12 Candles. Each Packet. (Part 1)

He is like Sam. Sam as in ‘I am Sam’. Sam who used to be a waiter at Starbucks? No? Well if you do not know he makes coffee now.

But if you do it very fast, you miss the crease. You have to go slow. 1 cm at two ends. 2 small flips at the bottom and 1 big with two creases. But for him it is too difficult. He groans. For unlike Sam he cannot speak. If you’re patient you can identify a word or two and conjure a meaning.

If you ask him to pour wax he might get too excited and burn himself. Anything else is boring. So he sits there, on the white chair with the front-right leg shorter than the others. And rock. Work is play.

Put 12 candles in a pack. Tongue protruding from the lips – a little towards the right. His right eye is stuck at one place. He cannot move it. So when he’s looking at you, you’d think he’s looking at his nose.

That petite brown girl would always straighten his jacket. Pulling the chain up or down depending on how cold she thought it was. He is 60 and he is afraid of many. But he loves playing with a few. He would touch them and pretend he did not. Look away. And when he dances he spreads his arms and tries to move his stiff body, snap his fingers and make sounds like some animal I cannot recognize.

But he has taught me so much. About happiness, about just being. About loving everything that is there to love, and loving those that are there to hate. Life is short and must be lived to the fullest.

Even if that means – 12 candles. Each Packet. Every day for the last 40 years.