Friday, August 17, 2018

The Hidden Boy

April 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Prose

School was enjoyed especially football and all sports. The one fly in the ointment was music lessons. Singing caused me more heartache than everything else combined. Totally tone deaf, unable even to harmonise, always the inevitable ‘You lad, you, you,. and you. I can do nothing for you, out into the yard, pick up all the rubbish, then weed the flower beds!’ Four young boys out in the yard, undecided whether to be pleased to be free, or sad because they had no singing voice. I don’t know about the other boys, but even to this day I cannot open my mouth to sing in Chapel or anywhere else. I would give my right arm to be able to sing.

Always a short discussion. ‘You lads can do what you like, I’m off.’ This seemed to be my reaction, snatching up my school satchel, ducking under the window, across the playground, over the waste tip, jump to the top of the wall, over and away. A two mile run, then up into the Cup and Saucer tree, free as the wind, safe, and completely happy.

Few cars passed along that road in the late 1920s. Occasionally one would stop to admire my beautiful tree, unaware that a young boy was watching their every move. Sometimes a camera would be produced, and after a great deal of looking at various angles, a picture would be taken. I often wondered what those avid photographers would make of the small face grimacing at them, or the pair of rather large feet, encased in white plimsolls, sticking up on the rim of the cup, should the negative ever reveal the hidden boy.

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