He’s turning 30 this year and still has that smile on his face.
I remember when we were kids – didn’t matter if I kicked him around or pulled on his arm or leg, he’d still greet me with a smile. He was the first face I woke up to in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. When I had nightmares, he’d be there with that black-cherry nose, red pants and that smile.
What a great smile.
Now, I know what you’re asking and no, this ain’t no dog or cat. Actually, it’s a mouse.
A Mickey Mouse to be exact.
And yes, he’s been with me for the last 30 years, just 3 years younger than I am.
Call him dirty, call him grimy, call him what you will – God knows over the years, many people have called him many things, usually after recoiling in terror at the sight of him.
I call him my friend.
Given to me by my Mom when I was 3 years old, this guy has stuck with me through thick and thin. Through tough exams and bad days at school, through breakups and makeups, through the good times and the bad times. I tell him everything and he laps it all up with those extra large ears of his.
Someone once asked if I saw a person drowning on one side of the sea and Mickey fell in on the other, what would I do?
I hesitated on the answer – that’s how much this damn mouse means to me.
Now, I’ve had this blog for a long while but it never occurred to me to blog about this guy who’s essentially shared 30 years of my life with me. Then I read an article in the Sunday Times last weekend about “chow chows”. Basically, it was about people and their old soft toys, their “chow chows” (dialect for “smelly smelly”). So there I was, reading about people who had pillows and soft toys that were really old but they really loved.
And the oldest was 24 years.
Mickey here could show these guys a thing or two. With his darkish face that used to be white and his UHU glued-on nose that was once bitten off by a dog, this is one soft toy that’s been through hell and back and lived to tell the tale. He’s definitely one tough son of a bitch and still has that smile on his face to boot.
What a guy.
These days, he spends most of his time at home with his wife (yes, he got married when I got married). My wife has a pillow called Shmall Shmall (same age as him) and for them, it was love at first sight – now they’re inseparable. When I go to work, Mickey’s hugging Shmall Shmall – when I come back, they’re still hugging. Must be love, right?
So what is it about this guy that keeps me sane?
The truth is, I don’t know.
I guess in a way, he’s a connection to my past and a witness to the many private moments in my life that no other living soul has ever seen or heard. He knows all my secrets and the best part?
He’ll never tell.
And I know no matter what my day is like, no matter the amount of shit life throws at me, just one look at him, just one hug, and everything goes out the window.
After all, if you can look like this and still have that big a smile on your face, things can’t be all that bad, can they?