His name was Barry and he lived not far from me in an old house that seemed to be sinking into the ground.
He was for the most part a poor miserable soul. Any time you inquired as to his health you received a litany of ailments you regretted asking him about.
He had always appeared old to me. He couldn’t have been that old when I first met him. He was one of those men who appeared old; he probably did so from birth.
He was a bit of an artist. He liked to sit by the lagoon, his easel set up against the backdrop of the willows that lined the lagoon. This was where he was content. This was where he died.
They found him late in the day, slumped over his paints, his nose resting in the fire-engine red he had mixed. It was a fitting end.
Mum had always said Barry was a bit different. In his house, they found very little of note. There was one thing that grabbed me, a mural on his lounge room wall: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.