Songs and Encounters

I was walking along towards King Street bus station down this road.

For some reason, I was singing "Serenade," the song by Ultravox from their album Quartet (1982) - and curiously enough, the bus station was exactly as it was back in 1982, long before the modern renovation.

I can't show you what King Street looked like, back in the day. I can show you what it looks like today, however ... (King Street is where the video starts):-

Now for some reason, I found myself by the bus stand for Chester buses, still singing this song, and I was interrupted by a large young man - an adult, not a child. He looked nervous and asked me if I was singing an Ultravox song. I confirmed this, and told him it was "Serenade." He then finished off my sentence with the correct information - and inexplicably turned and beat his forehead against the wall.

I asked him why he would do that. He would not say. I asked him if this was something he'd had done to him in school, and his eyes began to water. He said 'I'm sorry.' I caught him as he turned to face the wall again, and turned him back to face me.

I looked at him, and cupped the side of his head in my hand. 'Just because that was done to you in your school,' I said, 'it doesn't mean it's the way things are in the real world. School was a long time ago, and the bully left his childhood behind at the school gates. Time you did too.'

Then I rested my forehead gently against his. 'I am not sorry for you. I am not sorry for you being the smartest man in the room. Well, second smartest while I'm here.' I grinned. 'I am not sorry for you having that magnificent brain in your head, and for wanting to use it. I am not sorry for that at all.'

The man began to sob.

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