Happy Imaginary Day!

(Drawing by RDCarneiro, from here)

As you know, this week we had Imaginary Day on February 30th! It’s a new holiday, so obviously our traditions and observations will be different, but as it’s a day that didn’t exist at all, who’s to say what did or didn’t happen?

What did you do on Imaginary Day? Leave a comment and let us know!

Here’s what happened on my Imaginary Day:

I woke up early, before the alarm even went off. I was perfectly rested, not tired even a little bit! I leapt out of bed and had a nutritious breakfast. I was pleased because my kitchen contained exactly the right food for me to assemble a perfect breakfast! There was one English muffin left and two eggs and just a bit of cheese and some breakfast sausage. This was satisfying, because all the packages of food were totally used up all at the same time!

Then I got a phone call from a friend. “Hello, friend,” said the friend! “I know we used to hang out for no reason, and have fun, because that is what friends do sometimes, but ever since we Grew Up and Got Jobs, we never hang out just for fun. We feel like our time is too valuable, or something. But screw that, let’s hang out!” So we did!

Me and my friend went for a walk and got some coffee and chatted, then curled up and read books. Neither of us felt like we had anything else to do today. In fact, the internet had some sort of Imaginary-Day-related Y2K problem and there were no emails to answer, nothing distracting going on, no projects calling out to be worked on. For one day — Imaginary Day — just sitting and reading was all there was to do!

After we read for a while, I went to go get a snack, but my refrigerator had become a doorway to another dimension. I opened the door, and bugs came pouring out! They filled my kitchen, seething, swarming out like a fluid, a chittering crawling wave, but I had to get through them, I had to find something on the other side. I dove into the wave, keeping my eyes firmly shut, and I swam, and kicked, and felt with my outstretched hands for anything I could use to pull myself through the tide.

It was horrifying, but it was only imaginary!

My fingers brushed something firm, and after a few seconds of straining, I was able to grasp it. It was round, like a pole, but with bumps and contours — and when I pulled against it, it moved. It bent in the center. It was the leg of a horse, and it started running. The sea of bugs was still washing over me, but I knew that wherever this horse was going to go, I had to stay with it.

I hung onto its leg as it kicked and ran and galloped away, and soon the bugs dropped off. The horse was red. It was running on a baked, featureless desert. The bugs gone, the hot desert sun hit me directly. My skin began to blister.

A crevasse opened beneath the horse, and it bucked and whinnied and tried to flee, but the crevasse had a gravity all its own. The horse was pulled in, but I let go and dropped to the ground. The heat of the desert floor wrapped around me, encasing me in a sphere that I realized, as I began to choke, was made of sand. It pressed me, stifled me, solidified around me, kept pressing and squeezing until I could feel each grain of the sand crystallize and harden into glass. I could not move, could not breathe. It became dark.

I do not know how long I sat there, silent and void, trapped in that glassy prison.

The next sound I heard was something like a chisel against stone. It was far away, a million miles perhaps, but then a bit of light came through, and I felt the glass separating, cracking like an egg. It fell away from me, and I fell to the ground, but what had been harsh desert before was my own carpet, my living room, its familiar shape a soft fielder’s glove slipped on once more after years away from the game. “I’m ready,” the real life reminded me. “I’m here.”

It was a minute after midnight, and Imaginary Day was over. My friend was no longer here. I went to get some ice cream, but I hesitated, my hand an inch from the freezer door handle.

After far too long, I wrenched it open, and in there was ice, and frozen peas, and Hot Pockets, and meat, but no ice cream. The bugs had taken it all with them.

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