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Story's Story > Categories > Childhood memories

"Sabie and Bob Wilson" 


Date Range: 04/02/2013 To 04/02/2013   Comments: 0   Views: 253
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When I was born, my sisters were away at boarding school and after they graduated they went on to college. So although I had two sisters, they were nearly grown when I was little and I grew up feeling more like an only child. I was always perfectly content playing on my own. I had a big imagination…one so big that my two best playmates grew out of it. Their names were Sabie and Bob Wilson. They lived in the big yellow house with me and were at my beck and call. They traveled with me and happily played whatever games I devised. My own “play name” was Judy Bowla. The Judy part came from mom’s hairdresser and I’m not sure where the Bowla part came from, I think the word just sounded nice to me. But I remember I specifically spelled it B-o-w-l-a. It was a nice round word. I named Sabie after a Japanese boy my mom had been friends with when she was young. They had worked together at a drive-up restaurant called the Toot-n-Tell. She had a photo of him holding a rose and smiling at her. He and his family were taken to an internment camp at the beginning of World War II and mom never saw him again. And Bob Wilson, I have no idea how I came up with that name, but it was never just Bob, it was always Bob Wilson. Sabie and I got along famously, but Bob Wilson often annoyed me. He always seemed to do things wrong. Once, we took an imaginary trip to San Francisco for a picnic in Golden Gate Park. Well, Bob Wilson forgot the butter and we couldn’t have a proper picnic. I was so angry with him that I flushed him down the toilet. That night when dad got home and asked me how my day was, I told him I’d flushed Bob Wilson down the toilet. For the next several days, dad would ask me if I’d seen Bob Wilson and I’d say, “No, he’s still flushed.” Mom and dad seemed quite calm about my imaginary friends. They’d often ask about them and I’d report all our activities. I don’t know exactly at what age I grew out of my imaginary friends, but they gradually disappeared from my life. I recognized that they were gone and remember feeling slightly sentimental about them—like they were old friends who had simply moved away. Years later, after mom had died, dad went to a dinner party with a woman he was dating. She introduced him to a man named Bob Wilson and as dad shook the man’s hand he started chuckling and couldn’t stop. Dad finally said, “My daughter flushed you down the toilet.” The poor man was very confused until dad finally composed himself and told Mr. Wilson the whole story. Dad called me the next day…he couldn’t wait to tell me he’d finally met Bob Wilson.

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