Head hung low. Eyes down. Never meeting someone’s eye. Habits I hadn’t noticed until the day my back seized. I cranked my head straight up to gulp air and gasp in pain. Since then, the one comfortable pose was chin up, eyes on target. Straight into the crowd. Straight into your eyes. Never looking down to avoid that jolt of pain collapse my shoulder blades and tear up my spine.

“Aren’t you a confident fellow,” a stranger said with a twinkle in his eye.”

I had no choice. I held my head high because I couldn’t take the pain anymore.