The only explanation I can come up with right now, is that because none of it has happened to me that I can’t easily apply those images to me. I can do it with my sister(s), my mother, a random stranger on the street. Its easy to superimpose the image of a child onto any of them. But there’s nothing in my life, close enough to ME that I can use as a base.
Not that I’ve ever been in a zombie apocalypse, you understand, but I’ve played games where I had to try to put myself into that situation, so my brain has had practise. I’ve not had to put myself into the mindset of juggling twins, so that’s harder.
So… I think this is going to be a great exercise for my imagination. I think it will only get stronger as a result. The fact is, I am going to experience this very soon. There’s no shaking that. Indeed, I should be practising now, so I can start to get a feel for how I might react when faced with the reality.
Heh, I’ll let you know how I get on!