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A story: Black, white, blue

May 2, 2011

He had white hair and blue eyes and was about 6-years old.  I say ‘about’ only to take into account that many 4-year olds and 8-year olds could pass for 6.  ‘About’ is a habit.   Actually many people could and did pass for him.  I’ve seen literally hundreds of lookalike photos.

There was one of a 53-year old named Albert who bore such a good resemblance in the grainy black-and-white shot taken by an insomniac dog walker that he gave a mother hope for three whole days.  Albert was snapped outside a public toilet in a seaside caravan park at 2am.  He happened to be only130 centimetres tall and was remarkedly aged, so that his hair had turned completely white from its once dark brown.  A much taller man was with him, and these guys suffered unfair scrutiny for a while until their mutual attraction adequately explained why they were in that location at that hour.

There were many more children than adults, of course, in the lookalike images.  Some boys, some girls.  In most cases, they were being cared for at the time by a parent who just happened to be getting a coffee at the kiosk, or was changing a younger sibling’s nappy on a nearby bench, or was chasing a runaway dog, or was making a phone call in the car.  In some cases, the children were playing hookey and as a result of being caught got into trouble with their school or their kindergarten or their parents or other authorities, but no harm done.

There was the case of the dark-haired 14-year old, Max, who was found passed out from a heroin overdose in tea tree scrub, not far from the scene of Albert’s adventures.  Max had not been reported missing yet.  In fact, he’d just had time to jump out of his bedroom window, meet his dealer and secure his gear, inject himself, then O.D. when he was found.  Paramedics in the search party – this was in our first week – revived him and, as far as I know, he has gone on to live an uneventful life.  It was lucky for Max that the search was on.  We call him the silver lining.

But enough about the false trails.  The fact remains that none of those hundreds of lookalikes was our boy.  After so long, I have to accept – so the counselors tell me – that not one of them was, is or ever will be Matthew Clay Robinson, who might also have answered to Matt or Mattie or my little man.

Photo: CobraVerde

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tricia Bertram permalink
    May 17, 2011 5:05 am

    Fran this story touches me more deeply with each reading. The last sentence is so powerful.

  2. May 18, 2011 4:17 am

    Thank you, Tricia. It’s a pretty dark story, I know. Perhaps a cheery one will come to my mind next, but as you know there are no guarantees of that!

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