Monday, May 18, 2009

Imagination more important than Knowledge?


The imagination can be a scary thing you know, it only takes a couple of random thoughts to mix together, and brew up overnight, and you can end up with some of the craziest dreams. I think one of the hardest parts of being a parent, is the bad dreams you have about your kids. I have had some proper doozys, and they very rarely end well, but I had one the other night that was not par for the course.

I dreamt it was a Sunday morning, and we had popped around my Mum and Dad’s house in Barking. Some socially irresponsible preacher had knocked on the door, wanting to spread the word of the Lord. Always a pet hate of mine, I mean, if I had wanted to be preached to on a Sunday, I would have just gone to church, and let a professional do it. I can understand the market for mid-week door to door preaching, but on a Sunday, know your market mate.

Anyway Reverend Disruption, knocked on the door, my Mum answered, Katy bolted out of the door, and started running like her pants were on fire. The bottle neck created by the preacher trying to give us a leaflet, wasted precious seconds, but was dissipated by a Karate chop delivered by my Mum to his shoulders and down he went (way to go Mum, I didn’t know you had it in you). I jumped over him and started running after her. I looked up the road just in time to see her turn a corner, damn she was fast. I got to the corner, had a choice of 4 directions, and could see no sign of her. If we lived in less of a concrete jungle, I could have used all my Cub Scout knowledge and followed the trail, but I guess there is only so much you can change in a dream.

I had a brainwave, I ran back to the house and turned my Mums laptop on (told you she was cool didn’t I!) I opened up my twitter account and got typing, all the while remembering the 140 character rule. I typed the following:

Child called Katy missing from Barking area. Please help with search and RT this. Photo at http://www.twitpic.com/2s8nv 07873280109 if seen

I know most non-users of twitter do not understand it, and think it is just a bunch of sad old people, telling a load of people they don’t know, inane facts like “making breakfast”, or “putting pants on and getting dressed”, or even as spotted yesterday “#noundiessunday “(you know who you are, shameless). But in my heart of hearts, I know it is more than that. It can be used as a power for good, and not a power to spam, or so I hoped as I hit the tweet button.

So whilst the rest of my family was out searching, there was I manning the Laptop and praying for a miracle. For 15 minutes (that felt like 15 hours), nothing happened, then all of a sudden I started seeing Katy’s name and photo all over the web. Twitter has a ‘Trending Topics’ list running down the side of it. It is the top 10 things people are talking about on twitter, and is updated in real time. For example, today’s list includes Eurovision, Star Trek, and #3turnoffwords. All of a sudden ‘Katy missing’ started trending to the top. There were now more people talking about my daughter than Angels and Demons! Take that Dan Brown, make a conspiracy about that if you can (I hope he doesn’t read this, as I am a huge fan, honest!)

I wandered outside in a mild daze. Walking to the top of the road, everything sounded slightly too noisy for a Sunday morning. I did not realise you could actually hear urgency, but that is what my ears were picking up, all around me was the sounds of footsteps and serious conversations, and yet there was no one in sight. I reached the spot where I had originally halted my search, and looked up for the first time. There was a sea of humanity, all walking with a sense of purpose, as far as the eye could see (which was not far due to the tears of fear and hope that clouded my vision). All of them looking for my daughter, all summoned by the Great God of Twitter.

There is a 3 floored block of flats nearby, and I climbed the stairs to the top, and went onto its flat roof. It reminded me of standing on the bridge by the old Wembley Way, after a cup final (We lost 3-2 to Luton???) and looking back at the crowds exiting the stadium. A similar scene faced me now, and the people all had the same grim expression as back then as well. Except this time my heart was full of hope, instead of hate at a missed penalty. They were looking under cars, over fences, and even in wheelie-bins. People were knocking on doors, getting people to check their gardens, and then those people would also join the search.

This went on for about an hour, every minute feeling like a day, I just did not know what to do. I kept walking around in a circle like a headless chicken, no use to anyone. Suddenly the noise and the atmosphere changed. A wave of smiles and back slaps came rippling toward me. It made no sense, what was going on. The smiles turned to laughter, and I just looked uncomprehendingly at the wall of people in front of me. The story took another biblical turn, when the people parted, as if before the Red Sea, with me as Moses. There emerging from the ever widening gap, was my soot covered daughter, in the arms of the oldest, most toothless, and in my eyes, most beautiful man in the world.

The old man simply tipped me a wink, placed Katy in my arms and said “Yours I believe.” My fellow twitteratti would describe these as #3hotwords, but to me they meant just one thing. Safe.
I knew this feeling of happiness and relief would, at some stage, turn to anger at her running away in the first place, but for this moment I would just wallow in the scent of her, and think about punishments later.

I woke up a bit more dazed and confused than usual, be that because of the dream, or be that the fact it was 7am and Mate had allowed me an extra hour in bed. Who knows, but I do know that Katy got a lot more hugs that day. Oh, and I put a sign up on my door saying “No Jehovah’s Witnesses”, better safe than sorry.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heartwarming ending, but you have odd dreams, i think you might need to see someone about your twitter obsession!!!

*Starry Star Girl* said...

Haha! I didn't start the #noundiessunday game, it was @tsarnick! =P

btw, before you peek at my blog, it's work in progress - I blog on my website nikkipedia.net =)

Gooner Jane said...

Ahhh "most beautiful man" - brought a wee tear to my eye. Am lovin your bogs!! More, more, more!

Anonymous said...

quit eating cheese before bed you weird creature!

Angpang said...

Another right funny read. Thanks. Have had some very bad dreams like this, but did not resort to Twitter. Clearly you are an addict, I'm just the casual user :)

littlebrownbird said...

Brilliant. Enough said.

Jillian Livingston said...

Your Twitter dream gave me chills. My husband took the boys to their grandparents and I was alone last night. Before I went to sleep, I let my imagination go. "it's ok" I said to myself. "If something goes wrong I can always Twitter 911".

I too hate solicitors invading my privacy as written in this post http://www.isdisnormal.com/2009/02/19/a-second-to-myself/

Aspen Real Life said...

How strange, I was back posting and saw your comment which led me back to your Twitter dream. I felt as though I had never read it before but when I went to make a comment, there I was already commenting, two years ago. It's all such a blur, the beginning of my blog. Anyway, I LOVE your dream and hence feel tremendous love for you! Let's reconnect http://facebook.com/aspenreallife (once isdisnormal or dysfunctional).