For some reason, the last three days, the lyrics to Castle on a Cloud from Les Miserables has been etched into my brain. It’s an extremely sad song about a little, neglected girl dreaming about her fantasy castle where she will be safe and happy. It got me thinking about fantasy places. We all have “places” that we go when we are sad, scared, or need to disconnect from reality for a bit. Often times, these fantasy places that we go to have fantasy guests that join us there; they could be real people in our lives that we miss, or care about, or they could be people we know we’re most likely never going to meet, but in our heads, they can dine with us at our fantasy hotel.
I have a lot of fantasy places that I go to when I’m upset. There’s one I go to with J (the inn that we want to buy someday); with A, in my head, I often to go a USO dance in 1944 where we pick up sailors and dance ’til dawn (I never said I was sane); with T, I often go to California and imagine us driving through the hills of Northern Cali and meeting interesting people at small coffee shops. These fantasies connect me with the people I miss and love; they’re usually fantasies of events that I know we would enjoy (or, in A’s case, would have enjoyed) together.
The other day I got locked out of my house, temporarily, and while struggling with my keys, I stopped and took a second to look at my keychain. My bright red keychain is a fake motel key; the Admiral bought it for me when we were shopping together in DC one weekend. We thought that they were adorable because they were like “old-fashioned” motel key chains (opposed to the new cards you slide in the door); he bought us each one. Now, we both have them on our keys; I know it’s silly, but to look at that keychain, it reminds me of all the amazing times we had together in our little fantasies and dreams. Although we still talk a lot, and he’s so important to me, a part of “us” is now forever gone. I’m not his and he’s not mine. However, in this fake motel, in this fake little town, we’re still “us” laughing and dancing in this fake little motel room with busted curtains and dimmed lights.
Where do you go to escape in your fantasies? And who joins you?