Jason Lawrence Bell
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06-05-19 High Fantasy


‘Wishing is for fools. Taking is for winners.’ Read the plaque on Skylar’s home office wall. Skylar considered himself an ‘Oligarch in training’. Though he was currently broke and owed relatives thousands of dollars, Skylar would not have his dream altered in any way. He insisted on his destiny of power and riches and worked endless hours in that pursuit. But good luck evaded him. He tried being a Bitcoin trader, but when the value of Bitcoin dropped, he lost all he had built. Then he tried gold trading, flipping houses, and selling rags to riches books. But he barely made enough to pay the rent for the basement apartment he rented from his parents.

But Skylar refused to change what he considered his ‘true entrepreneurial spirit’. When he was younger, his parents took him to a psychological therapist because he was struggling in school. The therapist diagnosed Skylar as High Fantasy. He wasn’t delusional or psychotic, just prone to imaginary day dreams. As a child Skylar began having imaginary friends and situations.

Before sleeping in his bed at night he would let his mind create worlds where he was the super hero. When he had a frustrating day at school, he corrected or eliminated those frustrations with imaginary scenarios. He created a world where only he had the powers needed to right all wrongs. He always felt relief. Which encourage more night time fantasies.

As Skylar aged his imaginary world would vary in degrees of importance, depending on how his life was progressing. When he was in college and he had a girlfriend and plenty of activities, his imagination was relatively quiet. But after college when everyone was expected to find occupations and marry and start families, Skylar found it difficult to find a suitable vocation. His imaginary world started developing again. He could be the desirable successful standout that evaded him in his daily world. In a strange way his imaginary world drove his real world. His mind began insisting on huge successes, that he felt entitled to. So, he tried all quick money schemes but could not seem to find a big winner.

Skylar stopped dating women because he felt he would have much better choices once he made his empire. His imaginary world began setting his goals, and his real world was put on hold until it caught up. What really gave his imaginary world the lasting grip on Skylar was not the awesome stories of success, but the deep satisfying feeling that came with them. Even if it was for short moments, he could experience waves of happiness and self-contentment that nourished him. And it truly did nourish him. He felt temporary relief that allowed him to make it thru another real-world day.

In an honest moment, Skylar acknowledged that his imaginary world was a form of masturbation. Like physically masturbating, this was the same mechanism of relief. But he did not care. His real world was becoming a mess of anxieties and he justified that his fantasies were healthier than drugs or self-harm. He accepted this as his best option, though it was completely secret and even those closest to him had no idea.

Skylar’s imaginary world expanded with more details and a continuing narrative of the world he could control and held him in esteem. Places and friendships were becoming clearly defined. Skylar found love with the perfect woman and they had beautiful children and an exciting life of adventure.

One evening Skylar had another moment of clarity. He was turning forty-five years old and still living in the basement. He looked around the basement and took inventory of his life. He had become a recluse in a dirty basement with a menial low paying job and no real friendships. His parents had long given up on him. They would Will the house to him, but he had little else in assets. Skylar felt the deep depression of his real-world life and it exhausted him. He acknowledged that his failures in the real world were probably caused in large parts by his imaginary realm, but the fight to reverse his situation seemed overwhelming. He felt too weak to stand up to such huge obstacles. And in a defining moment he gave up. He let his real world fade away and he stepped permanently into his imaginary garden of happiness.

The next morning Skylar was found in the basement by his elderly mother in a catatonic state that he would never recover from. He lived the remainder of life in a mental hospital with an expression of deep contentment on his face. Peace***