I think we started playing Koosh Motel in third grade. My closest friend that year was a quiet girl named Megan. She had long dark hair, thick and straight, and bangs that cut straight across her forehead. She was an only child and had a black cat. She was really really good at drawing and Sega and she loved Looney Toons. When she wasn’t trying to teach me how to draw the perfect Lola Bunny, she and I were making up imagery worlds–with unicorns and hidden gems and quests that only we could complete.
I don’t remember how Koosh Motel came about or if there was any structure to how we played it. It was what it sounded like: a motel for Koosh Balls, granted one that we set up in the roots of a tree every recess. The Koosh’s each had their own backstories and relationships. Interactions played out organically in the safe little motel for traveling Koosh Balls.
There’s a lot of things in my life that I’m embarrassed by, but Koosh Motel isn’t one of them. Even though we fell out of touch, I’m forever indebted to Megan for encouraging me to play and imagine and not care if it was weird.