Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Imaginary Friends

When I was a kid my imaginary friend was named Ernie. He wore a shirt like Ernie from Sesame Street, one with lots of tiny stripes, but other than that I don't think he had much of an appearance. Mostly he accompanied me places and watched things that I did. I explained to him what I was doing and why, and often talked to him when I was trying to fall asleep, or when I was by myself in the bathtub or out in the woods. If I had chores to do, pulling the weeds from the driveway say, I would explain it to Ernie: "we have pull the weeds up and make sure we get the roots, then fill up the bucket. After the bucket is full we can throw the weeds over the fence."

Ernie stuck around the longest, but I had an entire cast of characters. No-Name was a big, bulky kid, at first a bully, until I did something nice for him and we became friends. He has hair like one of the dogs from Loony Tunes cartoons that fell over his eyes, covering them completely. Eggmund was my arch-enemy, and his name came from what I believed at the time to be the name of the bratty kid from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe cartoon I had on VHS. We got in a fistfight once, which involved me swinging at the air and then getting fake-punched, and then rolling around the living room floor with an invisible assailant. I believe we wound up being friends eventually too, however. Or maybe Eggmund was just friends with my other imaginary friends, and that's why he was around so much. I have the vague feeling that there were more, that there were dozens of them, but those are the only three that I remember.

I'm working on a project for one of my classes in which I have to research something and write an essay of "instances." I'm interested in writing about imaginary friends, how people interacted with them, and what they remember of them or think of them as adults. I assumed they were pretty common, but most of the friends I've asked say they didn't have any. So I'm asking around, collecting anecdotes and taking notes for now. If anyone remembers having imaginary friends and wants to share something, even just names or a story or two, let me know. I'll be most appreciative and I'll get a copy of the final paper in your hands, if you're interested. Or, just drop a "no, I never had any" in the comment box, that would be helpful too. If you have anything to share you can submit it in the comments or send me a note to

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