I passed a sipping man sitting with an old bicycle outside a little cafe. His long beard and eye brows, coarse and white. His tanned skin creased from the harsh sun.
He smiled a brilliant white smile and winked. Had I not been myself, cursed with curiosity-ruled by shyness, I would have stopped for a chat.
So inspired by that twinkle in his eye, I have written his story for him...
He can't help himself, he falls in love so easily, slipping into the depths of that awful joyful roller coaster, the clash of his head and his heart. He has never stayed in one place for long enough for him to know what could become of this love, he leaves, sadly but with a relief that the love will never end. Left suspended in an eternity of what-ifs and who knows.
His Mama always said he would meet his match, a wild and free woman would capture his heart and he would have to chase her rather than run. He laughed at this. His Mama, his only constant woman.
From a family of 8 children, he grew up in a small terrace in the centre of town, the home sprawled onto the street and into the back alley, everywhere was a dirty bruised knee and a shiny wide smile, everywhere was music and song. His Papa an artist, his Mama worked at a local grocery. Everyday she would bring home fruit and vegetables, eggs and bread left over from the days sales, his Papa would be gone sometimes for weeks at a time, but would always return with pockets full of notes and exciting tales.
His childhood was happy, if not exhausting. He left home young, running from his first love and this led to his life of travelling the world, he suited his chosen lifestyle, happy to fit into whatever situation he found himself in. Happy to leave when he felt the pressure to stay.
He was home for Christmas, the first time in 18 years, his Mama didn't know he was coming and he was sitting here, collecting his thoughts before he went to the small terrace in the centre of town, to the home that sprawled on to the front path and back alley, where he would no doubt find his Mama, Papa, Brothers and Sisters and some number of his Nephews and Nieces. He pondered for another moment and smiled again, that white smile. He stood up, winked and rode his old bike away.
Love J x