“What the hell are you doing here??”
Jordan slumped up on his bed, rubbing his eyes.
“Errrr this is my room der brain! Why are you in my bed?” the child replied.
“This is my bed what are you talking about?” Jordan said.
Jordan sighed. He was so confused. Sitting on the corner of his bed was him.
But not quite.
“I always wondered what it would be like to meet you.” the child said, excitedly. “I bet you’re awesome. I always knew I would be!’
“So what do you do? Spaceman, ninja, footballer, fireman or ooooh I kn’ the child carried on.
“No I don’t do any of those things” Jordan responded flatly, interrupting th child..
I’m actually having a conversation with his 5 year old self….well might as well go with it, he thought.
“So what do you like doing?” Jordan said as he swung his legs from under the covers to sit next to the child.
“Oooh I like to ride my bike, play football with my friends, drawing, reading horror stories, playing with Ian, going to the…”the child rambled.
“Playing with Ian?” Jordan raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah ya know Ian? My best friend!” the child said grinning towards Jordan.
Then he leant in his ear and whispered “Psssk don’t tell anybody he’s a secret!”
Ahh yes Ian, Jordan remembered. The imaginary friend. How long since I’d thought about him, Jordan thought.
“So what do you do” the child said, refocusing back to Jordan.
“I work in finance. Buying and selling stocks and derivatives. Seeing how the dollar effects the…”
“BOOORRRIIIINNNG” the child snapped back, pulling a silly face.
Jordan was angry now. Who the hell was the kid in his green dinosaur onesie to tell a grown 25 year old man that he was boring?
“So what else do you do?” the child carried on.
“Well, I like…”Jordan drifted off. What else did he do?
Gosh, this kid’s right, I am boring! he thought.
“You was saying?” the kids smiling face now intensely looking upwards at Jordan.
Going to have to disappoint the kid, Jordan thought.
“Ya see kid life isn’t as simple as you have it. Once you get older you can’t just run around all day having fun. You have responsibilities. Need to pay the bills. Gotta survive.”
“Why?” the kid replied, putting one arm on his knee to hold up his chin eagerly awaiting the reply.
“Because that’s just how it goes.” Jordan began to explain. “You go to school, you get an education, you work and you live.”
“Why?” the kid said, still in the same position.
“Because that’s how the world works. Companies create jobs and we get an education to show we can do those jobs. Then we get paid for doing those jobs.” Jordan said, pretty content with his explanation.
“Why?” the child wasn’t giving up.
“Because if everybody lived in a dream world, the world would be chaos! Nobody would do anything and nothing would happen!”
Jordan was angry now. It’s bad enough he interrupted my sleep now hes bugging the shit out of me!
The child fell silent and a calm came over the room. They both observed the room.
The bed was perpendicular to Jordan’s desk, and young Jordan was facing in that direction.
He looked at the table filled with textbooks and pieces of paper. Above it was a wall filled with to-do lists and numbers, larger than he could count.
He got up from the bed and walked over to the other side of the room where his toys used to be. He looked down in horror at stacks of bland newspapers.
‘Where’s my toys?’ he exclaimed, and stamped his foot.
‘Toys?’ Jordan sat up. ‘There long gone, I’ve got no need for them. Have to keep up with the news.’
‘But that was my fun time. Playing. That was my ‘magicnation….’
‘Magic nation?’ Jordan cocked an eyebrow. ‘You mean imagination’
‘Yeah whatever!’ ‘Well that’s what Mrs Harper used to call it. It’s Magic Nation time. In timeout we play make-believe.
Jordan’s mind flashed back. He remembered magic nation time. Where he and the other kids would play doctor. Or pretend they we’re fireman. Or draw pictures and then put on their own show for the other kids.
Jordan sighed. How sad is it that was more interesting than my life now?
Things changed through the years. He went to secondary school. His dreams of becoming a painter and a craftsmen we’re put to the side. His dad told him to be realistic. School told him to focus on studying.
And look what it’s brought me, he thought. Talking to a bloody 6 year old at 2am!
Young Jordan sensed some sadness in his older self. He sat down back next to Jordan.
Jordan turned to look at him.
‘Nothing’ he replied.
‘You have a sad face’
Great now I’m being counselled by a 6 year old! he thought.
‘I remember.’ he began. ‘I remember how we used to run around in our own world. Spend days just drawing. Nights dreaming.’ He sighed again. ‘There’s something of that I miss’
He had a good life. Good paying job. Interesting friends. Loving family. Yet something was missing.
‘You know mummy says you’re never too old to start’ young Jordan replied.
‘To start what?’
Ahh yes of course she did. She still pushed him towards a stable path though.
Jordan began to understand. Maybe it was because nobody helped her in her dreams.
‘You’re a good kid you know that.’ Jordan said, while ruffling the hair of his younger self.
‘Hey let’s make an agreement. I’ll start dreaming again. And start creating. And I want you to do something for me?’
‘Yes?’ younger Jordan said with a big smile on his face.
And then Jordan did something only his younger self would know. He put his thumb up. And younger Jordan pressed his against it.
They looked into each other’s eyes and slowly the child began to disappear as the sun rose from the window behind him…….