The boy with the silver lining. That was the first nickname anyone had ever given him.
Well, apart from PoopyPants. But kindergarten nicknames don’t count, even if you got your first kiss as revenge.
There was always a smile on his face, whether it was when he walked down the street or when he sat at his desk. Whenever he looked up, there was a grin on his lips, a cheeky, dancing smile that almost never failed to cheer people up.
If it did, his de-facto reaction was to pinch their cheeks softly and gurgle at them. His strange mixture of persistence and stubbornness meant that he would keep doing it until they inevitably cracked a smile.
Even if that meant sometimes following them around with his hands attached to their face, cooing and making noises that would make a baby giggle.
Someone he had mentored came to him, considering quitting their job. He had sat with the boy for an hour, cajoling, soothing, consoling, making him remember his own self worth and the point of sticking around. That boy was now a manager, but still took the time to send him a cinnamon bun every week.
She was dating a drummer, and was being driven insane by the fact that he would drum on EVERYTHING. The dresser, the table, the dashboard – if it was solid, he would drum on it. And sometimes even if it wasn’t, as evidenced by the surface of the pool on their vacation. He had convinced her to talk to him about it, to see the beautiful, unfettered, creative mind that he had. They had been married for six years now, with a beautiful baby and a wonderful dog. (He thought the dog was cuter)
He had been touring the country for three years, playing gigs at tiny bars, holes in the wall, shady places. He felt like he was waiting for a break that would never come. There was a six hour conversation at their favourite watering hole, where he didn’t attempt to give his friend any sort of advice. He simply spoke a lot, and listened even more. They talked about everything under the sun, and when they were done, he pulled the little recorder out from under the table. Ten minutes in, his friend was giggling, absolutely floored by the unhindered observations he was making about his life and the world. He had a whole new act, right there in his hand. And two years later, he was opening at the Garden.
They gathered around, looking curiously, some with slack jaws, some with morbid interest. Who was he? What was he doing here? And why did he do it?
Sprawled on the pavement, twelve stories lower than where he had started, he lay.
The boy who gave everyone their silver lining had managed to find none for himself.