The joker and I have a lot in common. Aside from the fact that we are both clearly insane; we also have suffered comparably from troubled upbringings, as demonstrated by our similar facial disfigurations.
I was seven years old when it happened. My eight-year-old brother was switching the hot and cold labels in the shower, whilst my five-year-old brother was pouring vinegar into an empty Coca-Cola bottle. Meanwhile, my two year old sister was playing with a box of matches she had found near the fireplace. So essentially, a day like any other.
I had something on my mind that was of pressing urgency (I had just acquired a couple of coins to glue to the sidewalk), such that I had no time to waste. With the seconds rapidly slipping by, I raced around the corner of the kitchen into the hallway and attempted to vault over the safety gate (erected to prevent my young sister from accessing the stairway), only to have my foot caught in the top crosspiece. I was thrown violently to the right, where my cheek collided with the timber post at the top of the staircase.
A dull numbing sensation was experienced in my right cheek. I looked down to observe a significant quantity of blood gushing onto the carpet. At this point I realised I should probably be crying or something. With gusto, I launched into a howling rendition of what could be interpreted as a twentieth century masterpiece (but would undoubtedly have been interpreted as a bawling child in another age).
In the hospital, I was subjected to the old count to ten forwards and backwards pain sedation technique. A couple of stitches later, I found myself homeward bound with a temporary scar from an incident that would soon be forgotten.
A day or so later, riding my bike in the carpark next door, I was evidently in some sort of rush (I had concocted a device in which opening the front door would lead to the drenching of the person standing on the doorstep). I powered towards home, but had to apply the brakes quickly, as there was a large metal gate preventing my hustle. Unfortunately the brakes failed and the impact inevitably occurred to my right cheek. I was again rushed to the hospital. After counting to ten and back several times, I had returned home with seven stitches, and a scar of likely permanence.
That afternoon, a backyard cricket match was scheduled to commence. Given my rough ordeal of late, I was rewarded with the opening bat. Dad was thrown the ball. What is the most appropriate way a father should approach this situation? Bowl a few gentle half-volleys for his seven-year-old son to enjoy? Maybe one or two on a good length so as to teach him about the importance of steady application? What did my father actually do? He ran in off a full run-up, picturing himself as Curtly Ambrose and launched the ball into a rough patch of grass; whereupon the ball bounced sharply, straight into my right cheek. Match stats: Balls 1. Test abandoned. Scar permanency guaranteed. Why so serious dad? Why so serious?
When his job expired in the middle of 2016, Andrew realised that he still had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. It was then that he decided to stop pretending to be normal and stop pretending to be a respectable citizen. He abruptly announced that he planned to embark on a journey beginning somewhere in Asia, heading in a generally westward direction, for an indefinite period of time.