Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Sorry, I Didn’t See You; I Mean, You ARE Invisible

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It’s very tricky trying to convince everyone you’ve got an invisible companion. That’s why I only do it at restaurants.

It started out as a way to justify eating much more than I should; I’d order for two, explaining that my date would be along later. As the meal progressed, I’d switch plates as subtly as possible, as if my partner had already finished eating while I played catch-up. Naturally, this would arouse the suspicions of the staff and other patrons, as no one ever showed up, but all the food disappeared. So I hit upon the idea of acting as if someone else were already there.

For the charade to succeed, I quickly realized, I could not explain that my companion was invisible; people would see right through that one. No, I had to treat my nonexistent dining buddy as fully present, and even get all hurt when someone implied otherwise. This makes surreptitious switching of dishes more difficult to accomplish, since for some reason my ploy tends to attract  people’s attention.

But why should they care? I pay for all the food that comes to my table and tip accordingly. And frankly, I appreciate the distance that other diners keep from my table when they see what’s going on. We can use the privacy, Linda and I.

Why, yes, I gave her a name. I had to. You can’t pretend to eat with someone and be completely silent the whole time. So we talk, of course. About sports. About politics, About the menu, naturally, and about family, but not about work. I’m still unemployed, after all. Only I can hear what she says, but boy, is she funny! I laugh quite often, and the consequent emptying of the premises is icing on the cake.

But many proprietors do not tolerate invisible people. Linda and I have been asked not to return to many, many restaurants. That stings doubly, because there are many fine places we would like to patronize again, and because few people accept Linda as possessing human value. I seem to be the only person to whom she can talk, as if she depends on me for her existence.

It can get burdensome, naturally, and I occasionally wish I could just give up the whole thing, but then what would Linda do? No one else could order the broccoli-chocolate truffles she likes me to eat for her. We’re kind of stuck together now.

Oh, yes, I do cook at home occasionally, but having Linda over there would be awkward; my wife would never understand. And I would get so confused, trying to keep track of conversation with two other pretend people. Well, that’s not exactly right; my wife isn’t pretend, she’s just not my wife anymore, not after I refused to stop dining out with Linda and not her. But I can pretend she’s still there, and that makes both of us happy. At least me and the pretend her, if not the not-pretend her. You follow?

It’s too bad, because my wife would have liked Linda. I know my pretend wife likes her, and I always have to think of good excuses why I never introduce them to each other; all that coming up with justifications is enough to tax my imagination, you know?

So I’ve been at this a while, and I figured, hey, this is working well for me socially, so why not pursue vocational fulfillment using the same technique? I started this blog, and I can create legions of adoring fans at will! If you’re reading this, you’re a figment of my imagination, one of hundreds of thousands of imagined devoted readers. You’re probably one of the ones with the tendency to share my posts on Facebook, too.

Of course you will. You owe your existence to me. Show some love for Daddy, now.

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Written by Thag

April 12, 2011 at 12:44 am

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