2 - Newspaper and Park Bench
George picks up the newspaper discarded by a previous occupant and sits down. It is damp but it has not rained so he assumed it is the dew. It is four days old. He swept his long dark hair back from his eyes. They are dark, very dark brown and kind of sad. Had a strained look with an appearance of some small recent weight loss. A hint of some inner turmoil. Although at nine in the morning it was chilly he is wearing just a shirt, grey trousers and brown slip on shoes. Momentarily he looks up at the sound of the distant Labrador barking as it chased the ball thrown overarm. Opened the paper at a random page and started reading the article on the top left hand corner. There is a large bruise to the left hand side of his face yellowing as it heals. Maybe five days old.
The bench is at the top of a small hill giving panoramic views of the park. Again he brushes back his hair lifts his vision from the paper and takes in the view with a sweeping glance that lingers on sudden activity only about one hundred metres away. Two young men maybe low twenties, one white, one black, are approaching along the path behind a lone man just strolling, unaware. There is a lady with a small child approaching on the same path from the opposite direction. Something is said and the man turns seeing confrontation for the first time. The two men get up close, gesticulating, clearly animated. The woman and child turn and walk briskly back the way they have come. The man is pushed. Does not go down. Holds up his arms. Protecting. Clearly resisting. The white man swings a punch. Right handed. Catches the victim on the left side of his head. Down he goes falling onto his right side. The black man kicks him hard in the ribs. They rifle his jacket pockets, trouser pockets, take his watch. They turn and run back the way they had come suddenly cutting across the grass heading for the trees and High Street beyond. The man is laying prone, moving, not unconscious. He rolls onto his front and slowly pushes himself up into a crouched position. Then bending one knee rises to his feet holding his side. He looks around sees the man on the bench but turns and walks the way he had been going. Swaying and staggering at first but slowly getting his equilibrium back walks straighter but clearly in some pain. He disappears over the brow of the far hill.
The man on the bench follows his movements until he has gone. He looks for maybe a full minute at the space the man has left without any compassion or concern. Lifting up the paper he resumes reading the article in the top left hand corner. He finishes folds up the paper with the article showing. Puts it down on the bench nearly covering the drier spot where it had originally been laying. As he rises a sudden pain and accompanying sharp intake of breath forces him to hold his left side. The article heading reading “Man suffers injury during park mugging.”
Popular posts from this blog
Rita was sitting on her old decrepit bench with its peeling varnish and crusty, rusted legs and weather beaten, like it had been stuck underwater for ever. She was sitting on her bench in her front garden where the evening sun was. That’s why it was there, to be in the evening sun - t he heat warmed her bones and creaking joints. The girl was approaching. She was maybe thirty, long, pale yellow dress kind of floating about in the breeze and that wavy, fly-away type of blond hair. Wobbly looking six inch, blue patent leather stilettos click, clickety clacking on the pavement slabs as she kind of skipped along , swinging her matching bright blue shiny handbag and swaggering a bit with a confident walk, like she was on top of the world or something. Then the girl was stopped near Rita, by Rita’s old rusty gate and Rita said, “hi there, I’m Rita. Saw you move in yesterday.” “Why hi to you as well,” All full of exuberance, like a pumped up comedian. Patsey Red lips and smile-tal
She was upstairs when the telephone rang but she had no problem hearing it. The polished wood flooring of the hallway and lack of soft furnishings created a hard space where the loud bell could echo and resonate throughout the house. She was sitting on the bed filing her nails into shape, the scraping she knew scratched at his nerves which was why she was doing it now. To avoid a later minor skirmish. She saved the doing of it in his presence for when she wanted to make a point, to emphasize an issue, to deliberately get under his skin. She did not rush to answer the call. She was not that sort of person. She rarely rushed to do anything. Slowly she put down the nail file on the bedside table deliberately placing it where she had asked for a phone to be installed just to remind her how ludicrous it was to deny such a simple and necessary luxury. The stairs were low rise meaning a long flight with shallow, wide steps, the consequence of having an expansive hallway and wide landing
It was dark. At exactly ten, a loud clunk and the lights went out. The aeons of time had witnessed the exact same routine. Every night ghosts of past occupants infused the atmosphere in the same contemplation of their sins. A brisk wind and a cloud is swept away, opening a sky hole allowing a shaft of moonlight to penetrate the gloom and like a searchlight illuminating its prey. The steel sprung, top bunk is speckled in a fluorescent glow. High up the wall, nearly touching the tall ceiling, the small window is large enough to emit sufficient light to exaggerate the pitifully bleak and monotonous existence of the occupant. Laying on the covers in regulation white, greying boxers and string vest. Right hand behind his head. Sorrowful eyes tight shut. A slight tear in the corner. Left hand nervously rubbing a black stubbled chin and a shaved with a blunt blade nick. Trying to suppress the sounds. He came from a family of undertakers. Dour people. But as an exuberant person had a