On Liberty
 
The man who was a teacher had written several pieces of fiction in the mornings before his classes in which he’d spoken numerous times of creating and spending a great deal of time and even perhaps living part-time in imagined worlds. At the beginning of his sixth week of writing these pieces of fiction it occurred to the man while taking a shower that, while he had himself been living as his characters had, i.e. part-time in the imagined worlds of his or their stories, he was also living full-time in the imagined world of his own nonfictional story or stories, i.e. what he’d considered to be his actual life. That is to say that what he considered to be his actual life was very much only a world or a story that he’d imagined. And the things that he’d not merely been imagining but had also been acting out were just that: things he’d imagined and then acted out, as opposed to things he’d only imagined but had not acted out.

His entire life in a small town in northern Thailand was something he’d begun imagining incrementally some months after he’d first lived in and then left the town and the country just mentioned about five years earlier, and that he’d then begun and continued imagining and acting out about five years later. 

His teaching job. His imperfect companion. The dissolution of his earlier actual lives that had themselves begun as earlier imagined lives. His early mornings spent writing. The apartment where he was showering before writing on one of those early mornings and realizing all of this, that all of the separate things that have added up to the still-accumulating totality of his life were just a series of things he’d months and years earlier merely imagined and on the morning of his realization been imagining and acting out day-to-day and hour-to-hour and so on.

And it wasn’t just him. It was everyone. There were no exceptions. The man’s students. The Korean boys they worshipped as beautiful gods. The blind woman singing for coins at the weekend night market. The world’s miscellaneous prime ministers and presidents. The current president in his own country of birth. The people who’d voted for him. The people who hadn’t. Even they were all right now, i.e. while the man was in the shower, just beginning or continuing and/or acting out their new imaginings of future presidents and prime ministers and/or their own actual future lives while continuing to imagine or continue and/or act out the events of their current daily actual lives. Although it should be said that the current president of the man’s country of birth did not seem to have actually imagined or even wanted to have imagined living the daily actual life of actually being the president, daily. But even that had begun as an act that had been part of a series of acting outs of his imaginings of not being president but of actually being something else, perhaps something less wounded and hurting inside, during and after his ostensible run for the presidency. And now that he is actually the president his daily actual life is something he merely goes on imagining and acting out, just like all of the people who did and didn’t vote for him earlier, and all of the other presidents and prime ministers and the people who did and didn’t (or couldn’t) vote for them (or not) earlier, and the man’s students and their Korean boy-gods, and the blind woman at the night market singing into the microphone that she plugs into the speaker that she cradles like a baby, and the man in his apartment thinking these things through as the moving sum of both his new and past imaginings and acting out of things.

In other words, while things can certainly go unimagined, one can’t in actuality undo something that has already been imagined, or reverse-imagine something that they’ve already imagined and/or acted out. However, there is nothing that can’t be newly imagined and acted out, or newly imagined and acted out of. Everyone does this every day. Everyone ever has always done this every day, including probably to different degrees on the days they’re born and the days they die, the man imagines.