Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Shelbournian afternoon

We're in the garden of the Shelbourne boys, languishing on scratched lawn furniture spray-painted with the Phonetics' logo, a tiger head. My favourite boys, Jamie and Geoff, and me.
"I'm cold", Geoff says.
"How can you be cold?", I ask. It's sunny and warm... well, warmish. He shrugs and looks down on himself. "Well, I am just wearing a dressing gown!"
"It's warmer than my clothes!", I reply. "And I am not cold."
"Well, I am not swapping clothes with you to find out", he fires back, in a bantery way, and Jamie, who's been watching us, giggles.
It gets quiet. We sit there with our cups of tea and absorb the peace of the garden, made complacent by a Sunday afternoon. Then Geoff looks over to Jamie, who is still smiling to himself.
"You're thinking about it!", Geoff accuses, and Jamie's grin, caught in the act, turns into giggles again. He turns his head away, but can't stop grinning.
A minute later, Geoff looks at him again, only to catch that the expression in Jamie's face hasn't changed. "You're still thinking about it!", he complains. "Stop it!"
Jamie breaks out in giggles again. He tries to force himself to stop, but his efforts are in vain. That he still pictures Geoff in my clothes and finds it hilarious is practically tattooed on his forehead, and the more Geoff complains, the more he has to laugh.

It hasn't got a plot, and to most it may mean nothing, but for me it is such an intense moment of good-natured bantering and togetherness, it makes my heart laugh. This is one of the things I will remember for the rest of my life, and store away in my mental scrap book, because it reminds me why I love being alive.

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