The smurfspublished: 2011-01-28
There they all were, sitting in the window sill of a toy store. Sleepy smurf and grumpy smurf being my particular favorites. I suppose that says a lot about me at age 9. And suddenly they’re back, laughing at me that same way they laughed at me back then.
I was never good at collecting. I’d always start a little too late, and never managed to build the impressive collections other kids had. Marbles, for example. And smurfs. The smurfs remind me of the English countryside. Long, lazy, summers. We had a house uphill and three boys lived downhill. The youngest boy was my age, Niels. HIs two older brothers had collected the full smurf-city. It was very impressive. It was also the first time I specifically remember feeling a sense of incompetence. These boys would never want to come to our house. Why would they when we didn’t have any complete anything to show for?
Niels did come though, quite often. He was asthmatic and always wheezed while talking. As if he had a perpetual cold. He was frail and had eczema. Sometimes, he’d get an attack. His mother would then impatiently open the door and the smurfs stared at me from their city behind her, stupidly smiling. I couldn’t come in, she said. I could hear him crying and choking from behind the door of his bedroom. I asked if I could play with the smurfs maybe? His mother didn’t buy it. But finally, she let me in. I suppose I was very persistent in things that weren’t related to collecting things. I could tell Niels knew I was there, even though he didn’t say a word to me. He looked my way only once, twisted and turned and gasped and choked and cried, mostly in terror. I sat there next to his bed quietly watching him, until his body quietened and he fell asleep. His mother then said I could come and play with the smurfs whenever I wanted.