I was a very young boy, I lived in Okeechobee, Florida.
Okeechobee was a small town. We lived in a little pink
house and used to go swimming in Lake Okeechobee. I
remember having an "imaginary" friend named
Shrami when I was there. I never talked to Shrami, nor
did I ever see her. I just knew Shrami.
day I was on the back porch while my mom was making
me lunch, and I was very upset. I was crying my heart
out for Shrami. I felt as though if only Shrami were
there, everything would be better.
it does, life marched forward, and Shrami became nothing
more than a distant memory. A couple of times in my
life, my Mom has brought Shrami up in passing, telling
me that I used to talk about her all the time when I
was a little boy.
here I am, a full grown man, a grandfather, remembering
those early days. I decided to Google Shrami. I found
out that Shrami is a fairly common female name in India.
I am not sure how a four-year-old boy in 1960's Okeechobee,
Florida would know that name. But it really got me to
thinking about it. Every time I say the name, it brings
some sort of comfort to me; I get a chill over my skin.
week, I was watching a documentary, and it showed people
living in one of the slums in India. Before I had time
to process the thought, the words "I miss Shrami"
popped into my head, and I almost broke into tears.
experience made me start thinking of my own son. He
was born in 1990, and at a very young age, certainly
as soon as he could start forming coherent sentences,
he was talking about his son "Jim." We thought
it was cute; he had an imaginary son named Jim!
he was in first grade, we had a meet-the-teacher night.
The kids had all made paper dolls of themselves and
they were pasted up around the classroom. The parents
were supposed to go around and find their kid's doll.
My wife and I made several long laps around the class
but found none that looked like our son, so we asked
the teacher. She said,"OH, you're HIS parents!
Right this way." And she pointed out a doll that
looked like an old black man with grey hair. We had
a good chuckle over that.
that wasn't the last time our son identified himself
as an older black man.This trend continued at least
until his high school years. It even bled into mundane
activities such as video games; his World of Warcraft
characters all looked like Morgan Freeman! I'll have
to talk to him about this now, when he gets out of the
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Posted March 24, 2013