Put a Label on Your Experience

My finest aspiration as a child, a boy, was to be a lake monster. Not in the sea where such ugliness seems to ooze from hadean chimneys super frequently. Not in the sea but in a lake, in a small spot of water near a town, fringed with fine conifers and full of pristine little pebbles which would tickle my monsterbelly, which would skip from child hands on the surface above me, leaving momentary silver blemishes.

I would pick one child to befriend, one needy boy or girl with darkness on their brows and hunger and empty shoes. Having watched and waited, I would pick one sad moment when the child's world was like a sack of molasses and I would rise above the cool water and the eye contact would bond us.

And there would be adventures, naturally. There would be dopey sheriff's deputies to foil. Wicked land developers to battle. Bait shop owners to confuse. Victories and heavy auras of champion energy. One day, boosted with confidence and a powerful sense of self-worth, my friend would walk away from the lake forever to enrich the world with whatever the hell it was they wanted to do with their adult lives.

I loved talking about these dreams to the children at school. I rendered them in finger paint, in poster paint, in crayon, in marker, in colored pencils. When they put the kibosh on my dreams, I argued that they were wrong; in their mind they were the experts, but I wasn't happy to accept their cynical bloviating. I noted with bitterness that fairly frequently, they tended to have a habit of translating something weird into something somewhat less splendid.

That's a problem. That's a dealbreaker.