Tonight was the turn of Ryan, a young man of Cardiff, his 21 years evidently plastered all over his youthful face. Without sounding as if this kid was simple, he was simple. I mean this in the kindest of manner; a simple shared laugh at something insignificant, a lack of knowledge of his own country, and a dreamer, one that could suggest such simplicity in catching a plane to Italy. As if it were that easy. His Bonnie, a 14 year old Jack Russell pig-alike, would make a fine suitor for my funny looking Staffy-cross, we joked. My complexity stood out, I felt it all over me, restraining itself, shown through a continuous shortening of lengthy words. Or through mirroring his simplicity by keeping conversation light, of where we lived, what we do, and a TV show he’ll appear on on the BBC. A kind face he had, with an unobtrusive naivety, a glow of irresponsibility – and yes, envy strikes.
21 was a great year for me; I robustly proclaim how the year was one of my finest. Of course, I don’t even remember why now, I just remember a feeling, a brilliant euphoria. I was in love, I was at uni, I had a huge 21st b’day party in which I felt truly loved, my skin glowed, my manner was free, I had no responsibility, I had no idea of how tough things would become, no idea how family life would make me succumb. A great year was 21. And I just hope that Ryan can keep such naivety and let freedom beseech him.