Here at Be the Boy we are honoring the start of the new school year with school related stories from the archives. This takes place in 1980, when I was in first grade.
The killing of my imaginary friend
When I was a kid I had a best friend who could whatever the hell he wanted. If there was homework he didn’t have to do it. When the other kids went to bed he stayed up. He had all the best toys and never had to clean his room. He was the coolest kid ever and I should know because I made him up all by myself. His name, was Carpo and I swore that he went to school with me. I’m not sure where I got the name Carpo but it was probably derived from Harpo Marx, but wherever the name came from Carpo was my best buddy all through kindergarten and into first grade.
The town I lived in at that time was split in two by a canal. I lived on the east side while my imaginary friend and his fake family occupied a space over on the west side. Exactly where they lived was unclear since I had no knowledge of the west side, being unable to cross the street without an adult and unable to swim the canal. Despite the lack of hard facts my parents listened with patience as I explained the many wild adventure I had at school with Carpo, that is until I rebelled against bedtime and homework on the grounds that what my friend did I also did. After several days of negotiating my dad became frustrated and demanded we get in the car and drive to the Carpo house to confront his unfit parents and set things straight. My mom tells me she tried to talk him out of this but a few minutes later we were driving around the west side while I sat helplessly as my dad pointed to each house asking if it was the one. Finally we went home, I did my homework, went to bed and never mentioned Carpo again.