On Magical Thoughts

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It all started in 1969 with my parents getting divorced.

I was six years old when no one sat down to tell me they were splitting up.

It somehow dawned on me that I wasn’t seeing too much of my father, and I wasn’t much of my mother either.

All I knew is that my mom and dad would never reside under the same roof again, I had no idea that the rage and anguish inside both of them regarding their insipid and ominous divorce could be remotely inherited by me, kind of like a virus, but then when you’re a kid and your parents convey that they’re splitting up, and that it’s for the best, the “best” has nothing to do with being able to properly keep uphold routine and the preservation of happiness and peace. At least from the kid perspective, and I’d know—I was the kid.

I mean, YUCK—all that mayhem floating about in my mind, their minds, my brother and other brother’s mind? Yeesh-it wasn’t until I sat through what was my millionth therapy session at age twenty-five, I surprised my own conscience and discovered I had been harboring copious amounts of resentment which originated from my parents divorce.

As a result of this grand epiphany I understood that in making life changing decisions for myself I was basing everything on magical thinking. Magical thinking is great when your six, and for sex, but it’s not effective for planning your life’s many goals.

Despite that the divorce was for the “Best” as told to me by my parents, it was the “Worst” and because the worst was always the case every single day, day in and day out, the only way I could cope with it was to get lost in my own dreams infused with magical thinking for almost three decades.

All I wanted was to make everything all right, and if it wasn’t possible to make each day all right at the time, I imposed my wishes as tangible dreams and told myself that “tomorrow is another day” and with the new day there always exists another chance. When I said that to various adults they would joyfully clasp their hands and remark that was a very, precious child (even when I was in my twenty’s.)

All people and situations I experienced each and everyday became icons and events that I “hoped” were innately good and therefore I could make it so that all things good would be revealed in due time if I patiently waited and behaved like a good girl.

Basically put, I’m fifty years old and I’m still waiting for the magic to begin. I’m not insinuating that my children and my handsome and adoring ex haven’t been a magical experience, quite the contrary, they never cease to amaze me!

My daughter bought me a Disney, magic wand for my fiftieth birthday—it can make bubbles when I wave it around (it was made in China; I love China, they invented fortune cookies—another kind of magic I have taken stock in over the years).

Whoops—didn’t mean to mention stock, Disney, and magic in the same sentence, I have no magical advantage when guessing about stocks.

My sister bought me another kind of magic wand-it requires batteries-I like her magic wand much better.

At least I see stars and pixie dust when I use it.

I read Joan Didion’s book of Magical Thinking, recently. To me, it wasn’t the kind of magic I was looking for, but it worked for Joan; she made plenty of money from publishing the book, and we all know money can make magic for people. Take a look at Michael Jackson, he used his money to create Never, Never Land—I think I added one too many “Never’s” but as magical of a place as Michael wanted it to be, he didn’t plan for any black magic to happen there-and that kind of magic can make the kind of mess that Mary Poppins couldn’t and most likely wouldn’t, clean up!

Well, I’m looking forward to my next birthday to see what kind of magic might develop.

A few weeks ago I went out and bought a black cat with orange eyes. He’s a terrific cat and is great company.

My kids and I named him Orange Juice, since his eyes are so distinctly orange—for short, my daughter calls him O.J.

That was pretty stupid.

I wanted a magical cat—

To be continued . . .


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