- Vol. 02
- Chapter 08
Image by Sigrid Calon
THE BOY WHO HATED STRIPESMax hated car journeys. It wasn't just the faint nausea which he felt, or his mother passing barley sugars to him, nor his father's taste in music. He even tolerated his kid sister Martina, when she tipped her pretend pink lipsticks over his lap and made faces in her girly mirror.
Max had an aversion to stripes. Their garish colours, perfectly matched, yet criss-crossed on lorries, vans, hoardings, emergency vehicles, even chevrons made his eyes ache.Words such as oblique, diagonal and transverse filtered through his head, reminding him of confusing maths lessons.
His parents were bemused. They took Max to see a child psychologist in the hope that he could unravel the puzzle. He deemed it to be a visual problem.An appointment with the optician provided no clue. Thankfully his sight was normal.
They all hoped the situation would improve, but Max watched as if mesmerized by transport and trailers.
When he tried to explain his dislike they asked him if there were any other shapes he preferred.
'Just wavy ones-not straight!' the boy replied.
He did like football. That seemed to Max to be an uncomplicated activity. Just kick a nice round ball to the team and try to win the match.He wasn't too keen on the stripey socks, but that was a small price to pay for being in the fresh air and away from maths! Tragically, on one such day Max collapsed on the field and died.
The post-mortem result given to the grieving family
was Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.
Around six months later they drove through a torrential downpour and the sun broke through with the most
glorious rainbow. Martina looked out and through her tears she smiled and said,
'Max is happy now. He is up there in a lovely wavy shape'