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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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The Wonderful World of Fantasy

Posted 01-28-2010 at 08:40 PM by TommyJohn

I have a very active fantasy life. I come up with scenarios, plots, characters, stories, dialogues, monologues, etc. One might think this is a good thing-that kind of life means one is creative. Well, it has worked to my detriment. I have never been able to meld any of my stories, plots, etc. into any kind of cohesive whole-just bits here and pieces there. I did sit down and try a few times, but quickly lost patience. Don't know why, I guess it is because I am well aware of how many writers try and try and write and write and they turn out ****. And that's just the stuff that gets published.

I long ago gave up trying-few things in this world are more obnoxious and hateful as a writer who can't write. I don't want to put myself in that position.

My fantasy life worked against me in other ways-back in high school I was a nerd. I kept to myself, acted in plays, didn't play sports (despite a mad desire to do so, I wasn't good enough), had few friends, never dated, let alone kissed a girl. I saw everyone in HS as scorning me, thinking I was a big loser. Particular amongst these was a girl I harbored a giant crush on-she didn't like me. So of course, it was the end of the world. My pain was so great, no pain like it had ever been experienced by anyone, anywhere, ever. How could anybody know the special kind of agony of being ignored by the girl you adored? No one could know my pain. So I resolved to become an actor. Someday, I would be famous. I would show them all. They would regret ignoring me. As for the Girl of My Dreams, the one who inflicted the worst pain in all of mankind on me? I would win an Academy Award, then get up in front of the world and sob that I did it all for her. Boy, won't she be impressed. She would love that. She'll sob, thank me and say "I never knew! Why didn't you tell me? Of course I'll marry you! *Sob* *Sob*

As time progressed, Things began to happen. First of all, it took a while, but the demonic grip of my crush began to fade over time. After a while, it no longer mattered to me what the girl thought. I came to get some perspective. The people in High School who I was determined to best faded from my memory. I no longer was interested in "showing them." I just wanted to live my life.

The other important thing-I couldn't act. This is a problem when one is a Theatre Major in college. I had a professor who told me I was the next Pacino, another tell me I shouldn't be an actor. The one who told me I wasn't good had a deeper and more profound effect on me and my life.

I graduated, but went about auditions in a half-hearted way. Well, I was into it at first. But I realize how badly I sucked now. I went through many an audition without even a callback. Meanwhile, friends of mine succeeded, as did a couple of insufferable, smirking pricks. The success of friends I can handle; the success of insufferable, smirking pricks I cannot handle.

I now realize that I should never have tried in the first place. I should have tried to find a place in the real world. I should have majored in something to be a teacher, a lawyer, or whatnot. I just could not think of anything else I wanted to do. So I acted. Now, the same people I was determined to "show" in high school are now far more successful than me-lawyers, doctors, teachers, electricians, one a multi-millionaire motivational speaker, one an actress and host of a TV show, etc. I am one of the least successful people to come out of that class, insofar as a career goes. And all because of my inability to distinguish real-life ambitions from far-flung, head-up-the-ass fantasies. If I could go back and see my 17 year old self, I would encourage him to pull his head out from his rear, shake off the fantasies, and get busy living. Naturally, the 17 year old would probably flip me off and tell me he knows better than me. He would also carry on about the great, great pain he feels because The Girl of His Dreams doesn't like him. It is the greatest pain of All Time, and I know nothing about such pain. And then...I would beat the living **** out of him. After which he would probably be even more determined to show everyone what a person the world is missing out on.

I actually started on one tangent and ended on another. I was going to write about the various things I have cooked up over the years, but wound up writing about my secret origin instead. Weird and rambling, I know. At the age of 41, I find myself flashing back to that time more often, much more so than in recent years. I guess it is because I thought I was coming along OK, but now suddenly realize I am not and would like a do-over, or at least I hope I can still be something in this life before it is too late.
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