(as always click to enlarge)
Rupert and I were old buddies. We used to play and have dumb adventures together when we were kids. Those were good times. He was always such a happy lad, always laughing and making pratfalls. I remember that whenever we went to McDonald's, he would often take his (or mine) shake and place it on his head and pretended it was a Top Hat. He would then do his best Upper Class English Impression. An impression I could never do justice myself.
As we got older we found our own paths and took them. I became an artist. He never found the public school system to be of much help and eschewed the whole agenda, quitting at 16 just after his mocks. After some meaningless labouring and roofing jobs he eventually joined the army.
When I met him again after he returned from the war, he was a markedly different bear. He still dressed the same, looked the same. But he was so different on the inside. Broken. Torn.
We went out shopping. I bought a stack of DVDs and art supplies. He bought nothing. I offered to get him a lunch, a gesture he solemnly approved. He hardly touched it.
What could I do I wondereed? Here was my best friend of old lying in pieces in front of me. I did the first thing I thought of. I picked up his milkshake and plopped it on my head yelling my tally hos and pip pips.
And that was the last time I saw him.