Thursday, 11 October 2018

Things That Didn't Make The News Today

Mrs Jacobs, from the other side of town, sat and talked with a homeless man, bought him a cup of tea and left him with a smile.

Sarah completed her Chemo today and her husband bought her fish and chips. She said she would leave them until later, then she kissed him.

John gave his last pound coin to a little old lady collecting for dementia.

Annie and Sam baby-sat for the young girl next door so she could go for a job interview.

James stopped his car and gave three people a ride into town on account of the heavy rain.

Mark talked a young girl, who wouldn’t give her name, from jumping from the viaduct railway bridge.

Margaret donated a pint of blood.

Colin stopped his bicycle and chased off some bullies who had been picking on his younger brother.

Mary brought some soup to the old man who lived on the corner.

And all around the world, the newspapers were printing that there was not enough love in the world.

bobby stevenson 2018

Friday, 5 October 2018

Being There

To hold the sky from falling on your head,
To make you safe as you dream in your bed,
To stop the world from breaking your heart,
To help you build a most beautiful start,
These are the things I wanted for you.

But being there,
Just being there -
Is the best I can do.

bobby stevenson 2018

My Squeaky Heart

He was nervous – really nervous - as he met her as she stepped off the bus. He wasn’t nervous in Sara’s company – no, sir – that is the one thing he was totally sure of. He loved Sara, no two ways about it. She was his soul mate and no mistake. She made the stars and the sun shine brighter. When he was with Sara, nothing and no one else mattered. He’d always hoped for a relationship like that.
Always, and life had granted him that wish.

He’s first met her on a train. She had just boarded at a station in the suburbs and as he looked over at her, their eyes had locked. Truly locked – like they had always known each other for eternity. He knew it sounded corny, but that was the only way he could explain it. They were destined to meet.

He had brought other girlfriends home to meet his parents, but with Sara he had waited.

Waited, so that it would happen on the right night, at the right time and then they wouldn’t be able to stop themselves from liking her.

She was special all right, all his friends had said so. ‘Two peas in a pod’ was the phrase one of them used. So what could go wrong - and, more to the point, at 27 did he really need his parents’ approval?

They couldn’t get married. They might try to achieve it, but the chances are they would be found out.

There was nothing wrong. At least they didn’t think so. They were a young couple who had met in the city, fallen in love, and now wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

It was his mother who answered the door. She was always at the door when her curiosity got the better of her. He’d even seen the curtains move a little as they walked up the drive. He could just imagine his mother elbowing his father in the ribs – as if to say, ‘she’ll do’.

And she probably would have done – do, that is – if it hadn’t taken a turn for the worse. The meal went as well as could be expected. His mother had made her special stew – ‘never fails to impress’, as she would say. Sara didn’t want to eat much. She made it look as if she was eating and then screwed up the little bits of meat and put them in her pocket. He had taught her that, something he had learnt when he was a kid and his mother was trying to make him eat up his vegetables.

“So do I hear wedding bells?” His mother had asked, only to be stared down by his father.

“Mother, we’ve only just met the girl,” Father said, kindly.

He and Sara looked at each other, then held hands tightly under the table and just smiled.

“We’ll see,” said Sara.
“Yeah, we’ll see,” he added just emphasise the point.
“You haven’t eaten much. Not of my special stew.” Said Mother.

They both tried to reply at the same time, with the same excuse: “Not hungry”.

“That’s a shame,” said his mother. “That’s a real shame.”

Perhaps it was this that put her on the defensive, but his mother had that determined, steely look in her eyes – that said,’ no one rejects my special stew, something is not quite right here.’

And she wouldn’t let it go.

“Where were you born?” Asked his mother, in a manner more akin to a secret police interview.

“In this country,” said Sara.
“Well, that’s a relief,” said his father. Actually meaning, at least you’re not one of those horrible immigrants.
“Where are you parents?”

“Mum, are all these questions, really necessary?” He said.
“I’m just curious, it’s not everyday you bring home a beautiful young woman.”

“I would have thought, he was punching above his weight
with this one,” said his dad.

“Allan”, shouted his mother. “Don’t ridicule our son in front of folk”.

He was going to wait until they were better acquainted before he had told them both, but as things were taking a downward spiral, he thought he would just blurt it out.

“Sara, is……..” , he started.
“A man,” said his dad (in jest, he hoped).
“Allan!” Shouted his mother. “Of course she’s not a man.”
“Mum, she’s a Bio,” he spurted out at last.
“What the flipping heck is a Bio?” Asked his dad.
“She’s a robot,” he said.

Both said together, “a what?”.

“Sara is a robot.”

The two of them weren’t expecting that. No way. Not the robot thing.

“You’re going out with a tin can?” Shouted his father. “Why don’t you just shag a tin of beans?”

That one hurt, but he knew he wasn’t the only one who loved a Bio. Wasn’t the first and certainly wouldn’t be the last.

The curtains were still moving (and probably more elbowing was going on) as the two of them left in a hurry down the drive and in to an uncertain and probably difficult future.

bobby stevenson 2018

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Dexter and Eugene

What do you do with your life, when you have all the money you will ever need? Now in some cases that doesn’t mean it’s a lot of money. Sometimes folks are happy with a few coins here and there, because a roof above their heads, a warm bed to sleep in and food in their stomach is all that is required. However, in the case of Dexter Foster it was about all the money in the world. 

He was a dollar millionaire by the time he was nineteen years of age. He never knew his father and he didn’t take this as a great loss in his life. By the time he was twenty-five, he was worth over half a billion. Shrewd investments, and his helping in the development of a new way of thinking with computers put him at the top of the tree.

He’d had partners, but most were after his money and his power – so he found he became cynical in his belief with the souls of others. Money couldn’t buy love but it could buy companions, and he made do with that for a few years. When Dexter hit fifty, he went through a kind of mid-life crisis – he realized that he was rich, lonely and had lost the hunger that had put him where he was.

One sunny Saturday morning, he took a few thousand dollars from his wallet and went down to the streets below his penthouse and gave a hundred-dollar note to every homeless person he could find – not that they were hard to find in this city.  

Some smiled, some got up and shook his hand, a couple used it to light their cigarettes – and then he came to Eugene, and he was different.

Eugene didn’t want Dexter’s money, no sir, not a cent interested him. What he wanted was a favor. He wanted Dexter to cut Eugene’s hair.

“Why can’t you take the money and get a barber to do it?” Asked Dexter.
“Because I would have to pay them, and I want you to do it because you want to. You don’t get much kindness down here on the streets,” said Eugene.

Dexter felt that was a fair comment and so nodded that he’d do it.  He bought a bottle of water, some shampoo and scissors from a near-by Seven Eleven store, and sat Eugene on the wall and began to cut his hair.

Now this is where Dexter shocked himself because he was actually really good at it. Eugene was content at the job he had done and so was Dexter, and that was what started it all. 

Every weekend, Dexter would set up a hair salon in the back of a yard off Eight Avenue and he’d spend the Saturday and Sunday cutting the hair of homeless folks. He got to know all about their lives and stories. Some had been professors, some soldiers, one a ballerina and several had been doctors; all of them had fallen on hard times, mostly through no fault of their own.

Then one Saturday, a few years later, Dexter failed to show at the little yard at the back of the building. Scott, a younger guy, who had recently started getting his hair cut by ‘Dexy’ (as he called him) grew concerned and went to talk to a cop who always stood on the corner.

The cop sent someone around to Dexter’s apartment on Fifth Avenue where they had to break into the place. ‘Dexy’ had suffered a stroke and had probably been lying there for a while. Dexter never got his ability to speak back. He lay in the hospital for several weeks before he died, but at night the nurse would let some of the homeless folks in to sit by Dexter’s bed. One of the girls, Evelyn, would make sure his hair looked neat and tidy and would cut it when it was needed.

By the time  Dexter died, he had given away most of his money to charity and after his funeral, he instructed a lawyer to give every homeless person in the area a hundred-dollar note.

He also left a little store to Eugene, who used it to let folks sleep in the upper floor and in the shop below Eugene started a salon to cut hair for any homeless person who wanted it.

They still talk about Dexter around this way – ‘the man who had cut poor people’s hair’.  It was just a little kindness in a world that so badly needed it.

Bobby Stevenson 2018

Friday, 28 September 2018

Catching Falling Stars

I remember you,
All of you,
When one smile from your lips could light a path to Heaven,
When your dreams and hopes were brighter and more glorious
Than the sun.
Those summer days were the easiest of all,
And everything you touched,
Turned to gold in your hands.
All the universe was yours,
And your very eyes told a story,
About owning every last single thing you saw.
But now your hearts have rusted some,
Your sparkle is duller than once it was,
And your orbits have dropped a little lower
In the sky.
And so my friends, I spend the days,
Catching falling stars,
And remembering what you all once were.
bobby stevenson 2018

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The Day I Heard The News

The day I heard the news,
The World didn’t end – at least not that day.
Instead the sky grew a little darker,
And I realised there was no longer any way
That we’d accidentally bump into one another
On some far-flung shore, and laugh about the old times.
That morning I said, ‘see you later’ was to be our very last and
Neither of us even knew.
The day I heard the news,
A billion candles on the Sun blew themselves out,
And my shadow grew a little paler against the Earth.  

bobby stevenson 2018

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Peter Rabbit

He remembers one night - when Peter was about twelve summers old - that he and his best friend were sitting in the light of the dusk, puffing a found cigarette butt and talking about love.

Peter’s pal was excited about the prospect of kissing a girl – a human girl – and although Peter went along with the conversation, he couldn’t stop himself feeling empty and lonely inside. Peter wanted to tell his best friend in all the world, that on the outside he might look human but on the inside, he was most definitely a rabbit.

As the days continued into weeks, and the weeks bound together to make months, Peter felt more and more that he would be happier in this life, if he lived it as a rabbit.

One of the kinder teachers in school had noticed the differences in Peter and told him that if he ever need to talk, he could call on her at any time. Peter made a lying smile, and told her that he was happy, thanks for asking, but he felt happier than he had ever felt.

That year, the head of the government in Peter’s country changed the law about promoting being different in schools. It was against the law to talk about wanting to be anything other than human, so Peter’s teacher could no longer talk to him about his feelings of being different. It was said that many humans who had felt that they should be animals wanted took their own lives. Peter never forgave the head of the government for that.

When he was a teenager, Peter and his family went to church. It was there that the vicar gave a sermon on the topic of being what God made you. If God had wanted a person to be a rabbit than he would have created them as such.

Peter wondered about the fact that God might have made you a human who thought that they should be a rabbit. Peter hadn’t invented his rabbit desires – so how could it be a sin to believe what was in your head?

Some of the kids in school suspected that Peter was not really human and would call him names or make rabbit ears behind his head. Peter knew that these kids came from homes, where difference were ridiculed, because the people in those homes were scared of differences.

One day, on his eighteenth birthday to be exact, he sat his mother and father down and told them the truth about wanting to be a rabbit. His mother cried, and paced about the room, saying that it was all right to be who he was, but she would have loved human grandchildren. His father stood up, went upstairs and threw all Peter’s belongings into the road. He was never to darken their doorstep again – whatever that meant.

He never did.
Peter went to the big city and found that some folks were bad, and some were good – probably more of them were good, he decided. Then one night as he passed a little cafĂ©, he saw a whole warren of rabbits sitting having coffee and talking. He wasn’t alone. He cried.

It took him several more years to have the operations but in the end Peter became the rabbit he had always dreamed of. He found a lady rabbit who was an ‘Ex’,as they called it (ex human), and they adopted several little rabbits to bring up as their own.

Peter knew deep down that if any of his children grew up and wanted to be human (because it was in their hearts) then he would never stand in their way.

bobby stevenson 2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

Amy and Hector

There are two people in this story – as well as Hector.

Hector’s the elephant. The little girl is Amy, and her granddad is the other fellow. From the moment she could walk Amy took Hector everywhere - after all he was a real elephant and wasn’t he Amy’s best friend in the whole wide world? So why wouldn’t you?

Amy loved Hector and Hector loved Amy. Amy’s mother could hear them having discussions in the bedroom directly above the lounge –  at least, she could hear Amy, only Amy could hear Hector – and perhaps that is the way it should be.
One fine, sunny, morning Amy and Hector were talking about this and that in the garden – and although Hector seemed to know more about that, than this - it didn’t seem to bother him at all.  Amy and her pal were in the middle of a tea party when a little kid from a house along the street stood and watched as Amy and Hector enjoyed a day in the Sun.

“It isn’t real you know,” said the horrible little kid with the runny nose.
“What isn’t?” Asked Amy.
“That stupid toy of yours,” added the boy with some relish.
“I haven’t got a toy, there’s just me and Hector here. That’s all.”
“You call your toy, Hector?” He sneered.
“No, I call my elephant, Hector but I’ve already told you, I don’t have a toy.” 

Amy went back to having tea and chit-chat with her elephant.
That night, was Granddad’s night to baby-sit and as he was putting Amy to bed, he noticed that she seemed a little upset.

“What’s the matter, honey?”

At first Amy didn’t want to talk about it, but Granddad being Granddad, he eventually got it out of her. And it was worse than expected.

“Perhaps, Hector is a toy after all,” she said.

This cut Granddad to the core.
Granddad wanted to be there the day that his little precious, Honey discovered gravity but today wasn’t going to be the day that it happened.
A few days earlier, Granddad had been watching a movie on television about Santa Claus and how people didn’t believe it was him, and this gave Granddad an idea.

The next day, he telephoned his friend in the Town Hall and asked him to put a notice on the front door. Later, Granddad and Amy went into town to take a stroll. Granddad said that he had to go into the Town Hall to register something or other. When Amy and Granddad got to the door there was a sign that said: ‘Strictly No Elephants’.

Amy looked worried, so Granddad went into the Town Hall and fetched his pal. The man came out with Granddad and he looked at Hector, and ‘tutted’ some, then he walked around the elephant and ‘tutted’ some more. Then the man shook his head and said to Granddad straight out – “I’m sorry sir, but this is a genuine elephant and as such is not allowed in the Town Hall.”

On the way home, Amy (who had started to smile again) apologised to her friend, Hector about the man being so mean to elephants.

bobby stevenson 2018