They had always been a force to be reckoned with. For as long as I’d known them. They may not have had a particularly fortuitous start, not everybody does and frankly what happened before I met them is none of my business, or yours. Nothing is your business unless they deign it so. You really can use all of those overspun clichéd metaphors: they are a globule of honey amongst a swarm of bees, a magnet whose simultaneous force of attraction and resistance is moving to others. They are from a different land, and yet, filled a void no-one knew existed and solidified there as though that space had always been occupied by them. They could move through space and time like no other, carrying with them this vast, deep, unique and sometimes vapid knowledge of different places, always welcomed by natives and always encouraged to stay, imploringly, and not leave like some pariah deity for the next pasture. In a flash of light and a cloud of smoke, they’re gone, but left behind the swirling eddies of memory, left us wanting, feeling deprived, wishing the new coast would turf them straight back, not ready. Their ambition is infectious. It brought the woodland creatures out of their hidey-holes, moving, pushing forward on and on. When they point their finger, your success becomes as palpable as their embrace, like the gold that they are painted in, suddenly slipped and tumbled and washed over your life to boot. They can speak many different tongues, bathing in a culture until it becomes unrecognisable from their own, at times just a nod would suffice for the others. A determined blink of the eyes that are violently cyan, more so in the sunlight, which they take care to follow, a colour you could never completely drown in, its painful perfection would burn up your retinas with its unrivaled class of warmest ice. Their laugh is filling, glug glug glug, riding a train full of euphoric spirits destined for paradise, a sound as soft as thunder, as bracing as a zephyr. You look behind and to the side when they choose you and wonder who you’ve pleased and how and when you came to be so lucky that that flaxen finger fell. On you.
cover image by the Editing Team