Imagine This

The other misty autumn afternoon I was standing in front of the Woodbury general store recreating the library’s sign when an acquaintance came out of the store with a gallon of milk and two quarts of Ben & Jerry’s. Naturally, I offered to relieve him of the weight of that ice cream. With the foliage burning an orange hue in the clouds, he and I talked about kids and our own childhoods, and how mightily imagination can work through a life, propelling people in all kinds of different ways – or not, if imagination is lacking.

I thought of a short piece I’d written for Kids VT about a 9-year-old boy who, hanging out in his dad’s East L.A. auto parts store with time on his hands, no kid companions, and piles of empty boxes, constructed an elaborate arcade from cardboard. By chance, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick appeared to buy a door handle for his Toyota corolla, and this short flick and a greater story evolved from their meeting. Caine is a smart and inherently likable kid, but the filmmaker equally interested me – in a story behind the story kind of way. Who was this adult who took such an interest in this lonely boy? Doubtlessly, the story widens….

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact…

– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Greensboro, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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