A wealth of memories
24 November 2017
She shuffled to the park bench where she usually sat, her back still upright although the rest of her frame showed more of the frailty of old age. Two joggers looked at her vividly coloured clothes astonished at the marked difference between the peaceful serenity of her face and the gaudy colours of her salwar kameez. She merely smiled at them and waved as if she were waving to some long lost friends. They waved back after a few seconds of hesitation. It was always like that she thought in this foreign country where westerners did not expect strangers to wave or even smile at them.
As she watched them jog down the path she had just come from, she slowly opened the bag that she had extracted from her large handbag. It was a plastic bag filled with breadcrumbs and chunks of potato from yesterday’s servings that she had saved. She started throwing some to the birds that had gathered around her in the daily tradition and they readily started gobbling the morsels. All the while throwing the bread crumbs, she told them stories of the past, her present woes and her wishes for the future. The birds hovered or walked around her alternatively cooing or eating while she continued her monologue in hushed tones adding now and then a mark of appreciation for their listening.
- Nobody listens anymore to my stories. I got so many to tell from my younger days but none of the young boys bother to hear them. They want stories of Superman and Batman but I can only tell stories of an old woman who was once young and lived an extraordinary life travelling.
- Coo… coo.. coo
- I did not travel like Superman of course as I did not have fast cars but I did travel once on the Orient Express
- Coo… cooo… coo
- I know dear. The Orient Express is not that exciting for youngsters today but I also traveled on the Palace on wheels which many youngsters still like today albeit when they are a bit older than James and Morris
- Who are James and Morris ? Well they are my grandchildren dearies. Did I not speak to you of my grandchildren ? Oh, they are a beautiful pair. A bit naughty but a beautiful pair of young children all the same. They call me grammy and want me to tell stories of Batman and Superman but I only had my own stories to tell
- Coo… cooo…coo
- Susan bought me a few books. She says I can read those books to them as they have stories of Superman and Batman. I do that now but then who will listen to my stories ?
- Coo… cooo…coo
- I know you will dearies. You are so kind. My late Robert used to say one day we will both be old and maybe not remember each other anymore but I am sure we will remember enough to tell each other stories. He is now long gone my Robert and my stories still hang around my head whispering to me so that I may tell them to someone. I wish my Robert were here to listen to my stories. I would look at him and say listen old man (chuckling) – he was an old fool, Robert – I have a wealth of memories to share with you. He was an old fool indeed. Always used to say that I looked just like the young girl he had always known.
She kept chuckling and sharing both pieces of the food in the bag and stories of the past as well as hopes for the future. The birds gathered around her in more tight ranks as the murmur of her voice subsided. As the sun went down, the joggers who were passing by on their way back saw her extended frame on the bench where she had stretched out to peacefully pass away, her wealth of memories tucked away into her folds forever.
Stive Morgan ~ New Asia – Zov Predkov (Stive Morgan Remix)