When I was younger, I used to be a schemer. The quality of my character was probably derived from my wild imagination - an imagination birthed from listening to Fred Penner on vinyl over and over.
For as long as I can remember, I would lie in bed planning my great escape. When sleep failed to arrive, it was usually due to the fact that I was coming up with an elaborate strategy on how I would run away.
These mind games would be initiated by any number of circumstances and feelings. Sometimes I was angry at my family and I didn't want to belong there anymore. Sometimes I simply felt trapped within the confines of my covers and needed a way to escape. Often, it was simply born out of a sense of adventure - an urge to eject oneself from the mundane life an eight year old boy who lived and went to school in small town Ontario.
The schemes started out simple. I would pack my school bag with the essentials; a loaf of bread, clean underwear and a flashlight. Then, super puppy (my stuffed dog) and I would don our capes and bike to Beaner's Bush were we'd construct a fort and live in a society loosely based around fictional Lost Boys of Peter Pan. Then as I moved into my teens, the plans became slightly more "sensible." I would take a trip to the bank, withdraw the money that was my grandad's inheritance, bike to Owen Sound (a 45 minute car ride), and then catch a bus to who knows where.
Then one day my plans became action. I packed up my belongings and with the assistance of my parents, drove to the other end of the country.
This is where the late night planning sessions ended. There was no more trying to escape, I was already free.
That is... until recently.
I can't sleep tonight because I have been planning my next big escape. That sentence makes it sound more glorious than it should it be. In fact, this is not a grandiose escape or some call for adventure. I do not really know what it is, but it is ugly. It reeks with the stench of failure and brings shudders to those who look upon it. It is haunting, like a ghost with nothing better to do than torment for a simple sense of purpose.
Perhaps this mind game has been called into existence by the uncertainty of what is to come within the next 6 months. Perhaps its here because of a fear of whats to come and what is to be dealt with. Perhaps it has come because the imagination of a young child has been reignited in my mind by the fresh presence of a record player in our living room.
Whatever it is, it is terrifying and it is keeping me awake.