A hundred years ago, lunatic asylums were packed with inmates convinced they were world historical figures.
What happened when these men encountered each other in the hallways, I wonder?
Were there death matches between (literally) dueling Napoleons?
Did rival Jesuses (Jesuii?) challenge each other to miracle-working showdowns in the sunroom?
The closest one can get to experiencing such a circumstance first hand today is to go to an AA meeting, or five.
At some point (if you’re doing it right) a troubling thought enters your still-twisted brain:
“Hey, hang on a minute. Did these idiots get the memo? I’m the greatest person on earth! Don’t they know who I am?! Who let all these other Anastasias in here?”
Eventually, someone quips, “A alcoholic thinks they’re the piece of crap around which the entire world revolves” and everyone laughs knowingly.
Except you, at least the first time you hear that – you’re too busy trying to control your embarrassed flush.
Dammit, have these people been bugging my apartment?
Fantasizing about being all-powerful emperor of the solar system can’t be restricted to drunks, though.
Isn’t it a bit like musing about what you’d do with your Power Ball winnings?
As the only child of two only children, perhaps I’ve given such fantasies more thought than the sober and the sane amongst us.