It wasn’t his fault; so why did it feel that it was? As Tom ran their condemnation, irritation and hatred pealed horrible notes in his head. He was twenty six. He saw beauty not in the naked body but in the wings of a butterfly. The dots of a ladybird on his short orange trousers and ice-cream cold and thick on his stubbly chin.
He sang doo ray me LOUDLY; his notes dropping spangled in the market square and in front of the parish church where his mum played the organ. His mum had loved him for just being him until she’d been carried away in a tight cosy box. A mum in a box now carried far away from him to somewhere called heaven. Tom was puzzled how he never saw coffins travelling to heaven but instead rubbish on pavements and dog mess that made him think his McDonalds wouldn’t be staying in his stomach for much longer.
Tom cried so many tears that a pea-green boat could carry him away to a magical place where people never ever died and where people always cared about each other, didn’t steal or murder but just cared. Tom watched brightly coloured marbles as he stood with his squashy nose on the windows of a home he’d soon be asked to walk away from; taking his happy memories in his magic case with him; still with his stubbly chin and his mum whizzing around in heaven…finding her way home to him.