ghosts of a geeky childhood
There’s nothing like a little blast from the past. I was going though some old boxes of my things and found a remnant of my Star Wars-obsessed childhood: a 1995 Storm Trooper head which opens to reveal the garbage smasher scene from A New Hope, complete with a moveable one-eyed inhabitant and closing walls. I’m sure it had little figures to slide down the chute at one point, but they had disappeared long before it came into my possession.
My first thought (after “Ebay?”) was to stick it out at my parent’s next garage sale.
And then I made the mistake of looking too deeply into those scratched plastic eyeholes. I couldn’t help but picture the eight-year-old me, crouching in her secret hiding places, drawing countless pictures of a more exciting, less shrimpy Outer Space Paige. I couldn’t help but remember the paper-towel beds I made for each of my action figures, and all the adventures we had in the galaxies George Lucas gave me permission to create.
And I just couldn’t let him go.
I decided I’d use him to prop up a small portion of the books I’ve collected since the last time he and I had a play date.
But once I saw him, I had it to admit it. He wasn’t just a bookend. He was taking his rightful place.
Because those aren’t just books. They are my new playmates, neatly bound, inked into a form other people can enjoy. But they’re mine. George Smiley and Fiver and Dr. Maturin. Oxford and Middle Earth and Ancient Rome.
I’m still having adventures. I’m still dreaming of a more exciting, less shrimpy Paige. I’m still creating worlds.
Maybe my geeky days aren’t as long ago or far, far away as I sometimes believe. Maybe that’s a good thing.