View Full Version : That bench

January 20th, 2011, 08:26 PM
I always loved this spot when I was alive. I used to come here every week if my arthritis allowed me to, and just sit and watch. I would watch the birds for hours on end. I tell you what, women these days have finer legs than when I was a young man, that's for damn sure.

But all jokes aside, I have a lot of fond memories of this place. And when my old, decrepid body finally gave up on me, I was overjoyed that my family had brought a memorial bench and put it slap bang in the middle of Cranfield Park.

Now I have all the time in the world to sit here and watch. My only problem is that my wife had engraved on the plaque: Gone but not forgiven. Typical bloody women, always having a go - even when you're dead. I suppose she thought it was her way of having the last word. As I said, typical.

What I hate about this winter chill is the amount of people who sit their fat arse on me. This one woman yesterday must have been at least 18 stone. I looked at her, and she eyed me up too, and I thought, "Woman, I know it's nearly Christmas, but did you really have to eat all the pies?" Of course she sat down on me. I could feel my legs creaking as she distributed her mass on me.

I thought, "Love, you're not going to get warmer just sitting there like a fat toad, all wrapped up like a tea cosy." But she wasn't all that bad. I'm making her out to be some kind of monster, but to be honest I've seen worse. Anyway, she unwrapped a pork pie with her sausage fingers and devoured it. I tell you, the things some women keep in their handbags... Some crumbs spilled from her mouth and landed on me. Now I'm not one to pass up a free meal, even if it is second hand.

Delicious, it was.

But, as I said, that was yesterday. And today the sun was out and I was smiling.
"And so I told him, if you don't treat me with some respect then me and you are finished."

Hello, 'ello, 'ello, what've we got here then. A woman perched herself on top of me (I haven't had that for a while) and was talking on her mobile phone. "He said, 'Do you want to go into town and I'll buy you a drink?' I wasn't having none of that. I said, 'Listen buster, just because
I go out on a bender every now and then, it doesn't mean I'm a lousy drunk, you know.'. I was livid, I tell ya. Then he said what about if he brought me some make-up? 'Does it look like I need make-up?' I
asked. Anything to mask my face, eh?"

Yes, absolutely, love. You're hideous. I felt relieved when she eventually upped and left. She made me feel a bit uncomfortable: That's exactly what my wife used to be like.

It was some time later anyone else sat on me. It was a father and son.
"I know it's hard," the man said, wrapping his arm over the boy's shoulder. "But it will get better, I promise."
"How do you know?" asked the boy.
"Because we will help each other out. Your mom was a wonderful person, but she was very ill. And you know that as much as me. She's at peace now, watching down on us from above. She will always be there for you, no matter what."
"She was so proud of you; both of us are. But she's at peace knowing that you are going to grow up into a fine man. In spirit, she will help you as much as I when times get tough. And she will be forever in one place that no-one will ever be able to take her away from - your heart."

The man rested his free hand on the boy's chest and the two shared a tender moment. If I had eyes, I'm sure I would have cried.

I felt quite sad all day long, but then I saw the sight of someone I hadn't seen for a long time. My wife, the old battle-axe, was walking through the park approaching me.

"Hello, love," she said, as I felt her hand delicately brush away a leaf that had fallen on me.
"Hello, dear," I said, although of course she could not hear me.
"It has been too long. Not a day goes by when I don't miss you like crazy. When you passed away, a part of me did so too."
"I love you," I whispered.
"I remember when we used to come here in the summer, and just gaze into each other's eyes..."
"I wish I could have seen your eyes through those inch thick glasses you always used to wear."
"Those days I remember so well. I hope soon we can be together again, and share in each other's lives all over again."

My wife stood up slowly, looking at me affectionately, and walked away. I thought one thing, "Not too bloody soon, I hope."

It had been a rollercoaster sort of day. I'd had my fun, but I had felt a lot of sadness too. What I like so much about being in this bench, is that I feel so much more connected to people than I had been when I was alive.

If I could have had my time again, I suppose I would have listened more to other people. But, saying that, some of the stuff my family used to spout, I think I'd rather have cut my ears off!

January 20th, 2011, 08:39 PM
I love this!
Brilliant. Love the variety it has.
The humour is great, made me chuckle :)
Don't have any critique for it as it is

Bilston Blue
January 21st, 2011, 09:57 PM
I too love this, a unique way to look at life after death. I like the humour, though at one point it came across as a pun-fest, almost like a vehicle for one-liners, though that feeling didn't last long. The strongest part of this, in my opnion, is the voice of the narrator (and I can hear my own voice in his, that of a miserable old fool.)



Sir Roberts
February 9th, 2011, 12:29 PM
I really enjoyed that.

Right, I've decided. I'm coming back as a bench.

Bruce Wayne
July 4th, 2011, 01:34 PM
A very original idea, I enjoyed it

July 5th, 2011, 05:06 PM
This is great Daniel :-) a brilliant idea, and I like the different voices you've used.

Jane Martin
August 23rd, 2011, 12:00 PM
I like the idea of this, the voice of the bench and the variety described. It's a great basis for an observational piece.

October 6th, 2011, 05:27 AM
Genius idea and very well written. I enjoyed it and would love to read more like it.

October 6th, 2011, 06:51 AM
Such a wonderful surprise right there at the beginning. I was immediately pulled in and eager to read more. I agree about the one-liners, but perhaps that was how he enjoyed life before, in which case it's an expression of his mood. Just one thing bugged me. He wished he had eyes so he could cry, then he speaks of what he "saw." It's confusing. I know what you meant ... that he cannot make physical tears, although his spirit sight works fine. But you don't cry with your eyes. You cry with tear ducts located beside them. So the confusing word "eyes" isn't even needed there, and should be replaced with something more accurate–why not just tear ducts?

But, nitpicks aside, it's still made my masterpiece category.

May I ask where you got the idea? Really would like to know.