My friend Janice was named after her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-infinitygreat-grandfather (her parents were concerned ‘Janus’ came with too many responsibilities, but they went with it anyway). She’s a pretty awesome friend. Sometimes she’s super-awesome. Sometimes she’s a real downer. She’s got that little something extra that raises her to a different level. Like, I don’t know, the level of a descendant of a Roman god wont to drowse on Mount Olympus (which, by the way, was sublet to the Greeks for some time until the damages they incurred exceeded the security deposit, but that’s another story for another day…).
Janice is my imaginary friend. I KNOW she’s imaginary. Sort of. No one can see her. No one can talk to her (not even me, at times), or reason with her (least of all me!). Some people know about her, and even believe she’s there, but try to pretend she doesn’t exist (she really hates that, and throws epic hissy fits). But she’s with me. All the time. I will never be without her. Ever. I wish I could explain her, really make people SEE her. Or truly GET it. Or her. Or me. I’m lucky to have loved ones who try, but so many times, they forget to get the impact her ‘being’ has on my life. It’s a lot to ask.
She’s the angel on my right shoulder, the devil on my left, and the nameless, bewildered creature squatting on my head whilst clutching my hair for dear life. Sometimes it’s exhausting bearing the burden of her constant presence. I don’t talk to her when others are around, because that would be kind of weird (and would likely lead to a long, involuntary vacation at an undisclosed location where they serve lots of soft foods that don’t require any utensil more threatening than a spork). She shapes seemingly simple situations (omg almost accidental alliteration!) into something hopelessly complicated. She is never boring. She hoards emotions, then blasts them back at me when I’m most vulnerable. What can I say? She’s kind of a bitch that way.
I don’t think everyone gets to have a Janice of their own. Just like not everyone gets to live with bipolar disorder, or depression, or anxiety, or chronic pain, or ptsd, or MS, or cancer, or blindness, or a crippling case of the heebie-jeebies, or diabeetus, or old timer’s. I KNOW my travels with Janice have never been boring, that’s for sure, and they are far from over – whither thou goest, and all that. I just wish she would stop making friends along the way!