There’s a certain amount of magic I miss, and that I chase down all the time to no real avail. This is also part of why I write, really but it will all be told through the use of cars. Yes, cars.
Toy cars, that is.
When I was a kid I would get like Matchbox or Hot wheels cars, like most every other kid I know. And I would take that car, that purchase of joy, and play with it like whoa.
Now to back up a bit when I would be allowed to go into a toy store, or at the Rite-Aid, or whatever, and told I could get a car, it wasn’t often or anything but it happened) I would look them all over and choose seriously. This car would be the best thing I ever got. Each and every time.
So I’d get home, or to my Grandmother’s house or where ever (I remember a lot of them out by her because out by her was the only Toys R’ Us nearby at the time so there were always cars there and if we went out there (once a summer) we got a car…) and once there I would push the car around. Endlessly. Up and down couches and furniture and along floors and… my focus was singular.
I had the same thing with Lego, of course. All sorts of toys would do it. I would narrow my focus and just play. As I got older, thought, the toys changed and so did I. I loved video games and more complex toys, but I found that they split my focus a bit. They also told me story instead of letting me tell one to myself, and that always left me slightly removed.
I still look for that thing. The object that I will cherish and use the same as I did those cars so long ago. Everything I buy, I hope it will be that, and I try but these days my focus is, by necessity, so split that it can’t happen. And yet I still try for it. I see things, they can be watches or fidgets or anything at all. A lamp, say. And I think “This thing will become the center of my universe, for at least two days.”
It never does.
And when it doesn’t I feel as if I have wasted my time and money. I haven’t used it right, it was a waste of time, – like I have failed. It makes it really hard to break down and buy anything, which isn’t a bad thing, really. But it’s also why I buy books and movies faster. I always get my focus on and my time in on them. So there’s that.
and the writing, I mean of course. I miss the days of playing with toys and inventing my own stories about them. So now I do it without the toys. That’s all.
I am, and always will be, a five year old kid, sprawled on the floor, playing with toys.