July 22, 2004

A teenaged driver, killed in a traffic accident. The community came together to mourn the life cut short, and could find nothing but good to say of him.

Somehow I doubt the same was true during his life.

In life, as nearly as I can gather, he had been "kind of average", marginally gifted at some things (most of them not valued), marginally klutzy at others, a few good spots, a few blemishes, too often at loose ends for time, no visible piercings or tattoos, beginning an average apprenticeship, no gang memberships and no Rotary Club ones, nothing exceptionally pro- or anti-social: on the whole, invisible.

Why is it we make a cult of finding the best about our dead, and the worst about our living?

Smile of the day:

Very much in love with a beautiful woman, when he discovered the next day would be her birthday he impulsively told her he would send her a bouquet of roses, one for every year of her life. He called the local florist that very evening and ordered them, twenty-one roses, with instructions for them to be delivered first thing the next morning.

Perhaps his passion showed in his voice, perhaps he just came across as a nice guy: but the florist spontaneously decided that this chap deserved an extra dozen roses, and added them quietly to the bouquet.

The young man never did find out what had made her so extremely angry with him.

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