An Idiot's Tale

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An Idiot's Tale

Cacography of a madcap story teller, JAYEETA GHORAI

You are the bench in the park outside my window, drenched in rain. I've watched you, for three days, sitting alone, waiting out the squall. Your wooden flanks soak wetness in their bones. Rust in the rivets.

Sometimes I stand by the window, steaming cup in hand, watching you. Figures hurtle past, on and off, pulling their dripping rubber hoodies. A bright dash of yellow in the dripping green mess. Tiny flecks of red. Washed out blue. Hues flick by through the rain-washed hours.

People run through the dirt path in the grass for quick reprieve. No one stops by an empty bench on a rainy day.

So you sit, silently, soaking, alone. So I watch you, alone, noiselessly.

I scramble for an umbrella, impatient to test if it's broken.

You are the bench outside in the ceaseless rain that I must go to. One gust and the meagre shield folds up on me. One smack and the sky snatches it from my hand.

I sit, on your melting wood slat. No need for words; we cannot out-shout the sheets of banshee water so do not try. It took me three days to realise you may need me; now that I'm here, I realise that I need you, too.

Perhaps I might have had for a while.

For three days through the hours I've watched bodies plod past you to reach shelter. No one has given you any.

(No one thought... the sodden bark could be weeping, too, to be taken home.)

My dumb brain recognises at last what it has been seeing. On a rainy day no one sees the dumb bench in the park as shelter.

You are good for love on a feather blown day. You are good to woo love on with fluffy dandelion umbrellas. You ring with giggles, dreams, lovers' quarrels, flicks of doggy poo, a big beach ball bumping off your sides.

Antsy feet make their path towards you when it is bright. May I sit with you when no one comes?

Sometimes in the gloaming I glance from within the double-glazed shutters. The street lamp flutters, yawns and stretches awake. But its light doesn't reach this way. Do you watch me, too? Do you gaze up to the rectangle for the shadow that sometimes flits across its sunflower walls?

Soundless in the dark, have you waited without hoping for this day? When the sun hasn't come out to play for many hours, hasn't wiped tears off your chest long since bereft of shiny paints... grey, black, blue-black it is only day by name...

...have you always known, on a day like this when no one turns to stare, I would come to lay my head against you in the rain?

For park bench in the cloud, wormwood and weed, who else but you would understand, sometimes when the heart forgets to weep, the rain would do... sometimes when the heart forgets to hide, the rain would do...



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