It’s 1pm on a summer day in 1984. I am Space Ghost and my best friend, Richard, is Superman. We are protectors of the universe and we are damn good at it. Our mission is on Klepton, some bad guys have escaped from jail. I have on a cowboy hat and a holster, with 2 six shooters, one on each hip. Along with my cowboy getup, of course, I am wearing my cape, and Richard in his. As we are preparing to take the leap from the edge of our spaceship and into the dark abyss, I have to stop. “Timeout”, I said. “MOMMMMM!!! My cape broke”. Enter my mother, fully prepared to re-do the clothespin on the beach towel that I am using for my cape. Mom gives Richard a once over, and makes the necessary adjustments to his cape. If anyone knows how important aesthetics are to saving the planet, it’s my mom. “Time In”, I shout, and we are back to pretending.
I love pretending. I have pretended most of my life. At what age is it supposed to stop, and when does reality kick in? Who draws the line? Who is the authority on what is actually real and what is make-believe? Who makes the limits? I have a vivid imagination. I dream big. I conjure up huge, wild, and crazy sh*t. I like the way I feel when it is all make-believe. I think the reality of it all has always scared me a bit, so I hide in make belief and mischief. There was a point in my life, somewhere around 18 or my early twenties, that I stopped pretending, and maybe even stopped living a little bit. That was when life became very “real”, with “real” responsibilities and very “real” fears. I hid from all these things by using different substances, when I could have used make believe, and made the reality fun. That’s not the case today. Today, I pretend…a LOT
Present day. It’s 9pm and time for me to go to sleep. Playtime is about to begin. I don’t wear a cape, a hat, or a holster, but a CPAP mask is my outfit, and my imagination is my playground. We have long laughed about my imagination in my CPAP mask, and actually the nickname “Beefcake” originated from my wearing my mask and pretending that I was a Top Gun F-14 fighter with the call sign of “Beefcake”. I have often closed my eyes and pretended to be a fighter pilot, an astronaut, an attorney, a firefighter, a diver, an anchorman, a trail runner, an NBA athlete, NFL, a happy homeless person, and a surgeon. When I close my eyes, it’s a rule, only positive and fun thoughts are allowed to be had. I have never once solved a problem by worrying about it at night.
I’ll also tell you this, my imagination and pretending spills into every hour of my day, just about every day. I love it. I have lived an incredible life, with some really crazy things that have happened. I have to believe that imagination played at least a small part in this. These days, my day essentially starts at night. When I strap on my CPAP mask, and I start pretending to be something crazy, I intentionally carry this sort of thinking with me throughout the next day. A friend of mine sent me a meme the other day. It reminded me of the way I like to feel EVERY single day:
I love waking up and expecting the day to be awesome. I love waking up and expecting huge things to come my direction. If huge things are not coming my direction, I pretend that they are. I try to live with the expectation that all sorts of wild and wonderful things are getting ready to happen, and they might just show up this afternoon. Why not? They might be. I have seen some sh*t. What’s the alternative? To assume that it’s going to be another ho-hum somewhat bleak, run of the mill, day? Not happening here. Not today. My parents never told me when to stop being Space Ghost. I was never told that I couldn’t pretend to be whatever the hell I wanted, let alone go chase those things. Society is what I allowed to veer me off the course of childlike wonder, and steered me into a crash collision course of leading a mundane life which teetered on the edge of misery. I’m not listening to that anymore. I woke up this morning with 250 IG followers and fully expect to be global and have 30,000 by the end of the day. Is that likely to happen? Of course, it’s gonna happen! But on the off chance that it doesn’t, maybe I will finish the day with 251, and guess what, there is always tomorrow. Don’t tell me how to dream. I don’t want to hear about what is realistic and practical. I want to pretend and dream and believe in the things that make me a positive and happy person. Have you ever seen a child’s face when they “pretend” to be a grown up figure? The brows furrow, the lips pucker, and a look of seriousness washes over them. I don’t want my kids to see me as that character. I want to do whatever it takes to give me the disposition and energy to be a good father and grateful husband. Today, huge shit is happening. Huge shit is happening for me, for the people around me, and to people everywhere. It might not seem huge at the time it’s happening, but it’s gonna be huge. It’s gonna be like Space Ghost and Superman huge…Beefcake the decorated fighter pilot huge…space exploration huge…10,000 leagues under the sea huge. I’m going to imagine my way into a fun existence and wait for it to all pan out. Shake your head and pick it apart, if that is what you do. I have not a valid argument for you. I’m not saying that having wild expectations of great and wonderful things is right or realistic, I’m saying that it is fun and awesome…and I want to have fun and be awesome.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,