You have many talents.
You can change a fuse.
You can watch Frasier all day long.
You can cycle for an hour without feeling tired.
You can balance a cricket stump on your nose.
You can name all of Alfred Hitchcock’s films in order.
You can tell the difference between a rook and a crow.
You can flip a pancake and have it land back in the pan. Most of the time.
You can fix the model train, but you’re not quite sure you could do it again.
You can find the spot on the cat that makes it roll over and show you its tummy.
You can hold your own in three foreign languages, as long as you’re in a restaurant.
You can type at eighty-five words a minute, although not all of them are strictly words.
You can work out the square root of four thousand six hundred and twenty-four in your head.
You can hold a conversation with someone and never give them an inkling that you hate their living guts.
You can make the perfect cappuccino, but rarely do, because you don’t like coffee and it only reminds you of him.
You can stand on the sofa and jump up and down screaming “Go on Mo! Go on! Gooooo ooooon! Yeeeesssss!” But you can only do this twice in your life.
You can hold someone’s hand as they lie dying in a bare hospital room
and even though they no longer know who you are
you know they are registering your existence
and when the final breath finally escapes their lips you stay there, holding their hand,
knowing that you made a difference, but then you ask yourself
“made a difference to what, exactly?”
and the melancholy holds you for three days.
But, despite all this, there is one thing you cannot do.
Nor will you ever be able to.
It is this.
You will never be able to read the end of Winnie the Pooh aloud to your son
without the tears rising in you and taking you over
so that the final words
aren’t really words at all.
Everyone should have something they can’t do.
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