This experience occurred when I was around two years of age. We lived in Ontario in what I remember as a small, two-bedroom house with ugly orange carpeting and dark-paneled walls that made the small living room seem even smaller. Near the front door, contained within plastic frames designed to look antique, there hung two paintings: a boy elf, and a girl elf. The pictures were hung so that it looked like the boy and girl were facing each other…
I don’t remember how it happened, but every night, in the wee hours, I would find myself sitting on the floor in the middle of the living room. My mother was usually fast asleep on the couch, and my father slept in their bedroom. I would sit on the floor in the middle of the living room, listening to my mother’s light snoring, and I would stare at the pictures of the elves by the door. I stared, because I knew they were going to leap out of their frames at any second, and dance and cavort in front of me until I laughed too loudly and woke my father.
Every night was the same as the night before: I would find myself in the living room, sitting on the floor, waiting for the elves to leap from their picture frames and come and play with me. Every night, the same result occurred: I would end up laughing too loudly, my father would wake up, come to the living room, see me sitting there laughing, and ask, “What are you doing out here?” Then, he would pick me up and take me back to bed.
When he woke up, the elves would race to get back into their frames before he reached the living room. They always made it in the nick of time, so he never saw them. As for me, I was only two; what did I know about imagining things?