….I dream of a different reality and I wish it could all be different. I wish I could live a different reality and it be real. Perfect, exactly as I want it. It would maybe go something like this…
Rain. All the time, off and on, always cloudy. And one snowfall, every Christmas Eve. But lots of rain, making it mandatory to wearing trench coats with turned up collars everywhere, with black hats with black lace and black feathers and black umbrellas with fancy handles. And black hats for the guys, with long capes. And deerstalkers for everyone.
And I’d do different things, depending on where I was in the world.
Here in the US, I will see my sister in Hollywood and stay at the private beach house that we’ll share. She’ll have the top half and I’ll have the bottom. We’ll have our own horses that we’ll ride up and down the beach and in the waves. When our schedules work, we’ll take road trips all over the country, visiting wax museums and massive libraries and old-fashioned diners for old-fashioned milk shakes. I’ll find new places of inspiration for new books and she’ll remember all the locations so that when they are big sellers she’ll come back and direct the movie versions herself (after she’s remade all my old embarrassing stories into a couple of comedy shows because she seems keen on, well, embarrassing me). We’ll go to film premieres and the opening night of every Marvel movie that is Avengers related and all the comic cons and Star Wars conventions across the country.
And when we feel like it, when we pass through small quiet towns, we’ll dress in black, leather and studs and go around pretending we’re motorcycle hotshots down the main drag to practice our improvisation and practice sassy witty comebacks and have something to laugh about later because that was so out of character for us. But who doesn’t like being a memorable character somewhere in the world to somebody.
Because we could.
England; I’d live half the year in America but the other half in England; I’d have a country estate where I could write and watch the wind hit the trees and fields with the dark clouds all over—through a big window because it would be in a nice modest castle, with a small drawbridge, tall taper candles everywhere and a big sweeping stair case.
There would be a dog, my Rottweiler who I would name Bucky Barnes and I’d have a cat who I would call Loki and he’d sit on my lap while I write and pur for me. And Bucky would run in the mud puddles in the enclosed courtyard and get dirty and I’d give him bubble baths in the big old fashioned tub, because, well I like dogs. The three of us will watch Grimm in my bedroom, because my bed will be a big four post bed with a canopy which means there will be plenty of room to snuggle to watch scary dark tv shows. With the shutters banging on the window.
I wouldn’t just have a house in the country, I’d have a big flat in the middle of London; money no object, here, obviously. I would have my regular address and also my 221b hanging on my door and it will confuse all the other neighbors and the mailman, at least for a while. I wouldn’t do a lot of writing in London, London is where I stay when I want to be running around.
I’d visit Baker Street everyday to blow a kiss at the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which I would be extremely familiar with. I would ride everywhere on the double deck buses, and only the top deck. I’d make the streets a perfect map in my head so I would never be lost. I would shop and I would walk and watch people. No coffee shop breaks, just an occasional Shasta cheery soda on the go. In the evening I’d watch Dr Who with hot chocolate in my living room and keep my window open a crack to hear and smell the rain.
Because I like rain a lot.
And of course, whenever I run into The Doctor I’m out (because obviously he would be in England twice as quickly as I would, no doubt running around with a sonic screwdriver), we would make up an adventure and roam the streets pretending to stop daleks and jumping in and out of police boxes pretending we’re flying through time. And then we’d go to Cardiff.
We’d have Dr Who marathons indoors while we wait out really heavy storms and use the window seat to study Doyle’s books and old maps to figure out routes Sherlock would have used on different cases, then we’d go back out in the dark and take those routes to see where we end up; we’d pretend it was Victorian times again and find a carriage and pay the driver to go extra fast and pretend some more that we were Holmes and Watson chasing after a suspect. And then we’d somehow climb to the top of Big Ben so we could get the real view of England by night.
Because we could.
Sometimes I wish for impossible things, things that seemingly could happen but are likely not to. Maybe my sister and I will go on a road trip sometime, and maybe I can visit England one day and I will go and die inside the Sherlock Holmes museum, preferably with my best friend, but unless I become a millionaire, there is no way I’ll have a castle or have a beach house or be able to go to every comic con that ever occurs. And it’s probably impossible to climb to the top of Big Ben.
Very likely, most of what I wrote above won’t ever happen.
And that is where the ever valuable lesson in contentment comes to play. So, I can’t stop everyday on Baker Street or keep a snug apartment in London; that’s why I put ‘221b’ on my bedroom door and that’s why, before I go to bed, I look at my poster and blow Sherlock and John each a kiss before I turn the light off every. single. night. That’s why each book I pick up becomes a time machine and takes me to another place right in my own room and I can be in a whole new universe for over an hour and then I can come back. And I’ve learned to be content with that.
Because a very long time ago, I discovered for myself that things, places, especially money, do not buy you happiness. Contentment in what God has blessed me with gives me happiness, and if He ends up blessing me with a chance to stand on Baker Street and scream with happiness, well, I won’t be complaining. But no matter how imperfect my life story seems to be right now, I’m still trying to remember that at least the perfect storyteller is in control of mine. And He at least knows where His plot is going. And I can be content about that.
But He sure as heck didn’t give me this imagination for nothing.
And that’s why, every once and while, I dream of the seemingly impossible.