Was l like Colm at eighteen? Awkward, tongue-tied, badly in need of a haircut?
(A shower wouldn't kill him either, to be honest.)
Someone with many children, a former cabinet minister I seem to recall, wrote in his memoir that one is only ever as happy as one's least-happy child. It may have been the truest thing he ever said. Colm isn't unhappy exactly, but neither does he radiate the joy of youth. He is still, as he always was,a transparently decent person. He contains little malice or guile. I just want to shake him by the shoulders and shout, 'Come on, for fxxk's sake, Col, snap out of it!'
Whatever it may be.
Of course I learned a long time ago to keep my trap shut.As William Nicholson had CS Lewis say in Shadowlands, 'We read to know we're not alone.'