My secret life with Walter Mitty


By Lee Scott

“Earth to Lee. Earth to Lee.” is one of my husband’s favorite lines. He says it when he sees me take off on some marvelous adventures. These little journeys are more like Walter Mitty trips than actual adventures. My spouse understands my propensity for daydreaming, where I find myself in new places and extraordinary situations, and he has to bring me back to reality. No, it is not dementia, it is imagination. It happens all the time while doing some mundane task. I get to visit new places and imagine new quests.

Like the James Thurber character, Walter Mitty in the book “My world and welcome to it” I playfully imagine myself in different settings. Like recently, while riding in the car down a road lined with moss laden oak trees, I transformed into a Confederate Soldier returning home from the war with my Southern Belle spouse running towards me. And as we near the spot where we are actually going to meet, I snap to awareness wanting to avoid the inevitable hangman’s noose. If you don’t understand the reference, then look up “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”.

While at the Air and Space Museum, sitting in one of the jets, I suddenly found myself as the first female pilot of an F-35; streaming through the clouds with Maverick and Goose, characters from the Movie “Top Gun”. As I soared in my jet, I started to hear the voice of the security guard telling me to get out of the jet. What a spoilsport. I was just getting ready to fly through the Grand Canyon.

As children, we are told to use our imagination all the time. But somewhere between jobs and marriage we are encouraged to be more practical. Yet how many of us would love to walk the beach and envision a friend or family member who has died walking beside us and chatting about our life. What is wrong in closing your eyes on a rainy cold day and picturing yourself laying on a beach in Monte Carlo with your yacht right off the shore?

And so, shopping downtown, I suddenly find myself backing up to the wall with Walter Mitty. We light our last cigarettes as the Firing Squad prepares to aim. Then I hear in the background a soft male voice, “Earth to Lee. Earth to Lee.” right before the gunshots are fired.

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