Magical Thinking

I grew up in a large home where everything was nothing like the real world. There was not a spot on the white rugs nor do I ever remember seeing a bug in the house. When I came home from school my room was cleaned, the bathroom scrubbed and everything in the house seemed to be in its right place. Everything was white except the art on the walls and outside the windows were beautiful oak trees, japanese gardens, a large pool and acres of landscaped grounds. It was a kind of veritable paradise that I grew up in, but as a child I was never able to see it for what it was. Instead I saw ghosts when I looked out the windows. I was afraid to walk down the long dark hallways at night and during the days I carried around a bundle of anxiety because I knew that I would get into trouble if I got a stain on the carpet or knocked anything out from its rightful place. My house was a kind of childhood prison- a prison that forced me to develop magical thinking in order to survive.

Growing up I do not remember my father being a happy man. He was always working and when home he was exhausted by the amount of time he had to spend at work. I remember him always being angry at someone and the someone was usually me. My father could not understand why his son would have deep conversations with his stuffed animals, spend hours in his room pretending to be a rock star while playing air guitar with a tennis racquet or run naked around the yard trying to catch the sun in the palm of my hands. I constructed forts in my room (which I refused to come out from), built a cockpit in my bathroom and pretended that the house was a ship and I was its pilot. I gave myself blow jobs using a hair dryer. When I was forced outside I would often avoid playing with other kids and spend hours pretending that I was flying around on a magic carpet through the landscaped back yard. As the years passed- my father became more concerned about the make-believe world that I seemed to be immersed in. He took me from one psychologist to another until a heavy-set therapist with a sculpted smile on his face told my father what he needed to hear. “It is a form of harmless denial, otherwise known as magical thinking,” the therapist told my father. “Your son is using magical thinking to deal with the stressors of childhood,” he said. My father was concerned that this behavior would follow me into adulthood. “If the defense mechanism survives beyond childhood it could become a serious problem, but I think your  son will out grow his magical thinking.” My dad took a relived deep breath but I think he knew then that something was seriously wrong.

My wife tells me that it is wrong that I spend so much time in the “make believe.” I often defend my magical thinking by telling her that there is no difference between the dream world and the real world. We are all playing a part and most of us just decide to play a similar part that everyone else plays. She is disturbed that I still often like to dress up in my Micheal Jackson and walk around downtown; that I like to spend my days pretending that I am someone else. She is not as concerned when I build forts in the back yard and pretend that I am camping out in the Himalayan mountains but it worries her that I still use my hair dryer for sexual gratification. “You are a grown man who acts like a seven years old child,” I often hear. She tells me that I am “escaping from my real world problems….. that I am not ready to accept the responsibilities of being an adult.” Maybe she is right, but all I can say in my defense is that I have been enjoying the fantastical pleasures of magical thinking since I was a child and it feels all right to me. My wife just shakes her head in frustration and walks away.


  1. Dear Randall,

    I’ve been away for the summer, and now that I’ve returned to the Internet, this is the first Absurdistry post that greets me.

    As far as cosmetological auto-erotica is concerned, I think I agree with your wife, Sir. Ha, ha!

    I still owe you a beer.

    Yours Truly,


    1. Welcome back! I’ve been wondering where you were. Glad to see that you wondered back over to this desolate part of the digital world upon your arrival.

      “cosmetological auto-erotica”- this gave me a good laugh. Thank you.

      Owe….and I look forward to the day I get to take you up on that beer. I hope your life and work is well.


  2. Hi. This is a beautiful piece of writing, because it makes me think a bit more than some other blogs out there. Sometimes I live in a make-believe world too, but I don´t think that is a problem, as long as you know that it is make believe LOL. You have certainly used your make believe-skills to become a good writer. A good writer needs imagination. Those writers who don´t have the imagination needed don´t move other people with their writings, don´t affect other people as much. For me, pretending is essential for a good sense of humour too. I, for example, often pretends on facebook that Ewan McGregor knocked on my door, offering me a diamond. I am usually very disappointed, because his diamond normally turns out to be some plastic shit from the Star Wars filmset. For me that is facebook-humour (and god knows that is needed in the facebook-world) and some of my facebookfriends really appreciates my stories about how Ewan McGregor visits me in the small suburb in the south of Sweden, where I live. I wouldn´t have been able to joke like this if I hadn´t have to live in a fantasyworld when growing up. I grew up in a filthy, dirty home, and I used my imagination to escape. But I became a writer! And I got a diamond ring from Ewan McGregor.

    1. Thank you Lisa. Ewan McGregor? Interesting choice of men to give you a diamond ring- but I see the appeal. I am glad you got one from him- even better that it is imaginary 🙂 How is life over there south of Sweden?

  3. People tell me that I live in my own little world, and i reply its a hell of a lot better than reality. There’s never a dull moment in Greg’s world, so I say hey..have fun in your with magical thinking!

  4. Hi. Life is quite hard sometimes here in the south of Sweden. Why is Ewan McGregor an interesting choice? I´ve had a crush on him since Trainspotting in 1996. He is the best. They did a survey in England: Who would you like to give you a diamond on Christmas morning? Apparantely, Ewan was the man that the Brittish women wanted to recieve a diamond from. I wrote on facebook that I would just be happy with a cup of coffee and a nice “hello”, so he would know which woman he would go to first, so to speak…. I would never expect a diamond from a man. But actually he turned up with this diamond one day when I sat in my kitchen, feeling lonely. I am looking for a betterman. I could marry Eddie Vedder too, but he is already married, to a supermodel one year younger than me. 😦 (McGregor is married too, though).

  5. I do live in a world of my own in my head; usually I can tell them apart and deal with it but sometimes the day job makes it harder.
    But in the event of having to choose, I’d choose the one in my head. At least I have some control over that.
    and at least you never admitted to using a vacuum cleaner.

  6. hmm there is a possibility you may have too much time on your hands… but then again i have heard tell of a neverneverland where one never grows up…. keep writing…. a most enjoyable post…

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