I am going to play a game- a mind game: I remain the only participant as it suits me splendidly: two is a crowd. I am going to close up to the world around me, close my eyes and imagine all the badness around me does not affect me; that I have a million friends who love me unconditionally and a million more queuing up in a single file halfway across the world wanting to make friends with me.

As I know what it’s like to be friendless, I will make friends with each in turn and have a mutual trust and respect with all my new friends.

I am going to have a best friend: a girl who wears cute plaid skirts and twirls around in circles on tip toe to show me how cute she feels: a girl who whispers nothings in my ear and knows every little miniscule detail of my life: a best friend who feels incomplete without me; who understands me enough to like the opposites in every situation, just like I do: who smiles at me and talks to me alone but doesn’t want us to get married because, her own words, she’s a free spirit and wouldn’t want to be obliged to cook for me and wash for me. Anyways, she would not even like babies with big heads and big ideas like mine- she’d never stand for it: would never want them out of her sight and would choke them with kisses. Nope, that wouldn’t be good. And then there’s the hopelessness about me that would drive her crazy and so madly in love with me.

I am going to imagine I have no family and hence no roots. That I belong to no race in particular and my current family is a bunch of imposters; that I was conceived in the sea, born of the mating of the seasons; that I grew up without attachments, without pain; with so much love that I do not associate pain for what it brings but as a sacrifice for all things good.

I am going to imagine my eyes never ran dry and the tears I cry are rivers of love flowing into the worlds’ greatest seas; that all civilization by herd instinct finds their way to the banks and lap these healing waters.

My mind has convinced me that I do not belong but to all religions of the world and that they all lead the same way, that of everlasting peace in heaven. So that being, I do not have to conflict within myself.

I am a General, leading my men into the battlefield of the mind, waging war against myself, against the worries that have plagued me all my life: questions on what I will eat, whether I’ll finish my education, if I am loved, why no one cares, why nobody calls, why I am so lonely: I, the General will battle self esteem, childhood trauma, invisibility and self-doubt.

I am going to imagine I did not hate my dad and do not actually flinch whenever he calls my name and that he did actually love me and I wasn’t that ashamed of him that I would get around to inviting my friends over for lunch.

My mind has directed me to say my mom actually made time for me and was not so busy worrying about us and I grew up in the same neighborhood and made a million lifelong friends. That my mom wasn’t so bossy and such a busy-body that she wouldn’t unnerve me whether she’s around.

I’d imagine I had a library a mile long and sat down with no interruption and read a million books a day  and my tongue wasn’t so glib that I could narrate what I read and hold everyone spellbound and be applauded at the end. Everyone would comment on how bright I was and I would actually believe them without letting it get to my head.

I am going to imagine I was never made to walk around town as a child with a placard around my neck and it didn’t affect me so much all this while: that I actually believed in the power of my mind and really believed God cared enough for me and if He did, I’d ask Him why badness followed me around like a second skin and why I am so mismatched like a child in grown up clothes or a bull in a china shop. I’d ask God why the last gift He left me, the crayons that color my world are becoming harder to use and why everyday it gets harder and harder to breathe.

Let me imagine whatever I’ve gone through has been a preparation for the times ahead and it was a baptism of fire so that when the mantle of authority bears down on my shoulders, I’d draw strength upon strength from my past experiences. I would finally be ready to be a man among men and do man things and be applauded and those who are weak would follow me.

So I sit back and wait for such a time when I would be the man I was created to be.