Day 202 – The Tiger and The Boat

Word count: 713

“Tea?” The tiger said.

James shook his head. They were in the white place again, with the boat. The sea bobbed up and down. James barely noticed. He was too busy thinking. This was his thinking place. Greg, the Tiger, always followed. Sometimes he enjoyed his company, sometimes he didn’t. That was the curious thing about Greg. Sometimes James didn’t need him; sometimes he even forgot about him; but at the end of the day he was always there.

James needed to think today. He had had a lot on his mind and he just needed space from it all. Today was a boat day. Occasionally James came here. He found it interesting. It was great being around the sea and the sun shining down on them. He felt comforted. James often came here when he was depressed or confused about a situation. Here, he could make the sensible choice, the right choice. The choice that would best suit him. Sometimes he would be here for days, even though it might be just a few minutes in reality.

James lived a split life. For the most part he was the sociable office worker who could fix the photocopier and help set up the printer. But the for the rest of the time, he was the adventurer, the thinker – the one who’s mind was not limited by budgets and time constraints. Every now and then he could go wherever he wanted in his mind and he would stay there. For days it would seem, despite only minutes passing. The longest he had spent was a few hours of reality, but to him it felt likes months. That was the Jungle adventure. He swung through the trees and vines for days on end.

Right now James was throwing stones into the water. He had no idea where they were coming from, but every time he reached into his hand and there was one. Greg was picking away at a sandwich he had made himself on the other side of the rowing boat. He looked displeased.

“I don’t like pickle,” Greg said.

James dismissed his complaint.

“What’s up?” Greg pushed, evidentially sensing that James was upset. “Are you thinking again? You always come here when you think.”

It was true. James always did. When he was bored with his real life, he would shut his eyes and he would suddenly be atop high snow capped mountains, lakes below sparkling with a glorious sunshine. There would be volcanoes and giant creatures, there would be amazing adventures and impossible things happening. But all was quiet here. Nothing but the sea was between them and the horizon, not even the rolling waves broke the repetitive scene.

“I know, I’m sorry Greg. I just need to think for a while.”

“What’s on your mind?” Greg put down his sandwich and looked right into James’ eyes.

James hated when Greg looked right at him. With his big yellow eyes, Greg always looked as if he were close to tears, and for the most part he usually was. Greg was over emotional for a tiger. James sometimes could not handle it. He came to these places to escape, not to be burdened.

“I wish I had more money,” James said.

“Why do you want that?”

There was no such thing as money in these worlds. That was the beauty.

“I wish I had a girlfriend.”

“What’s that?”

“I wish… I wish I had something special to give.”

“But you do?”

“Do I?”

James looked around at the sea. There were no whales surfacing through the waves. It was a plain atmosphere, with nothing and no one but Greg to distract him.

“I feel alone.” James said.

In reality he was at his office desk. His tea had gone cold and he the music he had been sneakily listening to had stopped. There was something ebbing at him, though. It was not the fact that the computer was being slow or that he had not spoken to anyone in the office all day. It was not even that his tea was slightly under-brewed or that he would have to work a little later tonight.

“I need another adventure,” James said.

“Then let’s have one,” Greg replied, munching a bite of his sandwich.

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~ by S.G. Mark on April 26, 2012.

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