I met a boy, in this place I call Neverland, where we never grow up, who never, ever wore shoes. He was tall and skinny with soft brown hair to his shoulders, with a goofy smile that was too big for his face. The smile was rare when you first met him- he was shy and observant, soaking in how his people would react to you before he made a judgement.
But when you won him over, you had him for life. He loved to talk and be talked to. He wanted you to know all about the girl that he was in love with. He would tell you everything about her, but then turn all his attention on to how you were worth loving too.
He drank a lot. Too much, probably. I knew him when there wasn’t much else he could do. Once, a good friend looked at him walking around outside, with no shoes, in the middle of winter, and laughingly said “look at him, he’s like a lost boy”.
He left us last night. He probably wasn’t wearing shoes and was smiling as he did it. But he left this Neverland to find the next, and I hope he never felt like he needed to grow up.