Bench joggers

I’m on my bench. I haven’t been here for a while, but it’s a nice evening. London seems so busy again these days. They’re all out running and walking and driving and cycling. The wind is up so it doesn’t feel as close as yesterday. To my left some sunflowers have been tied to a slat and they are dying. I suspect they must be for James Mayley, whose plaque is behind me. I was going to take them up to my flat and stick them in water, but it’s evidently the intention of whoever left them to have them gently deliquesce in the sun under the plane trees. They are firmly tied to this bench. It says on the plaque that he’ll never be forgotten. He’s been dead fifteen years so they are doing their best to stand by it with the flowers. James was 19.

I’m a lot older than that, and I’m somehow still plugging. Still a bit restless. Still wondering what’s next. For now though, I’m sitting on this windy bench watching the people go by and communing with the river, with the plane trees and with the spirit of James Mayley. I’ve written about him before.

I hate jogging so it’s just as well that my ankles are pronated so much that it would be bad for me. “You don’t HAVE to do this,” a man says to himself as he passes and I am in full agreement. Others just plop by easily and happily like dressage ponies. Others still have given up ages ago and are now just having a stroll and listening to music. But there are lots of them. Solo mostly but occasional pairs.

The tide is falling, and a pod of colourful kayakers shoot by between me and Buddha.

Easy going for them so long as they don’t need to get back up before midnight. There’s still a fair few hours in the ebb.

It seems that everybody is back in London. The offices must have filled up again. And yesterday England won the Euro Championship in football. I’m surprised not to see lots of wrecked people still staggering around in strips, happy about the fact it just came home. All I’m seeing is exercise. I suppose it’s exercise hour. Quarter past seven. Home from work, time to change into the specially bought expensive kit that makes you feel like you can do the thing. Out doing the thing in the last of the light. Making yourself healthier, perhaps. I’d sooner do it by mistake while carrying something upstairs or being part of a story. Shakesfit. I’m glad I’ll get to be an iambic pentathlete again before long…

I’m gonna go back into my flat, have a bath and catch some reading.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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