The Bench (The Observer, part II)

Oh, you’re back! Has anything new happened since we last chatted? So, you gave my little observation challenge a try. What did you experience? Really? Well, I can tell you that it was hard for me at first as well. The thing that helped me the most was this place. Yes, sir, there is no better bench anywhere. What!? You didn’t pick a place that’s important? Now, now, that just won’t work. Your spot should be so special that nothing will ever take its place. Take this old bench for instance, I have a long history with it, but I think I’ll share some of it with you.

About twenty years ago, I was walking through this park when I stopped for a break under that cherry blossom tree right over there. I was looking around, just taking in the beautiful surroundings. When I glanced at this bench, I saw an old man sitting on it. Then I noticed a younger woman who looked so much like the old man that I knew they were related. She walked up to him and sat to talk for a while. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but after a while, the old man started to cry, and his daughter put her arm around him. He just kept on crying, his tears making his leathery, wrinkled face sparkle in the afternoon sun. He gently rubbed the spot on the bench next to where he sat, then slowly got up and limped away with his daughter. I went over to that bench this old man had such a connection to, and looked at where he had rubbed it. There, carved in that old seat was something so beautiful and touching that I felt compelled to preserve it in some way. That is the first reason that I sit here every day, to protect that little question carved in this common place; that modest, shy inquisitive that made this bench uncommon.

I see you looking for it. Well, it’s there, but you need to stop looking and start seeking if you want to find it. Ah, you found it, that didn’t take you too long, I’m impressed. Yes, he did propose to the love of his live in this bench. I couldn’t help but be enamored with the majesty of that little rose he carved underneath it; yes, right there. I’m sorry, I always get a little emotional when I see it, roses were always important to… No. I promised I wouldn’t talk about it.

But this bench, it has so many stories to tell. How do I know? Well, I don’t know them all myself, I know quite a few of them, but there is no way for anyone person to ever know all that this old bench knows. Just look at it for a while. My favorite parts are the rusty bolts. I find it amazing that something so elderly and weakened could hold everything together. But, if you really think about it, it’s that way with everything; the eldest part keeps all the younger parts in line and keeps them together. Take a family for example, the patriarch is the eldest male family member, and he is traditionally the one who makes all the major decisions. This phenomenon is common, but it is still strange.

I see you are starting to get restless, you need to stop that fidgeting if you want to master anything in this life. But since you are so anxious to change the subject, what do you want to talk about? Really? you want to talk about your love life? Alright, what questions do you have about love?

So, you want to know why this guy keeps rejecting your advances. Well, maybe he doesn’t know how you feel about him. Are you taking the initiative, or are you waiting for him to ask you out? I see. Well, he probably doesn’t notice your feelings about him because you aren't taking initiative; you need to go and get him yourself, you shouldn't wait for him to come to you. Guys are stupid, especially at this age, and they never know what to think when it comes to women, so every now and then, you need to give him a nudge in the right direction, and if he continues to not get it, then you need to be blunt with him. You see, guys like it when girls get to the point in their conversations with them, it's a lot easier to understand.

What’s that? you can’t be blunt? Well, that’s the biggest lie I have ever heard. It isn’t so much that you can’t be blunt, but more that you are afraid of rejection. You need to stop that, otherwise you will become stuck in a meaningless limbo. You are afraid that life will hurt, so you hide from it. Well, life does hurt but that hurt makes you stronger, and the next time it hurts, it doesn't sting as much and the sting fades faster. The more chances you take, the higher chance you have of winning the prize.

I hope that this little chat has helped you out a bit. I know that you have many more questions, but it’s time for me to go and get supper. You still want to know my name? Haha, you are getting closer, but you still aren’t ready for that little tidbit of knowledge.





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