"'Serious games are the only kind of game I like.'
"So Oliver gave Charlie the same rundown that he had given to Mrs. Pearson, only he tried to make this version shorter and more to the point.
"When he was finished, Charlie looked at him in a friendly — in fact, in a slightly too friendly — manner.
"'Oliver,' he said, 'if that's, like, your reality, cool. Your parents are like, also really supportive about this?'
"'I haven't told them.'
"Charlie looked as if he was repressing a smile.
"'Charlie, this is serious. Anyway, what does "supportive" mean?'
"For a second Charlie looked lost. 'It's — uh — it's an American word that means, sort of, you may be nuts but you have a right to be nuts in your own way. Hey, I like your thinking on this, Ollie. We had to do something like it for credit in symbolic archetype class — that's what they used to call English, but Randi decided to change it. Now we do archetypal symbolic information analysis. I mean, we each had to create our own myth, and draw our own mandala and everything. And then we had to, like, analyze everybody's archetypes. Personally, I'm thinking of becoming a Buddhist. They worship lettuce.'
"'Charlie, you don't understand. This is desperately serious. This is real.'
"'Hey, Ollie,' Charlie said reprovingly, and he held up a finger solemnly. 'Like the Beatles said, nothing is real.'
"'This is real.'
"'On the other hand,' said Charlie Gronek, settling down with a pillow on Oliver's bed, 'they also said although she feels as if she's in a play, she is anyway. Which is different.'
"'Charlie, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Beatles.'
"'Oliver, sooner or later everything has something to do with the Beatles.'
"Charlie reflected for a moment. 'Okay. I can't see any fun for me in not believing you. And if I do believe you — why, it could be fun. So I believe you, Ollie.'
"Oliver was unhappy, and he threw himself back down on his bed.
"'That's not really believing me, Charlie. Believing me for fun is not the same thing as believing me.'
"'Well, maybe that's the way we believe things in America. Anyway, no one else believes you right now, so you might as well take my kind of believing'" (The King in the Window, 136-37).