“10,10. 9,9. 8,8. 7,7. and so on. BLAST OFFFFFF!“ The actions are not too dissimilar to the racing car driver. The difference being you have two arms stretched out above your head pointing up to the sky. Your fists parallel and clenched. When you need to talk to your crew, you have to do this with a hand over mouth Darth Vader impression. A day never goes by for you as an astronaut without the words “Houston, we have a problem.” The spaceship is shaking, items flying off all over the grass. You’re out of control and you don’t have enough air. The spaceship is falling fast to Earth, spinning in the process. Hitting the ground hard, you and your crew scan each other. Now you know by the look in their eyes what’s next. It is time for Mars, the aliens need to be found.
2 Racing Car Driver.
You race around the street or garden. Arms stretched out with hands wrapped around an invisible wheel. Screeching noises coming out of you as you navigate the bends on the road that is only seen by you. Making sure not to crash by slamming the breaks on, which happens as you shake the wheel rigorously. You crash anyway, falling to the floor, rolling around yelling “I’m dead, I’m dead.” Jumping straight back up, you grab the wheel again and race around with a car that sustained no damage in the crash. Careful, the elderly neighbour is blocking your way. Your sixth sense kicks in and with no hesitation, you speed around the obstacle thundering towards you.
It’s calm as you sit in your office. A person comes rushing into the makeshift hospital. They are screeching “Doctor, Doctor, help me, my arm fell off.” You sit your panicky patient down, blood pouring everywhere. You can’t help yourself, you are frantic shouting for your nurses. No other staff are on duty today, it is down to you to save this life. With urgency, you wrap air around and around the arm. The patient starts to calm down. Taking your fingers and thumb, you place them on the patients’ chest to check the heartbeat. You are amazing, you have saved the arm and have bionic hearing through your fingers. A miracle happens, somehow you passed your Doctor skills to your patient, which is lucky for you. Oh no, you collapsed, Patient turned Doctor to the rescue.
Standing upright with a blank piece of paper, which is now the register for the day. Having superiority over the dolls or other children who sit on the floor looking up at you. You pace the floor in front of them checking off their names. One of the pupils is naughty, you threaten them with the acceptable punishment of the decade. You insist on the pupils sitting up straight or they will go to the Head Teacher. They end up having to go to the Head Teacher, which is also you. Staffing shortages are common. A responsible pupil gets promoted to dish out punishments while you are away. As with most school situations, boredom sets in and everyone runs off to be a policeman.
“Nee nor nee nor nee nor, you’re under arrest.”, “Stop.”, “Freeze or I’ll shoot.”
Criminal children are running everywhere shouting “Run, Run.” They did not listen to your order to stop. You pursue them on foot, with your hand outstretched shaped like a pistol shouting “BANG, BANG, I shot you dead.” The criminals are defiant and continue running around in a craze. But as long as you have more stamina you can catch them. Yes, you catch the slowest culprit. “Hands behind your back!” you shout. Pulling their hands behind their back, they scream “Ouch.” The magic handcuffs restrain them, not too tight, it is just right. You chase the other badies, but they are too fast. The first suspect complains “I’m bored, waiting for you to get the others.” With a sigh, it is game over.
No passengers allowed today, you are out having fun with your pilot friends. Arms outstretched to the side, head down edging forward, body bent over from the waist. Why the air force has not called you up is criminal. You are the best of the best. The fearless one. The fastest one. Pilots in the sky, whizzing around each other, ducking and diving under the human wings. There is the odd crash, but everyone in your group can handle the worst of everything with ease. “Nyeeeeeeeerm.” “Nyeeeeeerm.” The sound of the aeroplanes is deafening to anyone in the location.
You sprint down the hill evading anyone in your way. Something is wrong, the engine is juddering, and you are going too fast, and no one can help you. The plane is out of control as you look for an escape route. You realise there is nothing you can do except crash as safely as possible. Head first, you dive into the neighbour’s flower bed rolling around as planes do. Realising where you crashed, you jump up and run. Enemy lines are not a place to be and landing where you did could start a war with neighbouring lands.
7 Train Driver.
“All Aboard,” you shout as little people start to line up behind you trusting you know where you are going. You, the train driver are also the ticket collector. Multi-tasking skills at the ready. Moving around the train you ask the passengers “Tickets please?” All the passengers hand over their tickets, and you click them. No one is in a rush, and they wait while you make your way back to the driver’s seat.
You make your way back to your position and shout “Choo Choo.” “Choo Choo.” The train is so quiet, you make the noises, so the passengers believe they are actually travelling on a train. But your train has skills. Your train takes corners like a racing car, and everyone has to follow in line or they fall off. If they do fall off, it is okay because you have previous experience as a Doctor, and you can heal them. More importantly, there is no Health and safety in your world, and you will not get sued.
As you are crouching behind a bush, you look around scanning the area, like ‘Eagle eye G.I.Joe‘. There it is, you spot the platforms all around you. The enemy is out there, hiding behind walls, fences, and trees. Decisions need to be made quickly. You can hear your breathing, and you must stop breathing before the enemy picks up on the sound. A cat runs past you, and you freeze, heart beating faster. Phew, that could have been an enemy. Making sure your rifle is ready, fingers on the trigger ready to fire your voice “Pew, Pew.” The tree to your right will cover you if you can get to it, and you decide to make a break for it.
The enemy hears the rustle from the leaves on the ground, they all come out firing at you. It is chaos, “Nnnnnnnnn, Nnnnnnnn.” flying everywhere. You make it to the tree although breathing heavily and sweating. The sound of the enemy coming closer and they have no shield of protection. You spin round from the tree and take aim shooting everyone dead. Confusion sets in as you lower your weapon, “You’re dead, I shot you.” The agitated voices fire back “No you never, we shot you first.” The real war starts with who made the first successful shot.
Everyone agrees with slumped shoulders “Forget it, let’s start again.”
Hairbrush in hand, standing looking out at the crowd. The bright lights dazzle and the audience wait in awe to be entertained. You see yourself and the crowd in the mirror, and you know you are ready. The music starts, and you raise the hairbrush to an inch from your mouth. Your voice is strong and powerful. You belt out the tune with no formal training, and the crowd goes wild. Having all the right moves, you are a combination of all the great performers in one. The words make no sense, but no one cares. Making sure your Mum does not hear you because she has no appreciation for your skills and she didn’t pay for a ticket. You are that good, only one song is required. The microphone brush gets flung on the bed and you run for your Diva dinner.
“Quick, Quick, the building is burning down, get everybody out.” You are directing the huge water hose at the fire. Trying to put the fire out. People are screaming from a window at the top. Climbing the fire ladder, you race to save the trapped people. You Grab someone who is yelling for help, dragging them down the ladder and hurling them to the ground. Don’t worry about them breaking any bones though, at least you saved them. The building is collapsing, in a frantic hurry, you grab everyone in sight. People rolling around on the floor, you jump from the ladder to a safe spot between them.
Everyone is so relieved and they all run off away from the building.
So what happened to all our dreams? Our freedom to be what we wanted to be? I wanted to be a writer and a travel presenter like Judith Chalmers. I used to practice in the garden being a presenter. I still think I would be amazing at that job. I would get in trouble at school for secretly writing horror stories when I should have been painting. Somewhere along the path of childhood, people tell us “You can’t do that.” You get laughed at and your dream starts to vanish into the distance until you completely forget. Even you embed into your head “It is only for the special few.” and you believe it.
A life lost and settling for passable.
What was it that you wanted to do when you were a child? Do you remember when it changed?