On my walk home from town one day, I decide to stop off in my small local park for a few minutes to eat a sandwich that I’d just bought.
It’s the middle of October and I settle myself down on a bench near the entrance, to enjoy some of the rare/unexpected sunshine.
The park is empty except for myself and a peaceful looking old man on a bench in the far corner of the green area.
It’s wonderfully quiet here, the noise of the nearby traffic is dulled by the tall trees surrounding the area, I sit peacefully and ponder quietly to myself as I happily nibble away at the BLT sandwich in my hand.
I glance over at the old man, sitting peacefully in his own little sunny and warm corner of the world, we are at this moment bonded by our shared relaxation, I think happily to myself.
We are two men of completely different ages and experiences, but brought here to this park by our shared love of nature.
The peaceful stupor of the park is abruptly broken however by the entry of a third party, a thuggish looking man, a man one who has obviously not come here to enjoy some sun, a man who-
‘OhGodHe’sStoppingRightInFrontOfMe’ I realise.
“Harry! What you doing over there?! Get the ‘f**k over here now!” this new man shouts across the park.
I don’t know who Harry is, but I don’t think I’d keep this guy waiting, I think to myself.
“Harry! Now boi!” he continues shouting, as I sit quietly on the bench behind him, wondering if I can leave or not.
I sneak a quick glance over in the direction he is shouting and see that Harry is in fact the old man whom I have bonded with, ‘this thug in front is going to harass my fellow bench and nature lover!’ I realise.
As my mind races, something quite unexpected starts to happen in front of me.
Harry and ‘The Thug’ (as I have now christened him) have embraced each other in a hug and are now exchanging a number of items that look suspiciously like drugs, right dab in front of where I’m sitting eating my sandwich.
My quick sandwich sojourn has now suddenly turned into me being the awkward, baby faced third party at some sort of street level drug meet.
‘Right, right, I’m in the middle of a drug deal, in a park, in broad daylight, next to a Tesco. This is absurd’ I think to myself, mind racing ahead as to what will happen after they’ve concluded their business.
‘I mean, they must know I’m right there and witnessing all of this…they’re bound to have something to say…’
They finish their ‘exchange’ and Harry, the traitor, walks off towards the exit of the park, leaving myself and The Thug alone.
‘I’ll just explain that I didn’t see anything, that I won’t say anything and that’ll be that, he’ll understand surely…’ I think quickly.
He sits down next to me on the bench, ‘Shit, shit, shit, shit’ my mind racing now, as he proceeds to grab the sandwich from my hand and throw it with fury into the bushes behind me.
“Alright chap” he proceeds to says.
“Hello,” I reply, shocked at the complete sudden change in the situation, I’m now sandwichless for a start…
“Now, I’m going to ask you a question and if ya answer wrong, I’ma knock your face in, you understand?”
“Right, I’ll try my best” I respond with a slightly shaken voice.
“Do you have a fiver on ya?” asks as he moves slightly closer on the seat. His face is very pock marked I note quickly, not the best breath either.
“Ummm, no…” I answer truthfully.
‘I spent it all on that sandwich you so callously threw away!’ I think angrily to myself.
“Wrong answer chap, I’ma give you one last chance and if ya answer wrong, I’ma knock your face in, ya hear?”
“Right” I say back, knowing that I probably won’t ever have have the ‘right answer’ for him.
“DO you have a fiver on ya?” he asks again, my body already eyeing up the exit at the far end of the park. ‘I could make it…’ I think.
“No I really don’t,” I respond again, before hopping off the bench and running for the exit.
Reaching the exit, I turn around and see that I’ve left The Thug, my would be attacker, alone on that cursed bench in that cursed sunny park, with the remains of my uneaten sandwich just visible, strewn in the bushes behind it.
Farewell, dear friend I think sadly, as I make my way slowly down the dark main street. my stomach rumbling just a little.