On a Park Bench

Lonely Man Sitting on a Bench by istockphotos.com

He sits alone and stares out over the pond, wondering how his life got to this point. Why is he sitting here alone? He had so many friends, but none could sit here by him in these cold, lonely hours. Fair weather friends. That’s what they call them, isn’t it? Why do we have so many fair weather friends, yet so little that stick with you through it all? He knew that all those that laughed with them, wouldn’t always cry with him when tears need be shed. Those that cried with him, he valued as gold and jewels. All those fair weather friends could not compare to one friend that stuck with him through the good and bad. Those were the only friends he needed when he thought of it.

He was watching the ducks as they glided along the water. He felt a kind of calmness settle over his mind and soul as he watched them. They seemed to be isolated from the rest of the world as they glided. He leaned forward with his chin in his hands and quietly watched on in envy. If only his own life were as simple. He had responsibilities. He had a job, a house and car to maintain. He had his parents, his debts and so much more that he didn’t want to think about. The higher he climbed up the ladder, the more he realized that it only brought on more loneliness and depression. He missed his days when he worked in the mailroom. He had friends then. They would work hard, but laugh harder. They ate lunch together. They laughed about work and they spoke of their dreams and ambitions. Stephanie dreamed of being a graphic novelist. Peter wanted to be a veterinarian. Mark had ambitions to be a top salesman. None had their dreams filled and now he sat where he had wanted to be. His ambitions had taken over and now he realized that his success had cost him the joy he had once felt amongst his mailroom friends. Where were they? He wondered as a jogger went passed him. He had jogged once when he was a young college student, now he had time for nothing, but work. He was 45 and successful, but there was a great gulf between the man he was and the man he had dreamed he would be. He thought being rich and successful would make him happy. His penthouse apartment felt empty and cold. When he had first moved in, he thought this was it–he had made it. No. He had been wrong. He was 45, unmarried and no time for any kind of social life. Every chance he got, he would make plans with his friends and they would visit for as long as they could, but those were rare occasions that he leapt at. Most of the time he spent alone in his ivory tower working and dreaming of days gone by.

When he was a young boy he had played in the streets of his home town with the other neighbourhood boys. By all accounts he had been a free-spirited, loving child. Fiercely independent and adventurous, but somewhere along the way he had forgotten about that little boy. Why is that? Why do grown-ups lose that freedom as they go along? Why do they allow themselves to be held captive by the world? All these thoughts rushed through his mind. He let his head fall back and he stared at the clouds–the vast expanse. Birds were in the sky in their triangle flight path. Migration. How he envied the birds! How he wished he, too, could fly to happier places! He closed his eyes and let the cool breeze ruffle his short-cropped hair. He could’ve stayed that for hours. He wished he could, but the real world was always knocking, waiting.

He felt his phone vibrating and looked down. A message from work. He looked back to the ducks and took one last glance around the park. He got up from the bench, but not to go to work. Instead he would book a trip to anywhere and get lost in the same adventure he longed for all those years. The world could wait for him. He had to get away and be who we wanted to be without people around him. He went home and looked around, got out his laptop, booked the earliest flight to Europe and left his phone on his desk. He threw some clothes in a backpack and left. How long he’d be gone, he didn’t know nor did he really care.

If you’ve ever wished you could run away, you will understand how our protagonist feels. Wishing to disappear–to lose yourself in the crowd.

Have a blessed day all of you darling avidReadersđź“š

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