His name was Jason. He bore the name of the leader of the Argonauts and he wore it with pride. He always had a passion with Greek mythology, ever since I can remember. He was fascinated by the battles between the gods, the quarrels with mankind and the tricks played on humans to get their way with them. Even as a young man, Jason was enthralled by the mythological depictions in movies and novels. Maybe it was due to the name he carried.
His quest, however, had no golden fleece. Jason saw the world more like an oyster, rather than a fleece. There was no limit to what you could do, where you could go, or what you could become. You would find him doing all sorts of strange things, from rock climbing to archery, to swimming with sea-lions and ‘canoe-shing’ – a sport he invented by fishing while canoeing! Jason was predictable in being unpredictable – you could always expect that he would be up to something incredible. One time, a Monday I remember, we had arranged to go for coffee the next day. By the afternoon, I received a call from Mozambique. Jason had been inspired by a feature in National Geographic and had fallen in love with the images depicted to such an extent that he wanted to see it first-hand. That is how he was. Unpredictable. But he didn’t always act on a whim. He carefully chose his words, like a diplomatic officer, when it came to business and personal relations. What he actually did for a living, I still don’t know. It was a bit of everything. And if you ever asked him, he would always reply “I’m a drifter. In both space and time”.
Despite his wide build and robust appearance – he was 6ft tall and over 200pounds – Jason was a child at heart. He cared deeply about the tiniest of creatures and the most helpless ones. He loved animals like they were his children and he would do anything for those closest to him. When I was suffering from a terrible virus one summer, it was to him that I called in the middle of the night for help. And before I set the phone down, he was already at my door. He had helped me through the illness, staying by my side all week, until I was strong enough to continue my routine. He would engulf you in his arms and block out every trouble in the world, as if you were protected by an all-mighty shield.
He dressed as an artist and a gentleman. It depended on the occasion and the mood. Jason believed that you shouldn’t care what people mumble behind your back. What you should care about is how you feel in front of them. His philosophy was stand tall and never crouch. And it was applied to every aspect of life.
Growing up we shared the same dream – to travel the world. I manage to do so with my writing and he with his backpack. Although not accompanied by Argonauts, he has the thoughts of all his loved ones accompanying him. And every now and then I receive a postcard with a breathtaking view from his current location. And I am certain that now, in the land ‘down under’ some kangaroo or koala is very grateful to call him ‘friend’.
NB. The post is a response to this week’s writing challenge about characters.