Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Park Bench

"And I declared that the dead, who had already died,
are happier than the living, who are still alive.
But better than both is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun...
This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."  
    -King Solomon (reportedly the wisest man ever to have graced this planet)

Every week, I withdraw to a secluded part of the park where no one else is around.  I have never showed another living being where I go.  I always sit on the same bench.  Rain or shine, you could find me there, reading a book or staring off into the clouds or watching two squirrels fighting over a nut.

 I would fight you for the bench.

No matter what life throws at me, I know that the park will not change. I can always find refuge on my bench, away from the problems.  I can unbutton the top button of my shirt if I want.  I can smoke my pipe to my heart's content. 

I would kill you for my bench.

I lost my faith somewhere along the way.  I had everything.  And yet I had nothing at all.  A wife, two daughters, and parakeets.  A job that paid more than enough.  But I couldn't find respect.  Or love.  Just contradictions. But I could always withdraw to my bench.     

One day, someone came and sat on my bench.  At first I thought he simply wanted to share my bench.  Although I wasn't altogether happy about the idea, he wasn't planning on sticking around.  Or was he?  Then he told me to get off of the bench.  my bench  Before I knew it, I was off of the bench.  I was upset of course and tried to explain that he couldn't just have the entire thing to himself.  He stretched his arms out wide and said it was his bench. I told him he couldn't have it.  its mine  He wouldn't see reason.  He said he could give me life to the fullest.  Of course I got upset; would you do any differently?
I killed him.  And saw him die on my bench.  I didn't think it would come to that. 

But you understand.  It was my bench.  And He had no right to demand it from me.  No right to it. Who was He, anyways? I hate Him. 

The sun still shines and the squirrels still argue over nuts. I still read and smoke and unbutton my shirt.  I started going almost every day to my bench. It makes the rest of my life mean something.  I am free of everything when I am at my bench.  I am free. So free.  Who needs His life when I have my bench. 

What is your bench?          


  1. this is an interesting interpretation of what I am assuming is the Zoo Story. i like what you wrote and the idea behind it. actually, in a different talk back, it was mentioned that jerry could be considered to be a Jesus figure. I am not sure if I entirely agree with this. However, i like the thought that was stimulated here. thank you.

  2. :) I do not think Jerry was a Jesus-figure, really. Jerry was another hopeless man, just like Peter. But I wonder if Peter would have parted with his bench for God himself. I think probably not. I know there are many things, many benches in my own heart, that I have a hard time letting go of.

  3. i told you in person too, i really liked this... y