On a CD–The Best of Ella Fitzgerald–there are a few songs from the Johnny Mercy songbook, and one of them is “Laura.” On Youtube.com you can also find a more famous version done by Frank Sinatra, but I prefer Ella’s singing to Sinatra. “Laura” is a very special song for me because the song revolves around a first love in a girl who is not real. As somebody who is a writer of fiction the idea of an imaginary girl to whom the real girl pales is interesting to me. So, too, as a Bipolar Schizoaffective Disorder patient. Finally, as somebody who has always been “unlucky in love.” Yes, for all of these three things the imaginary idol whom I love–though for me it would be a man rather than a woman–is so much a part of my life. Oh, I know what people think. I had a doctor who referred to people who fell in love with something that existed only in their heads as “sick, sick, sick.” (This was the same fool who warned me to stay away with people who had giant mood swings because it would be a future doctor who diagnosed me as Bipolar–mood swings to the point of being crazy.) Another person was in a psychology class with me and we watched a tape about a crazy person who once her “voices” were gone admitted, “I get awfully lonely without them.” This guy–no gem that I could tell–made fun of her for being “Crazy.” Well she was, and there have been times in my life when I hallucinated just as badly.

Well, anyway, I have never written well about insanity itself–or rather, it is harder for me to portray people who were like me than any kind. Yet the surreal feeling of “Laura” does make me think of that longing that a person feels when there is no romantic love in their life, and their imagination just kind of fills in the gap. Do I know where imagination ends and craziness begins? Only sort of. Yet kept strictly within the bounds of the imagination is “Laura”:

Laura is the face in the misty light
Footsteps that you hear down the hall
The laugh that floats on a summer night
That you can never quite recall

And you see Laura on a train that is passing through
Those eyes how familiar they seem
She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura but she’s only a dream

She gave your very first kiss to you
That was Laura but she’s only a dream

Published by hadassahalderson

I am a professional author who lives in Wichita, KS. I went to Friends University and spent one year at Claremont Graduate University. My published work includes: The Bible According to Eve I-IV and Faust in Love.

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