This girl was an eccentric child.
When she was around ten years old, she began the strangest ritual which would stick with her for most of her adult life. She would stand swing. Simply put, she would stand instead of sit like you normally do on a swing and do so for long periods of time.
The swings she had access to where in a park down the street from her house. The poles rose ten feet into the air, and the swings were made of hard plastic that eventually had her feet engraved into them after so much time. Sometimes others would graffiti the swings, but after a while rain would wipe them clean again.
When this ritual first started, she sang to herself. Soft songs , more often than not from Disney movies, her voice was very bad and after once or twice a person heard her horrid singing she moved to a CD player. CD players were bulky though, and not really meant for stand swinging. It fell out of her pocket once or twice, so she took to wearing hooded sweatshirts which pocket were big enough.
This was inconvenient in the summer because of the heat, but the best method at the time. She could have her change of inconceivably scratched CD's in her back pocket.
After a while her CD player disappeared for an MP3 player. This was a lot easier to use and she could switch songs more frequently.
Again, she started this ritual as a child. Throughout her life, her teenage years, her early adult years, she continued on with it. Twice a day, every day, sometimes she would stand swing for so long that her feet would ache and her hands blistered.
Everyone in the neighborhood noticed her strange antics. They would walk the family dog, and be passing by in car and look and stare. A few asked her why she did so but she never had a sufficient answer. The thing was, this child had an imagination.
While she was stand swinging she would simply daydream. What she thought about changed from day to day, depending on what books she was reading or what movies she was watching, but basically put she daydreamed about stories.
She would create characters and act out long monologues, and depending on what mood she was in the events in her stories would be happy or sad monologues. After stand swinging for a very long time, her stories began to become more like reality for her. Her characters became real people in her eyes, and she began to add more basic flaws to them.
The setting was always a fantastic world with magic, and after a while she began to develop more and more characters. It got to the point that she would draw them in her school time, add names and profiles. There were so many she eventually began to lose count.
The character that she adored the most, and that she shaped herself after, she named Rian Diem. This name took a longer time than you would think, but for her for it was a perfect name for the person she wished she was.
This character had started off in the world very happy. She had been so cheerful, so apt to make friends. But as her destiny dragged her down, she was meant to form Ragnarok someday and everyone knew it, her emotions began to crumble. She begged and pleaded for her memories to be erased, and the one who could do so obliged. Then when she was back in her ordinary home world, she found herself growing bored and restless, but the pain of getting her memories back was overwhelming. The one she loved had of course, betrayed her by literally stabbing her in the back. When she regained her memories she discovered the world was different, and herself a different person.
Throughout her teenage years this general story began to unfold in her mind, always while she was stand swinging at the park down the street.
She would do so in winter, when the chilling winds would cut marks into her hands and turn them bright red, but she had always preferred summer. In the summer she could stand swing in bare feet, with only shorts and a T-shirt and this was her utopia.
This was something that kept her sane through her parents' divorce and insane during later years when drugs became her life.
I guess one would think of it as escaping reality, and maybe that's why she never had an answer for the people who would ask her why she did it. She continued this ritual long after entering college. She considered it her relaxing time. Changing the music and forming stories to the songs.
Her father once said that he would never forget this strange behavior of hers, and that when he was on his deathbed he would see her stand swinging in the sweltering summer heat. This imagery could oddly enough bring tears to her eyes.
When she moved away from college she began to walk places instead of stand swinging. If she found a swing set on her walks she would always give it a go and she began to become of expert of different playgrounds.
Her stories, naturally, became more mature as she got older, but once every so often she was so moved by the stories she created in her own mind that she would weep, in the inky blackness of the night.
When her father moved out of her childhood house, she continued to come to the park. Her father's house was empty but she could break into it easily enough, so once every week she would bring a couple beers, stand swing for nearly two hours, drink them while watching movies on her laptop, and sleep in the empty remnants of her childhood.
On days like this her white Japanese car would be parked next to the swings. She changed what swing she would use three times in the nine years this ritual continued, but that was only because eventually her feet became so imprinted in the swing that she feared it would break.
And in these nine years she only fell twice, both times with people present to witness this graceful oblivion.
One day though, shortly after her sophomore year of college, the park was remodeled and her set of stand swings were taken down. She had spent so many endless hours at this park, such a chunk of her youth there, when she had discovered this she could do nothing but stare stupidly at the blank grass now in front of her.
They did build another park after that, but those swings were smaller, and she had grown too tall to stand swing on them. That nostalgia of early mornings before her father took her on a trip, stand swinging, will be something she takes to her grave.