Editorial – Park Bench


Will is a gentleman of indeterminable age. His disheveled look and gray hair bode of some miles on the old man, but his demeanor, clarity of thought, and somewhat caustic humor speaks like he is living his youth. I met Will by sheer circumstance, after sitting to write on a bench. To be honest, I’ll admit to first judging the book by the cover, as my initial hope was that he would just sit quietly and leave me to my journal.

My pen had barely started to scratch out a thought when he first spoke to me. He, with beautiful diction and delivery recited Kilmer’s poem ‘Trees’. He did it well. The old guy almost got a tear out of me. It led to one of the most interesting conversations in my life. We sat for what seemed like hours, because it was hours. Though it felt like minutes. His buoyance of character and his ability to converse so knowledgably, along with his continued sporadic references by citation or oration to some of the greatest works, lent me to believe he had penned words of his own at some time. I got his permission to write things down as we spoke, and it seemed only a signal to him to wax on.

The limit of my speed in writing focused me on what was being said. There were a few things I most assuredly missed, and I have had to paraphrase some of my own choppy scribblings. If there was a lull, which rarely happened, I did my best Dan Rather and asked a pointed question. It didn’t help that I couldn’t often go back to write an exact phrasing. Sometimes, it seemed impossible for him to say the same thing, the exact same way, twice. But with all that, I was forever changed by the shared wisdom of this old man. Reflection on his words led to some real epiphanies for me as a writer and poet. A day that had started like so many others, had somehow held this tremendous moment, though I could have never dreamed that is what the day held in store when I awoke. I rightfully anticipate I may never see Will again. Just goes to show, it only takes once to be memorable.


18 Responses to “Editorial – Park Bench”
  1. What a wonderful story! Strangers often have a way of impacting us, if we only take the time to let it happen!

  2. beth says:

    I love this chance interaction/intersection/connection. I’m guessing he gained something wonderful from it as well –

  3. Jim Borden says:

    maybe you found your muse! Do you plan to go back and see if he is there again?

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    I don’t know if one can chalk this up to fate or not. I think the main thing is you embraced the opportunity and ran with it. Whether this was only meant to be a one-time occurrence or not, the impact can last for a long time.

  5. jonicaggiano says:

    Sounds like you happened on to an amazing opportunity. Great piece Brad. I can imagine your face when he started reciting the poem. Nicely done my friend. Sending you bundles of love Brad. ❤️❤️❤️Jonikins

  6. I expect you may be Will some day.

  7. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Those chance occurrences where we meet some outstanding person are rare and far between, you should feel blessed my friend!

  8. kristianw84 says:

    What a lovely story! I love those moments, when an ordinary day turns out to be extraordinary.

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