Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Man And Amusement This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   The man, bent and wrinkled with age, sat on the bench on Main Street leaning on his cane. His eyes were dull, gazing into the air at the people all around him. His brown pants tight around his knees were gathered at the thighs, in folds like his neck. People walked by him often but he was passed unnoticed. His cane wobbled sometimes when his gazing eyes followed a car or a bird and made him lose his balance. It moved and jerked his grip but he caught the cane and again settled his body into the leaning position.

The bench was made of wide and sturdy planks, supportive of the man. It was held up by thick bent-iron tubes painted red to try to make them look cheerful, and make the seats more appealing. There was a row of trees along the street planted in squares full of dirt where there was a cement block missing. The tree near this bench with the late afternoon sun shining on it cast a shadow of small leaves and golden light across the man's worn face. The drugstore (one of the busiest stores on the whole street) was near him, which he liked because it meant more people were coming in and out whom he could look at and amuse himself with.

He liked to sit and be the unnoticed observer. He liked Elm Street the most because it was such a small street that the people who came always had a purpose and he had more to guess about. But Main Street had shade and benches, and he didn't like to sit on the curb. So he would usually settle for the people on Main Street who sometimes had no purpose in being there, and were often just walking up and down the street looking in store windows to amuse themselves as he amused himself with them.

Some days the people would be dull and not at all amusing, but usually there was something different about every person, even if it was only the way that they walked past him.

A tired, angry mother and her screaming little boy hustled by the bench where the man sat. The man could see that they were tired; the boy wanted something that she wouldn't give him; if she weren't afraid of people looking at her she'd let go and cry like him.

They disappeared around the corner and the screams faded from the old man's ears. He knew that they would jump into the parked car and the mother would shove the boy into the backseat and drive away, not able to get away from the whining screams.

But they were gone and now there were more people walking by that he wanted to look at and think about. A couple came out of the drugstore arm-in-arm and he almost smiled remembering he and his wife together when they were young. Of course that was a long time ago and things were different back then. Not different enough to change the sweetness of it all though. His eyes had closed and he left his dream and his hands slid from his cane. He caught his balance before he fell, but saw that couple had walked on with his dream.

His face never changed its expression; it was always blank, but he was always watching whoever went by the bench. Watching, with his cane propped under his chin, holding the expressionless face full of amusement and contentment under the tough golden skin and in his gazing eyes. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Memalion said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm
Very interesting idea, and the writing was excellent. Very descriptive, very interesting. Really points out the details of everyday life. Thanks for posting this!
 
AbbieLou said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 9:47 am

I really enjoyed this piece. Very descriptive, it painted a picture in my head.

 

your a fantastic writer, write more! :')?

 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback