There’s a man in the park who sits in the middle of a seat and places his stuff either side of him thereby leaving no space for anyone else.
It’s not that he doesn’t want anyone to sit beside him, in fact, he craves company, but he fears anyone who comes along and wants to sit on the seat with him will eventually take the seat from him.
It’s a long suffered trauma of having things taken from him. He learned expressing any delight in something would initiate it being taken from him, or he would be made to feel unworthy and therefore not entitled.
He is a man with much to offer, willing to share but needing to protect himself should you turn out to be like so many others.
Tomorrow he will come to the park and seek out his seat. I say his seat because he feels the seat is in such a part of the park as to be not desired by others.
On the seat, he will find a young woman who like him has scattered her life over the surface of the seat. He will be taken aback because no one has ever taken his seat and he will be lost momentarily until she notices and moves some of her stuff allowing him a space to sit down.
Feeling aggrieved by her, he accepts her offer and sits down. She recognises him and apologies for taking his seat saying she didn’t think he came to the park on Tuesdays.
She speaks to him from a place of recognition, and this unsettles him, as he didn’t think anyone knew him, noticed him or for that matter cared about him.
A conversation ensues, hesitant at first and then she reveals who she is and how she knows him. She says she has watched him this past year, observed how he walks through the park head down focused on getting to this one place. She says she has wondered what it is that motivates him to go to the same spot each time.
He feels affronted because inside there are triggers going off, another woman wanting him to justify himself, explain his behaviours, and he is not sure why but there is something non-intrusive about her, and so he quells his desire to pack up and go and instead sits there thinking of an answer.
As he thinks she goes on about her life. Like him she is alone, she has suffered, she is feeling desperate, and this is why she has approached him knowing full well there is the very real possibility he would take advantage of her, steal from her, abuse her, beat her, maybe even kill her.
He remembers sharing how he felt before and the trouble it got him into. Now he is the one listening to her sharing her story, and he knows none of the things she is fearful of will come true from him.
“It’s so long,” he says when she stops, “since anyone spoke to me apart from telling me to get going away from them. You make me feel as though I am ok and you are the one in more trouble than me. I like the sound of your voice, I won’t do you any harm, but if you’d like to listen, I’ll share my story with you.”
She settles back and gives him the space to tell his tale.
He starts, and as the words flow from him, he feels inside a warmth he hasn’t felt in such a long time.
All this, of course, will happen tomorrow.