Heavenly creatures.

When I was four years old, I had imaginary friends. They had names like Pasta, Dr ABC, and Nurse Orange. Pasta spoke to me, and he used to fly beside our car. My child has imaginary friends, too. One is a small mouse named Darcy, who is the same size as your pinky fingernail.

Not long ago, I finally watched "Heavenly Creatures", directed by New Zealand’s own Peter Jackson. "Heavenly Creatures" is the precursor to "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Lovely Bones". (There is a theme about imaginary worlds running through Jackson’s work.) "Heavenly Creatures" is based on a true story that happened in 1950s New Zealand. Two teenage girls retreated into an imaginary and obsessive world, and it turned fatal. A young Kate Winslet stars. (Kate Winslet is one of my favourite actors.)

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I have always lived in imaginary worlds. When I was five years old, I started writing stories and scripts. I created elaborate plots for my Barbies. At night, when it was time to go to sleep, I acted out all the parts in my stories. During the day, I directed my brother and my friends on the school playground and in the neighbourhood.

Now I'm a woman in a car who is talking to herself. While I'm driving, I have imaginary conversations with people. I write letters and emails that I'll never send. I walk around the village, listening to my MP3 player, and I pretend I'm in a music video.

Blogging is like having imaginary friends. But you reply. I'm not having a conversation with myself.

You are robots, or you are real.

A post-apocalyptic world. The ice caps and glaciers have melted. The last humans are living under small bio-domes, scattered all over the world. Sometimes we risk everything, and leave the safety of the domes, to swim in chemical seas filled with mutant sharks and terrorist pirates who want to harvest our organs. More often, we remain in the fortresses provided by the domes. We plug ourselves into an alternate reality, where we're connected online. Being online consumes our energy, leaves us physically and mentally wasted, but we can't stop ourselves. We have avatars who live in this imaginary world, because we are social creatures who need the connections we find there.


harmzie said...

Some - perhaps many - live in that post-apocalyptic world right now. Except the mutant shark is just fear of the unknown. I sometimes feel like it's an trap one (ok me) could easily fall into and I force myself to do uncomfortable things out of fear of letting fear gain a foot-hold.

I don't do very well with metaphors. When I do get it, I'm very proud of myself. And then I realize it was probably supposed to be obvious.

Christina said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, Juli. Thought-provoking. Best wishes to you as you venture from your dome.

Oh, and I love that your son has a miniature imaginary pet mouse. Yesterday mine told me in a very longing and slightly desperate voice, "I wish I were a mouse."

Jack Steiner said...

Sometimes life in the dream world is far more interesting.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Interesting post. I'm adding the movie to my Netflick list.

Suzy said...

I'll have to rent that movie, sounds great and I love Winslet too.