Tuesday, 30 May 2017

What if I Don't Want To?

As I was leaving a shop this morning, a charity mugger yelled out that I'd dropped something . I glanced back, but could see nothing there.

"Your smile", he explained, sketching an upward curve in front of his face.

I stared at him, hoping to emulate Paddington Bear and one of his hard stares.

"Come on", the young man persisted, "why aren't you smiling?"

I have always hated this kind of hectoring nonsense, the cries of "Cheer up, it may never happen" that greet you if you appear in public looking less than ecstatic.

"Because my brother just died", I said.

The look on his face helped me understand at last what is meant by a silver lining. In fact, if I hadn't exercised great restraint, it might even have made me smile.

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