A friend and I were musing in the backyard just the other day. The conversation leapt from girls to work, and eventually landed on the subject of vacation spots and the best places to go.
“We definitely need a place that has a good view,” I said, sipping some of the lemonade his wife had brought us earlier.
“Where did you have in mind,” he asked.
“A room with a view– hmmm.”
I could remember a time wanting to go somewhere that had a view as a kid. Something about a place not having a view at all seems to have struck a chord in my mind at the time.
“Don’t blow a gasket, dude. I’m starting to see smoke rollin’ outta them ears,” he said, pointing.
“A prison cell.”
“You want to vacation—in a prison,” he asked.
“It’s sounds stupid, but hear me out. You can go anywhere when you’re in a prison cell, just as long as you have this,” I said, holding up what his wife had been reading on the patio table.
My friend nearly spit his drink out. “That’s um—-how do I put this nicely—that happens in prison quite often, bud. Not really sure how you’re gonna get rope to tie yourself up but I’m sure there’s a kind gentleman that’ll hold your hand.”
I didn’t realize it was a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.
“What,” I asked, turning the cover and realizing what it was. “NO,” I said, “I’m talking about the book itself. Any book, mind you.” I looked at this particular book again in disgust and tossed it back to the table.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t get caught dead with that in my hands either, but what constitutes a prison cell as a good vacation spot again, I’m all ears” he asked.
“It’s not about being a vacation spot. It’s about the view itself. I used to ask myself why I thought it’d be a good idea, but I realized that it’s really just a matter of my perspective.”
“Okay– still stating the obvious, but go on.”
“What I mean is that your confined to a small space in prison. No one else is there to really bother you, and I imagine for the most part it’d be really quite. There may not even be a window.”
“The more you go on with this, the more depressed I get,” he said, taking another sip of his lemonade. “So your locked away. Now what are you gonna do? Pretend you’re in a dreamy vacation spot,” he asked.
“Not pretend,” I said. “I’m going to imagine.”
“This outta be good,” he smirked.
“Think about someone who has a great imagination, or someone with no imagination at all. They have to constantly focus their mind on something else. Work, school, spouses—friends,” I said, tipping my glass in his direction. “Now imagine you’ve got nothing better to do but sit in a room with nothing but a few good books. You wouldn’t just read these books, you’d live them. You’d of lived a thousand lives before you got out. If not, once you’ve picked them clean, I think you could create a hell of a masterpiece on your own.”
“So you’re banking on imagination to bail you out over parole,” he asked.
“Life is a shortened sentence, man, and there’s no such thing as parole. If you really think about it, we’re confined to limits we set up for ourselves. Using your imagination will break those limits. It makes you boundless, really,” I mused.
“Sweet Christ man, how did we go from talking about babes to the Buddha Zen crap again,” he asked.
“Better than getting into trouble for a day.”
“Eh, true dat,” he said, tinking my glass.