I have an invisible friend.
My invisible friend speaks with my own voice. He is twin to me. He shares my insecurities. I gift him with my lowest moments and my secret dreams. He is myself only whittled down to a more pleasing shape, a mirror to the best places in my soul.
There is a playful familiarity to our time together. There is idle, but silent, chatter and the kind of banter that I have shared with a long procession of invisible friends since childhood. There are adventures to be had and the kind of fun that kids share, without the adult intervention that can dull a fine evening.
I imagine us into a spa bath, my invisible friend and I. I can feel the jets shooting out onto my skin, the perfect position for the force of water, half crouched, half submerged, half covered in the coy placement of the foam. I have never had a spa bath with a real friend. There has only ever been still water. I imagine glasses of wine balanced cheekily on the slippery edge. I imagine chaste conversation and the pleasant chafing of skin on skin. Stray fingers, placed on thighs to illustrate one point or another. My imaginary friend touches me under the suds with my own hand, an auto-erotic pleasure that I can credit to someone else in my imaginings.
Alone and in my own time I can sneak into the fantasy of this invisible friend finding himself in a sudden lack of conversation. I imagine a kiss, a soapy slip of the fingers, just enough to topple me over the edge and down again into that earthy plummet.
My imaginary friends have never left my side, a pack of them, a gang. And here he is now, the one that speaks in my own tongue the special mirror image of myself. He has stalked me out of my childhood play and at night I nestle onto my side and into the hug that we have shared since I was a lonely, unattractive girl.
"But you are attractive" he tells me, "sexy" and the way he says it, it might be my own inflection. My own voice. Myself, surprisingly, liking myself.