[Portrait] Henrik: second birth

When he arrived at the café, he looked different. Although he was modestly trying to hold back a smile in vain, you could tell his face was transformed, showing bright, almost glowing eyes with tiny wrinkles. That was like a subtle betrayal of the new joy that transcended him. As we just met for our weekly appointment, I could see his eyes going wild, not being able to focus upon anything, like a fly that flies around making zigzags in the air. That was an ordinary day of an extraordinary time.

Curious and happy about the great news, I asked him questions straight away, which didn’t help him much to show the usual restraint that helps him maintain his own balance. But I knew, without knowing… He is so modest, even for those big things that we would like to shout from the rooftops, and he slowly started telling me more about it. He was trying to keep control over his emotional upheaval, which in spite of his own will was coming out from every pore. While he was pushing back the grey strand of hair that kept falling down on one side of his round and somewhat chubby face, he was slowly opening up. “His French is getting better, I said to myself, and what a nice and unusual subject for our weekly lesson.”

He didn’t attend the birth, the one of his little boy. Not exactly. He stayed in a nearby room, and  he lived this birth internally and almost as intensely. Did he relive his birth, that nearly came to not happen, forgotten inside his mother’s womb as she was to expect one child only? Anyway. Today, I can feel he is so much alive. With no doubt it’s a second birth, the one of a father.

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