The Bench.



A man, an ordinary man sits solemnly on a park bench overlooking a pond and a busy thoroughfare. A gust of a chilly wind cuts the warmth of the sunshine as a reminder that like his life, the days of autumn shall soon bow to the cold harsh winter to come.


The Trendy cup of branded coffee as shallow and hot, as the women shuffling by on their way to the tanning salon and boutiques across the street. Both offering temporary warmth for searching souls.


Ducks and geese crowd the small pond as a respite on a long journey south for the winter, much like the man’s use of the park bench. A temporary reprieve sought by man and animal alike.

As he sips the coffee his thoughts wander and stray. An internal battle that one never wins, seeking solace and peace on a park bench, yet the very thoughts he sought the escape from have come along to share his coffee and bench this day.

He sat and offered a prayer to god, and tried to escape his own troubles and thoughts.


The man wonders how many before him had taken their troubles and joys to this very bench.


The couples hand in hand whispering a warm “I love you” to one another.


The same couple perhaps years later returning alone to contemplate divorce.


The desperate soul. Perhaps contemplating suicide.


The single mother. Searching for a way to keep the electricity on in her apartment across the street from this park as her children play.


The elderly grandparent with Alzheimer’s. Lost and alone yet able to instinctively know the bench offers comfort.


The lover’s stealing time, as they share the bench and their respective hopes and dreams for a future together.


The father intent upon explaining a life problem to his son.  The boy, incapable of comprehending the complexities shared. Knowing the bench and the talk offers comfort to dad.


The Children on a summer day, furiously licking an ice cream cone in a race with mother natures warmth.


The forgotten doll left alone by a little girl preoccupied with the pond life. Only to be rescued by a thankful parent later that day. One of life’s small crises’s averted.


The birds. Who alternate perching on its sturdy back, and pecking for popcorn dropped by a kindly person.


His coffee now cool . the shadows beginning to cover the bench. in rushes falls cool air,  daylight savings time making 5 pm seem as ominous and dark as midnight, Both the cool air and darkness have conspired to make this ordinary man abandon the tranquility of silence for the warmth of his waiting automobile.


As he walks the short distance he is thankful for the brief moments when the bench offered comfort and escape.


 As he approaches his car, he looks back and watches as another man lay his body across the bench. The man spreads his coat wide to use as a makeshift blanket. The bench has now become a bed of comfort for a homeless soul.


And as tears well in his eyes the man started his car engine and was suddenly thankful for all of life’s blessings.


And as day became night the ordinary man sat alone and he cried. The respite of the bench giving way, to the harsh realities of life.


~ by onthedarkside on April 11, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Bench.”

  1. Kev, a great piece of work. When did you knock this one off?

    • This is one of my archived short stories. I am trying to go through my writing stuff edit and get it all posted in one spot. It will be a tedious process, but worthwhile for me anyway. This piece was the beginning of that task. Written in november of 08.

  2. I would love to hear some political opinion from you dude.

    As long as it leans to the right and getting our country back heading in the direction our fore fathers meant it to heading for.

    Wether you liked W or not, he would do what ever it took to keep our families safe.


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