I’ve been to the edge
And there I stood and looked down.
You know I lost a lot of friends there, baby.
I got no time to mess around.
Van Halen ~ Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love
In my innocent youth, I read Lord of the Flies. I read A Handmaid’s Tale and Atlas Shrugged. I read these and other novels, safe in the assumption that I would never mistake their imaginary worlds for the real one. My assumption was valid, but the real world was not.
As I grew older, I discovered that the barrier between the real and the imaginary is not solid but porous. Vampires, zombies, and trolls started showing their faces. I began to put names to their characters. I learned that the imaginary world is no longer a temporary diversion. Sometimes it follows us home.
Now there are some things with which I sympathize most unwillingly because I’ve been to the edge and have looked down.
Note to self: If the word “natty” is out of place in a novel, then it’s probably not a safe place. Tread carefully.