A letter to my imaginary childhood friend – What the F…!

May 19 2016

Hi Bill

It should have been another lovely day on Sydney Harbor but smoke from hazard reduction burning in the North West has swept across the City, crowding the sun and enveloping everything in a dusty, grey haze.

Not to worry, you and I have lived through enough dirty, hazy days to know the sun is going to shine again.

My time with you as a child was my sunlight, you were my parallel universe, forged in the glossy pages of the Australian Womens Weekly which would arrive in the mail box, a few days late each week. The Weekly was full of pictures of Royalty, the latest society photos from Sydney and Melbourne, and of course: the romance and fairy tale marriage of Prince Rainier and Princes Grace of Monaco.

You shared most of my days, at first mum was part of this imaginary world; but no one else was admitted, or truthfully; would have had the time or inclination to join.

You were the person I would confide in, I would spend hours revelling in your immense trappings of imagined wealth and security, far removed from the tensions of home

I don’t know what a Psychiatrist would make of your unfortunate habit of losing your wives; they would conveniently die of a wide variety of exotic illnesses, well before you could fall out of love with them.

You would be grief stricken and bury them in a special plot near the front gate of your property with the graves shallow enough, so their painted toes would stick out of the earth.  You would pay homage to them every time you drove through the gates.

The next Mrs Wilson would seemingly accept this macabre arrangement, as somehow, you would recover from your bereavement and fall madly in love, again and again.

We would spend hours wandering the paddocks, usually with an old dog in tow; chattering away as you became the friend and confidant I never had in real life.

We stayed best friends for years; well after this was probably healthy; I avoided real people so I could spend more time with you.

In truth, there were not a lot of real people around, our nearest neighbours were two kilometres away and the growing aloofness of my mother towards other people in the area, meant that play dates were not really on the agenda.

Bill, you were my friend when I needed one, strangely; I can remember virtually all of our chats with great affection. To me you were much more than imaginary.

Thank You



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