The Need for Fantasy

Todays quotation is from Wild Horses by Dick Francis.

“Go on,” he said, “about the need for fantasy.”

“Oh … I …” I hesitated, and stopped , unwilling to sound a fool.

“Go on,” he urged. “People say…in fact I say… that play-acting isn´t a suitable occupation for a serious man. So tell me why it is.”

“You don’t need me to tell you.”

“Tell me why you make fantasies, then.”

“Have some wine.”

“Don’t duck the issue, dammit.”

“Well,” I said, pouring lavishly. “I wanted to be a jockey but grew too big. Anyway, one day I went to see a doctor about some damage I´d done to my shoulder in a racing fall, and she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I said `be a jockey´and she lectured me crossly on my wasting my time on earth frivolously. I asked her what occupation she would recommend and she sternly told me the only profession truly helpful and worthwhile was medicine.”

“Rubbish!”

“She scorned me for wanting to be merely an entertainer.”

Nash shook his head.

“So” I said, “I rationalised it, I suppose. I’m still an entertainer and always will be, I guess, and I’ve persuaded myself that I do at least as much good as tranquillisers. Everyone can go where their mind takes them, You can live in imaginary places without feeling the real terror or the real pain. I make the images. I open the door. I can inflame… and I can heal … and comfort … and get people to understand … and, for God’s sake, don´t remember a word of this. I´ve just made it up to entertain you.”

He drank his wine thoughtfully.

From Wild Horses by Dick Francis.

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