The boy looked younger than his age, but for all that he was still full of the life force.
The kid loved nothing better than running to the top of a hill and shouting out – ‘This Is Me!’.
On one very sad and bad occasion the world tried to smash his little heart into pieces, and although there would always be a scar – he healed enough to keep on running and shouting.
As a teenager, he screamed and laughed and ran with his heart on his sleeve. Then one day, through fear or ageing, no one was sure which, he started to quieten his heart and his little soul.
His friends told him that his hands were not the hands of a friend of theirs – so he pulled his hands up inside his sleeves. Then his friends told him that his shorts were too short and not the kind of trousers that they would expect a friend to wear: so he wore trousers that were more akin to someone who was their friend.
Then they told him that his smile was too wide and gave away too much of his heart, so the boy closed down his smiling and eventually his face.
By the time the boy was an older man and had reached the age of thirty – he had all the friends he needed in the world – but his heart and soul had completely disappeared and he could have been anyone and everyone.
When he looked in the mirror, the face was the face of everyman.
One night, on the way home, when he was perhaps a little drunker than he should have been, he looked across the street and from the corner of his eye, he saw a strange man wave and shout. He didn’t recognize him at first, until the man on the other side, shouted:
“It’s me, I’m the man you should have been. See, I’m smiling.”
bobby stevenson 2017