Nick and I had known each other at this stage for 10 minutes at best, with roughly 7 of those minutes spent in an unsettling silence.
“What brings me here, pfft.” reluctantly he responded. he began to play with his hands and seemed to be searching for the right answer. It was not a quiz, nor a difficult question. Well it shouldn’t have been a difficult question but within Nick reluctancy the complexity of his situation became more apparent.
With a quiver in his voice and not an ounce of confidence in his tone he eventually mustered up the courage,” Ilove it here, i come here quite a lot actually.”
Now, seems as this was my favourite place in the world, i knew all the familiar faces, and Nick was definitely not one of them.
“Me too,” I proceeded. “Its great here, you’ve got the nature, the many beautiful walkways and of course the droves of happy people you see ambling on by, just enjoying the tranquility”
I think he began to realise at this stage i spend a lot more time at this bench than he does and backtracked. ” I guess i just needed bit of fresh air, time to clear my head”
“Ahh, their we go, no better place to clear the old thinker than down here!”
To shift the mode abit as i sensed Nick was again becoming quite tensed up I explained to him why i loved the bench so much. I declared how i felt that the bench was more or less mine, seems as every time i came passing by, it was free and ready for me to come and do some pondering.
“So what do you do for fun?” Nick asked inquisitively again beginning to relax.
I pathed Him on the back and with an excitement in my voice said” There we go, now your beginning to get it!”
“Fun, hmm. Well I like to bake. Although i definitely don’t do it enough, but when i do i always have great fun! Jokingly I said and than followed with ” But on a more regular basis, I like to actually just come to places like this and relax. Its the most fun I can have. I also enjoy a couple of beers and between you and me, I don’t mind an old puff every now and again, or again and again” and we both laughed, Nick looking at me bit warily due to my complete honesty.
“Im not to sure what fun is anymore” he said quite seriously but still with a smile on his face lingering from the banter we were having.
The smile slowly began to draw smaller and he continued ” I feel the joy of everything has just disappeared” I noticed things to become more serious between us again, but Nick seemed more relaxed and as though he was ready to share bit more as to why he was actually coming to the bench.
Not wanting to rush him or interrupt the flow, i figured humour was the best way to keep my new friend Nick Relaxed. ” You mean like, You feel like your Kaputt! I asked lightheartly.
“Kaputt, whats Kaputt?
I smiled back, “Kaputt is broken in german, do you feel like your broken.”
He took a moment to let the question sink in Looked at me smiled and said, “Nein, ich bin nicht Kaputt! Jesus, I should have remembered that, Mr,Barry my old german teacher wouldn’t be too happy if he was to hear that.”
“mmm, i can’t remember half of what i learned in school, another problem with our wonderful progressive society” I said as i reached into my pocket to grab a packer of dry roasted peanuts from my pocket.
Offering a handful to Nick as he duelly obliged i asked how exactly he meant by the joy of everything being gone.
“Well, it used to all seem so easy. You go to school, do the average bit to get by and hold onto your dreams. You’ve got your friends, your parents, its all so cozy. The big world only seems like a wonderful place, full of magic and oppurtunity.”
I butted in but quickly regretted it.” theirs plenty of magic in the world, this right here is magical”. He didn’t agree nor disagree but i broke his train of conversation.
After a moment I stood and suggested we walk together, down the bank of the river before it got to dark.