Monday, September 10, 2007

in memory of...

Her feet ache. She wants to stop walking but he marches on ahead, oblivious to her whimpers and moans, pointing out things that mean nothing to her. He names the various ferns and shrubs that have taken over, smothering the ground with the fecund growth. She stops walking, standing in the middle of the path, wondering how long it will be before he notices that she is not with him. She sits on a worn wooden bench. She hates these days out. The annoyingly cheerful fresh air and smug blue skies. He is about twenty yards ahead now and he still has not noticed. She reads the inscription on the plaque.



Why on earth would anyone want a park bench in their memory? What purpose could it possibly serve? Buildings, a prominent square, a tree lined street, a museum wing - these were things to leave one's name on. But a park bench? A few insignificant planks of wood screwed together in the middle of a gnat infested park? Wouldn't it be better to leave behind nothing at all?

Stretching her feet out before her she rests her hand on the small developing bump and wonders what she will leave behind. She thinks about the three chapters of the novel she has been writing for a year. The debt that was silently growing like a cancer. This child. A mismatched collection of chinaware scavenged from charity shops.

She opens her bag and takes out a pair of tweezers. She scans the pathway quickly before inscribing her initials and the date into the soft wood of the park bench.
Just in case.

5 comments:

Neha said...

beautiful, as always :)

Aarthi said...

For the most part I like it, but cant shake the feeling that its somewhat contrived...
I guess what nags me about it is that the entire thing was a buildup to the last line (that you just knew was coming!!)
No offence whatsoever meant. Guess am just being my crabby self today :-(
But please do keep writing...you are a very good writer.

WA said...

I didn't see the last line coming, I loved it. Very nice

Shyam said...

I liked it. :) Although I'd like a park bench in my memory - preferably facing a beautiful view so that people who need a rest have something nice to look at.

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

neha - thanks

aarathi - none taken!

wa,shyam - thanks :)