Sid and Gribber

If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his life be like today?

Interesting question. I’ll be honest, that’s none of your business. So it looks like I’ll ignore this prompt. Then again, it does sound like a great opportunity for another quick fiction bite. It’s been done over and over again though. Can I put a new spin on the grown up imaginary character idea? I’ll give it a try.

Sid and Gribber

“What do you mean you’re getting married?”

“I mean I’m getting married. I’m moving out. Look, Sid—“

“You can’t move out! You’re not even real.”

“I’m real enough for you to talk to.”

“Gribber, you’re my imaginary friend. Imaginary! That means you’re not real.”

“Then why are you arguing? What you’re saying doesn’t make sense. Sid, you’ve got to understand, I’m tired of living like this. I’m tired of staying up late all the time. I’m tired of watching Revenge of the Nerds over and over. I’m tired of all the junk food.”

“You don’t even eat. What do you care about the junk food?”

“Sid, it’s not any one part of that. It’s all of it. See, I’ve grown up. You haven’t, and that’s okay. But I have. Now I’m moving out. I’ve found something that I can really believe in. I believe in it as much as you believe in me. I thank you for that. If you hadn’t believed in me for so long, then I wouldn’t have what I have now.”

“Gribber, what do you have? How can you get married?”

“I’m marrying another imaginary. You don’t have the only one, you know. We met a few months ago. You remember when we ran into Susie Nellish?”

“Susie Nellish? What about it?”

“Well, Susie’s like you. She wasn’t alone there. She had her childhood friend with her. You couldn’t see that, but I could. We sort of met again a few times, and we hit it off. We found out how much we have in common.”

“That’s impossible! You can’t have anything in common with Susie’s imaginary friend. If you did, that would mean I’d have something in common with Susie Nellish.”

“I’m not so sure about that. Sid, you and I have been together what? Twenty years? Close to that anyway. I’ve changed in that time. I’m not the Gribber you put together when you were a kid. I don’t think Spandex is the person that Susie first imagined.”

“Spandex? Her imaginary friend is named Spandex? That’s the stupidest name I’ve ever heard.”

“But Gribber is dignified?”

“Gribber is a good name.”

“See, this is why you and I don’t belong together. You can still think like that.”

“Okay, Gribber, forget the name thing, and forget stupid Susie. We’re still friends.”

“No, Sid, we’re not. You only have me around when you want. You keep me locked up in that head of yours far too often. Once I figured out how to get out on my own, then I started wandering the world without you. I can go to the movies and see something grown up. Without even having to buy a ticket.”

“Sneaking into a movie theater doesn’t sound grown up.”

“If I had another choice, I’d take it.”

“Gribber, you can’t grow up.”

“Of course I can. I can grow up because you haven’t.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Listen, Sid, you’ve kept me around all these years for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is so that you wouldn’t have to grow up. You’ve got a job and you live on your own, but look at this place. Is this the kind of place a grown up lives in?”

“It’s the kind of place a bachelor lives in.”

“Huhn. Touche. Still, the house aside, you can consider a bunch of crackers and a can of easy cheese a meal. You don’t do anything the way a real adult does unless you have to.”

“So what?”

“That’s right. I’m not telling you to change. I’m just telling you that I have. I want something more. Or at least I want something different. So does Spandex. Maybe when we get married we’ll change our names. I don’t know what happens then. I should have been liberated years ago though. So now I’m taking my way out.”

“That almost sounds like you’re just using this Spandex character.”

“Maybe so. If I am though, then she’s using me too. It’s something grown ups do. Someday you’ll understand.”

“Oh, I understand it now, Gribber. I just don’t like it. Say what you want about my diet and my TV habits, I don’t treat people like that. And I don’t compromise myself.”

“Good. Good. You stay like that, Sid. I don’t even want you to change. I just can’t stay with you. It’s time for me to move on whether you’re ready for it or not.”

“Gribber, don’t do this! You haven’t grown up! You can’t! I’m telling you that you can’t!”

“Sid, don’t you get it? The reason you stay childish is because I helped you with it. You didn’t mature, because I let you pour all of your maturity into me. I let you stay the way you wanted to be. But that meant that I did change. And I can’t stay. With your help, whether you meant to do it or not, I’ve become something more. I can’t stay here and help you cheat at cards by spying on other people’s hands. I can’t keep playing with your action figures, and I can’t keep cellophaning your enemies’ toilets. You’re going to have to look after yourself from now on. Don’t be like that, Sid. Maybe I’ll stop in sometime to see how you’re doing. I don’t know if you’ll be able to see me or not, but I’ll be there.”

“That’s not the same.”

“Be happy for me, Sid. I need it.”

“No you don’t.”

“hhHh. Fair enough. Call Susie sometime. She’s going through the same thing you are.”

Sid heard the front door open and close. It was the end of his youth. Unless he could watch enough cartoons. Or maybe he could buy that new video game that Gribber had talked him out of. Gribber had also kept him from buying a new lava lamp, or visiting Steve on paper night. Maybe without Gribber’s grown up conscience, he could get back to doing the things he really wanted. There was only one piece of advice he would take from Gribber. He would call Susie. But only because she was really hot.

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7 comments

  1. I’m glad you decided to write to the prompt 🙂 And glad posts FINALLY started showing up on the site. Good grief. Four hours from the time the prompt was posted until they finally came up on the page.

  2. I like this idea, the notion that we can use an imaginary friend to avoid all the grown up stuff, but not realising if we believe in them strongly enough they can take on a life of their own, and I hope Gribber and Spandex (still laughing at that!) are very happy together 😀

    1. No, I can’t say that I’ve ever considered stand-up. Then again, I haven’t considered too many things. Maybe I should take up considering. There’s any number of hidden talents a person might find that way.

      Thanks.

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