My first fantasy was that my mum and dad had taken the wrong child home from the hospital and one day some middle class family with a car would knock on our slum door in London's post war Notting Hill and take me back to my true family.
I was riddled with fantasies. I was the youngest and I fantasied that when I was up stairs in the room with the candlelight they were down stairs plotting to murder me when I fell asleep. Only the arrival of my mother with the reassurances that she had no plan on letting anyone cut my throat, least of all one of my eldest brothers, allowed me to drift into sleep. This might explain why I have never enjoyed horror stories or movies, having all of the fantasist imagination already wired into my psyche.
Later on my fantasies changed radically. Betty Lewis, the most physically formed girl in our class of 13 year olds took over from brothers wielding knives, with the connivance of parents. This you might call my dirty, smutty fantasy period. As of yet it has not ceased.
But that's enough about my fantasies, what about yours?
A very attractive young woman who worked with me told me one day while we were sipping coffee in an imitation Viennese (fantasy) coffee shop in Richmond about her fantasy. She would try and arrange to enjoy her boyfriend at the bottom of her mothers garden, the other side of the wall of which there was a very busy street. It was the close proximity and the chance of getting caught that was her fantasy buzz. I was astonished as this piece of information dropped into our conversation at random. What you call a non sequitur. When I asked why she had just dropped this niblet in she said that telling it was also part of the fantasy.
Fantasy and reality cover the whole of our lives. Fantasy is all inside. Reality is outside. Fantasy at times gets outside of the head into sexual action. It also gets out in terms of psychopaths who get to kill people because they have fantasied about it.. You could say that Hitler might well go down in history as the greatest -not in a qualitative sense- of all fantasists. Mein Kampf, his supposed autobiography written while luxuriating in prison after the failed Bierkeller putsch, seems a long string of fantasy. But due to the intense breakdown of German society his fantasy became government policy when he came to power. His destruction of the Jews, Communists etc was fantasy enshrined in law. The fantasy became the reality.
The 20th Century did in some ways turn fantasy into dreams on both side of the political divide. Facism, Communist were having fantasies on one side of the Ocean, while Wall Street was manufacturing fantasies of instant wealth on the other. All nose-dived into death and murder and destruction with the 1930's becoming the payback time for all of those dreamy fantasies. Hollywood was carrying on keeping it's fantasies going, and survived the Walls Street Crash to Fantasize again.
The Second World War though sorted out whose fantasy was going to win out, with Stalin and Hitler going head to head for the greatest of all fantasy clashes. This was fantasy become reality.
Our contemporary times has made fantasy the biggest of all industries in the world. Fantasy as distraction; as movie, as game, as Internet distraction; the fantasy of perennial fulfilment through white wires running into your ears; and continuous communication through cell phone fantasy. The fantasy that you can only be whole and human by digital connection.
Fantasy is our way of coping, of making a dry cake cream laden in our imaginations. It is going to bed with one person but having sex with a dozen others. This is how we get to fuck the stars, the celebs; by fantasy. Fantasy keeps the world ticking over. Take fantasy out of Capital and you have nothing left.
To me the greatest and most injurious of fantasies is the fantasy that all of this fantasising can go on ad infinitum. We will have to fight for even this distorted reality.
My greatest fantasy one time was that I was a great leader of people leading them into a post revolutionary world where all would be equal. And at another that I was the greatest of great painters; knocking spots off of the pedestrian Pollock and Hockney.
Other times that certain women sat unclothed on my lap, delighted with me. wow! I can remember them all. They are better than a Kindle for recall. No button needs to be pressed, and the battery never runs out.
What's your noble, and honest, and dirty little fantasy? We have millions to choose from.
John will be speaking at HowTheLightGetsIn, the world's largest philosophy and music festival, running from 21st May - 31st May in association with The Huffington Post UK.