Harrison Mitchell Plays “Simon Says”

We never know what he’ll come up with next. The thinking hard written all over his face reduces us to painful helplessness every single time. “Simon says . . . ,” and he pauses wickedly in his grin, ‘ . . . be a spine tree!’” he shouts, knowing that none of us even has a clue until he demonstrates on one rickety leg, arms waving as crooked skin branches for balance and his idea of a bony evergreen look echoed somehow electrically in wry features. Defeated, we resume our waiting as Harrison ponders the monumental difficulties of his all-time favourite game. He screws down his eyes with his screw-driver fists — “Simon says, ‘Roar like a dandelion’” is what he’s likely to serve up then or, just to really show us who’s champ, “Simon says, ‘See with the eyes on a butterfly’s wings!’” or to catch us out, “Punch with the fists of a bashful boxer”. He’d go on like this all day if he could, unless there’s swimming to be had, and the sinking he loves: it’s there at the blue, true bottom of the pool where the body explores what the senses shut off that he gets all his best ideas, he reckons, before he comes back to us glistening and goggle-eyed for breath.

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