Fifi and Raul and Soledad and Santiago
Imagining existence and identity and history
Right now, what’s real is me, my bedroom, my computer.
In the other room, I imagine, is Bobbi.
We’ve been married, I imagine, for more than 50 years.
I imagine we have three daughters (by the usual method), three sons (by marriage), and seven grandchildren. Right now, they are all imaginary parts of my life.
Here are some other imaginary people and events.
Fifi and Raul.
I have had an imaginary lover for years. It’s not a secret. Bobbi knows about her, and so do our kids and friends. Her name is Fifi.
Bobbi has an imaginary lover too. His name is Raul.
Fifi and Raul are not real people who we imagine are our lovers. These are completely made-up people. At least Fifi is. Bobbi said that Raoul is entirely imaginary, too. Or maybe I imagine that I asked her and imagined she answered it.
Fifi and Raul don’t have last names, at least not names that we are aware of.
I don’t know what they do for a living when we are not imagining their existence.
I don’t have fantasies about Fifi. I just talk about her.
I imagine that’s true of Bobbi and Raul, except Bobbi talks less about either Fifi or Raul than I do.
Santiago and Soledad.
While working at Green Hills, Bobbi raced cross-country from Maine to Santa Barbara just after Christmas and back in the spring. It usually took us about five days.
When I first “retired” from Green Hills, Bobbi and I took a leisurely drive back. ‘
I announced to the family that we were changing our names:
It all started as we left Santa Barbara. We got up, in no hurry for a change, finished packing the car, and got ready to leave. I took a moment to memorialize the event with a picture, to be provided in a later update.
As we were pulling out of the Condo to start our new life I decided that I was going to change my name. There was a guy at the Honda dealership named Santiago, (first name) and I thought that was a really cool name to have, so I took it and explained to Mom (still Bobbi at this time) how to pronounce it: San-tee-AH-go. Strong accent on the AH.
We dropped some things off at Green Hills and headed out toward Ventura, Lancaster and the Pearblossom Highway on the way to St George UT, our destination for the night. On our way up to Lancaster we passed Soledad Canyon and Bobbi decided she would like to be Soledad. We'd been listening to CNN from time to time, and there's a reporter named Soledad O'Brien, so we had a precedent. So she became Soledad. Soledad means lonely in Spanish, by the way, but there's no connection or significance. Just a nice sounding name.
Hola Santiago y Soledad,
Ustedes son demasiado frías. Estoy locamente celoso y le encantaría estar en el camino como el que se encuentra. Mira y yo hemos hablado de la forma en que quiere alquilar un RV y pasar unos meses viajando por todo el país con el Kaya, Lucas y Taz. Esperamos con interés las muchas historias fresco le envíe en un futuro próximo.
And later, I replied as Santiago.
Greenwood and Loblolly.
Later we changed our names again:
Then finally, we got back home to Maine and turned back into Mike and Bobbi.
How I met your mother.
One story: we met when we are both at the Scientology center in East Grinstead, England, at Cooper’s Wood where Bobbi was staying.
A friend wanted me to meet Bobbi’s friend Liz Ausley. I thought Liz was OK, but I fell hard for Bobbi. I can still remember (or imagine that I remember—same thing) the first moment I saw her. I remember where she was sitting, what she was wearing. I remember her eyes.
But there’s another version.
It matches this card that Bobbi gave me this valentine’s day:
In my imagination, I did find her sooner so that I could love her longer. I was her first love and lover, and she was mine. We met in grade schools and fell in love. We dated through high school. We first made love the night of the senior prom.
Mom does not remember any of this. But I do. I have a better memory than she does. All she can remember are things that happened (and not all of them.) I don’t remember everything that happened either, but I make up for that by remembering lots of things that didn't happen.
I even remember things that couldn’t happen.
Don’t brag about your lack of imagination.
People often say, “I can’t imagine <something>.”
Like in early 2016, some people said, “I can’t imagine Donald Trump being elected president.”
When people say things like that, I always respond: “Don’t brag about your lack of imagination.”
Related: After he was elected, some people said, “I can’t believe Trump was elected President.” But he was! And you are bragging about not being able to believe what’s real?
So I believe that I met Bobbi in two seemingly mutually incompatible ways.