At first, I was embarrassed for him. Then I briefly thought I could spare him the three euro he was short for his purchase. Yet It all seemed to happen so quick.
I had noticed the jolly young character earlier on as he replaced white onions for red onions. Laying down the white onions, unloading a cheery celebration amidst picking up red onions before bouncing off enthusiastically down the next aisle.
Hmm, I figured, I’ve never seen anyone so excited about red onions. strange.
Approaching the check out desk i had noticed he hadn’t picked up more than a couple of groceries but was well stocked in the alcohol department. The young jolly man landed the cashier with a warming “hows your day?” and continued to pack the few groceries he had into his bag before announcing to the cashier that his case was full.
“Oh,” He said, ” How much is the case?”
It was written all over his face that he now realised he could not afford the beer, bananas,red onions and coconut milk.
“Shit”, he calmly exclaimed. “I thought I had some more cash on me. ”
Beginning to unload his small shop from his bag the cashier looked at him with a patient smile, holding back the anger she not only had with him, but at her situation in general. 19.45 on a Friday and here she was, working. Serving this happy chappy who thought he had more cash!
How much was the case again?” he asked.
ahh hes not putting back the groceries is he? I thought to myself.
“Shit right, i better return the few bits so and Ill take the case.!”
Politely, even enthusiastically this time the cashier smiled and exchanged the few groceries and re scanned the beer.
“Waaahey!” “I even have 2 euro change” he exclaimed after the transaction was complete.
The cashier now beginning to warm to the young fellow advised that he could now afford at least the bananas and onions, To which he replied “Yera, I only came down for the bare essentials. I can pick them up during the week,!
As he bounced out of the store I couldn’t help myself. I told the cashier that I would be back in a moment and chased after the young lad making haste down the street.
Unsure wether i was worried for the young man, perhaps thinking he may have a sever drinking problem, or maybe I was intrigued how this young man, 15 years my elder could carry himself so well, be so full of happiness, and generally to leave off such a warming effect around him.
I had never seen that before, for someone to be short change and take it so lightly.
“Excuse Me!Excuse me young man”, I shouted as I chopped the ground between us. I couldn’t help but notice you left your groceries, and you took the case of beer.
“Yup”, he answered calmly, still not phased as to why I had made up ground with him.
“Well young man, you have an awful lot of beer, and you left your necessities in the store, is everything alright?”
“Perfect man, everything cool” he replied as he smiled. “I just figure, Do whats best for now, and the rest will fall into place. “Those onions will be their tomorrow. But Im only having friends over once this week”.
“Oh, hmm, well than, I guess enjoy your party!”. I stood their for another moment feeling somewhat foolish, but more so envious.
His calm deminar, happy outlook and approachable glow was amazing. And there I was worried for him purchasing the same items I purchase every friday evening.
“Keep it real man, keep it real real!” He said as he walked off into the friday evening hustle bustle. Armed with all he needs for now, for the moment. The happiest person Ive ever met.
“Sweet” I said enthusiastically as he agreed “But first il just roll a quick cigarette”
The night had more less fallen by this stage and the path along the river was glowing in the clear moonlit sky. You could make out the the trees and still see the final trimming of coloured leaves hanging on to the edge of their branches. Very few leaves were left on the trees as the seasonal change was in full swing, meaning that we trudged through the remains of the leaves, making a crisp sound everytime we took a step.
“Im sorry, I am terrible with names, what did you say your name was?”
“Christy, well my actual name is Christian” I responded sarcastically, “though I see myself as an atheist so I figured the christian thing to do would be to shorten it to christy” and I put my hand into my pocket to take out my lighter and spark up my cigarette.
“You mentioned you had big dreams while in school, What were those dreams?” Curiously I asked. I figured that Nick had a specific dream that may have fell by the way side but to my surprise he answered ” None really in particular, Well, Nothing extraordinarily special. Travel the world, Meet the girl of your dreams, become a world famous drummer, that kind of thing you know?”
“Wow, you play drums?”
He smiled at me as he replied ” Nah, but iv always wanted to.”
“I mean, happiness, My dreams all circulated around happiness, and its just something i don’t think I’ve felt in a while. Flat,Lifeless I feel like everyone around me seems to be, as you would say making progress.”
A dog, A Beautiful little corgy made his way over to us and decided he wanted to join us on our walk, we both welcomed him but his owner quickly called him back, leaving Nick with the opportunity to explain to me more about his current wellbeing.
“But I don’t see it as progress, Yes their achieving things and seem to be actively pursuing something, but I don’t think they realise what their pursuing and i definitely don’t think these achievements are bringing them happiness.”
“What kind of achievements?” I asked inquizzitively.
By now Nick was super relaxed and I feel the walk was easing his tension even more. As we briskly walked through the leaves Nicks confidence seem to grow and he was becoming a lot more open.
“graduating college, Promotions at work. You know yourself. The things people my age should be doing”
I stopped and searched for a stone to skim into the river. “Perfect, she’s a beauty, not to thin and perfectly circular! Thats strange”,” Who tells people your age what you should be doing?” and I skimmed my stone successfully into the river, it was dark but I’m pretty sure i managed six skips.It could have been eight or nine but it was to dark to tell.
Nick paused and again I could see him struggle to come up with an answer, but this time it was fair enough to be bit hesitant as it was not an easy answer.
” I have great admiration for people who seem to be making progress in their lives, but a huge sadness for those who are blinded by the light, and stay on the same track, in a looping wheel never to break free and experience the through beauty of this world. Expectations are unrealistic, from a young age were thought to work hard,study hard, get educated and move in one solid direction throughout this lifetime,and at the end of it all we can retire, knowing that we successfully contributed to society,made a decent income and than relax in our final years with our hard earned money from a lifetime of grafting.”
Nick stopped and began to look out over the river.
“But its al bullshit”I remarked ” Where is the beauty of circulating on a progressive wheel, Its when you go off the beaten track where you find the real hidden gems. In order to stumble across these gems, we must get lost from time to time. But like always, well eventually come upon a thing of beauty, just let it fall into place, enjoy the journey, take the pain and the suffering, hold onto it, don’t dwell on it, but hold on to it so that the next time your lost, you’ll have a map to guide you back to safety.
“I can’t believe this” Nick said joyfully still looking out at the river but now reaching his hand into his pocket. “I can’t believe I met you, your amazing” He praised me.
Taking his hand out of his pocket he took out an envelope folded in half.
My heart sank, the blood drained from my body and I instantly felt sick. It was as if the world around me stopped, I could not move and All i could do was stare at Nick in a panic.
He unfolded the envelope and held it in his hands, sliding it through his fingers for a moment or so, but it felt like decades.
I had realised that Nick seemed bit off, although I never met hi before he just seemed like he wasn’t himself all evening. It was unusual, we were total strangers, we barely knew each other a half an hour, yet a bond and fluidity built up between us and it was as though we were old friends, meeting up after not seeing each other in awhile.
He looked at the envelope in his hands holding the corners with his fingertips, before tearing it right down the middle. I could see his eyes had watered up and now their was tears flowing gently down his flush cheeks.
“I came here this evening and thought that i would be leaving this note under a stone on the bench you were sitting on. Ive been carrying it around with me all week, but today was the day i thought i would part with this letter. And i figured this note would be found quite some time before Id been found.”
This time it was me that was caught for words. I stood their feeling frightened, frightened for Nick and worried that my advice, or whatever it was I blabbered on about for the past half an hour seemed like complete nonsense to Nick.
He continued to tear the envelope into many shreds. He paused again and took a deep breath before throwing the pieces of paper into the river.
“Thank you Christy,” He said as he looked at me with a smile and sense of relief in his face. “Thank you!”
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.
Its beautiful here isn’t it.
Just some of the many remarks passers by would use to salute me as I sat their on my bench, over looking the fast flowing river meandering blissfully through the valley, While the warm sun gently began to tuck itself under the thick fluffy clouds, to gain some rest before peaking its head out again early in the morning to salute us all with its warm glow.
However its not the river, nor the sunset or even the friendly other nature enthusiasts that grasped my attention that evening.
“Excuse me, Do you mind if I take a seat?”
“Sure,No Problem” I said,I smiled and as i lifted my head to welcome my new friend to the bench I could not help but notice a frightened figure joining me on this wonderful bench.
“Beautiful Isn’t it” excitedly Trying to strike up some conversation.
“Mmm, I guess so.” drolly he answered.
We sat their for a couple of minutes, the water continued to flow, the sun maintained its journey and the awkwardness between Us grew.
My bench mate, I guessed was in his late teens. perhaps early twenties.
“I don’t get it” eventually he exclaimed, ” I mean, shouldn’t it be easy, This. All of this. It works like clockwork. Its as if its all here to remind us of how simple life can be. How beautiful it all can be.How warm and soothing it all can be.” He said almost painfully while peering out over the sunset. “Yet, its all so complicated.”
Unsure of how to reply “Just take in the simplicity of this right now, here, Us, the river, the nature, the sunset. Just really be here right now to enjoy its beauty and warmth, feel the love of the trees and the inspiration of crashing through the river.”
He looked at me and smiled, before offering his hand out to formally greet Me.
“Hey Nick, Im Christy” I replied as we shook hands.
While we shook hands I couldn’t help but notice his weak grip, high-strung shoulders and deathly look upon his face engulfed with a thick clammy layer of sweat nestled in the palm of his hand.
“Is their something on your mind Nick?”
“Mmm, Well I just don’t get it, any of this!” hesitantly he replied.
At this stage i began to realise that their was something really bothering Nick.
We sat their quietly for some more minutes before I decided to break the silence, it was not necessarily an awkward silence, yet I was anxious to converse some more with my new bench mate before he would get up and leave, perhaps even more bewildered than when he first came to the bench.
“Ill tell you what I don’t get Nick” leaning forward to grab his attention.”We claim to live in a progressive society” To this day I’m still quite unsure where the words came from, but my words seemed to build up an instant rapport with Nick,” Progressive, to my knowledge, not word for word, but to my knowledge the meaning of progressive is to be moving forward, striving for improvement, not necessarily striving for more. In fact, its my opinion that less is more.But in this so called progressive society were expected to jump on all the latest trends, own the biggest and best, be constantly connected. Inundated with pollutions, SALE!SALE!SALE!, Pressures to work, earn and survive. Were seen as aliens if were that small bit different.”
Nick Looked at me with a glare in his eye and i knew a bond had been made.
I smiled ” I mean, I’m pretty sure that for kids aged 16 and under, the classic food pyramid and the importance of having 5 A day, is insuring to get 5 great selfies of your apple iPhone, this will surely keep the doctor away.”
We both laughed hysterically before Nick asked me what I do for work.
“AAhh thats irrelevant Nick, unimportant, Where I work isn’t who I am man. Its another hiccup in our progressive society i believe. When being introduced to someone we always want to know where they work, or what they study, or their plans for the future.”
“But why not just simply ask, who are you? what makes you happy? something personal to truly strike up a conversation.” Ive always believed this to be the best way to get to know a new friend, I think no matter how unprejudice someone is, or non judgemental, their can always be a separation in class when someone finds out your job, or what you study or what you hope to achieve.
“Strip down the barriers, ask your new acquaintance something personal, something which will bring us both into deep conversation”.
Nick now looking intrigued yet confused searched for something personal to ask me. and i gather from the amount of time it was taking him to swish a few questions through his mind he wasn’t still 100% sure of what it is I meant.
“Relax man, Its easy” I sat back to get more comfortable on the bench, threw my arms around the back of the arm rest and outstretched my legs and crossed them in front of me.
“What brings you to this bench on this beautiful autumn evening?” I asked while grinning out at the now moonlit sky.
I don't value money I have no mass on things its your time and your presence that happiness brings Add me on Facebook and well have a chat whats happened to meeting for coffee we've forgotten about that You've worked hard you've earned your degree its now time for business thats difference between you and me christmas is coming its getting quite near not a present have i bought yet I'm filled with christmas cheer can we meet for a drink possibly a few, but i think well enjoy it from a different point of view joue phone in your hand your heads in the iCloud did you hear what i just said, NO, your texting instead I look to the trees and i find hope in the sky my dream is some day we will be the same,You and I Must buy this and i still have to get that have you not thought this person would be simply happy to meet for a chat. I ask you to stop and for a moment just think our people and planet it is energy that is the link.
Gather,grow,develop. Its been awhile!!
My lack of writing is symbolic of my mind frame and outlook within the past few months, few years. In this ever changing world I have had some huge changes, From spiritual awakening to no existing practices, humming and hawing, lying in bed thinking tomorrow will be the day, I will exercise, meditate read bit and even maybe write something.
Well, my daily rituals have been as prolific as my writing, my creativity has blossomed on a parallel with the naked tree outside my window, holding on for mere survival in this cold yet beautiful winter here in Coburg Germany.
A small city, where i moved to 8 or 9 months back and picked up a job cooking in a kitchen, which i really enjoy.
When I first arrived in coburg I loved it for its small size, beautiful cobblestone walkways, sometimes I feel like I’m in a scene of a walt disney winter wonderland movie, yet maybe happiness has since been in decline.
I have learned a lot about myself and my needs in the last 12 months or so. I finally got money together and moved from Ireland, spending some time travelling before been lucky enough to land a nice job here next to my girlfriend. In the first few months it even brought added opportunity with me being invited to be chief editor of an up and coming website, but that, like my enthusiasm has fell by the wayside.
From years feeling trapped, and hoping to be free, slowly turned into a wave of happiness opportunity and energy.
Now, I am lost. This is about the only word that can describe the mayhem going through my mind. (mayhem might be bit of an exaggerated description, thoughts may be more accurate, but not half as intriguing 😛 )
Once, for quite awhile I felt trapped, lacked freedom. But with that freedom came a totally unexpected emotion of being lost. I guess it make since.
I just wanted something new, to see the world, anything to get out. I have always had great dreams. I still do, somewhere buried in the confusion of my mind.
But what is this something new? new job, new location, new friends and scenery, new nature, new house. Its all great. But the mid 20s battle of what the fuck am I doing here keeps me up till late at night, drains my energy and holds me back from productivity and more importantly creativity.
Its strange, when you need the sunlight most, it tends to be the time we turn away from, draw the curtains, and sit in our despair.
Well, today is a new day. Today I have started to do the things I keep saying I will do tomorrow.
To any kind comments likes or thoughts towards my blog posts thus far is greatly appreciated . Anyone feedback or anyone in a similar situation feel free to connect.
Heres to more blogging, clarity, sunlight and making the most of this precious time we have on this planet.
A simple life, yet so hard to find
A way to escape the daily grind,
How can we free and relax our mind,
the stress that is life leaves us blind.
To make a fortune is the dream that’s being sold,
But is this way of life outdated and old,
A dream causing many too sleep out in the cold,
But their is progression, or so we are told.
A planet of many, yet so many alone,
Would bring on the question, hiw much have we grown?
Every day we seem to keep playing the same tone,
Violence and poverty, segregation yet we moan.
I do not have this, I really need to get that,
This materialistic world, few people getting fat,
Fat with money, fat with greed, many people allowing a small few to feed,
Feed the riches, to a small few their are plenty.
I have recently been lucky enough to be invited to join a brand new website covering world news and current affairs.
I would like to generate some info as to get an insight into what it is people would like to see or read in the news and categorise it by age,location,sex etc.
I would be very grateful if you could contact me and answer the following questions and also share the post so i can get as much info as possible! 🙂
How old are you?
Where are you from?
Do you read/watch the news?
What is your favourite newspaper,website or channel?
What is your opinion on social media?
Do you like to see accurate timely news even if the content can be upsetting, negative or violent or would you like to see something a bit different more upbeat and positive, even if it seems less relevant?
Would you like to see more political news, environmental news or humanitarian news?
Can you remember a topic or story from the news that has really stuck to you?
Can you name 3 changes you would like to see in the world?
A simple and short enough survey, i would be truly grateful for any one who can oblige and take part in the survey and a share to spread the love would mean a lot!
Have you had a great day.long day or a tough day?
“Not knowing is often the most difficult thing.” Curiously i looked up and he repeated “not knowing, it can be the most difficult thing, you seem lost confused and slightly afraid” said the middle aged man as he leaned over to offer out his hand to shake mine.
Masterson, Paul masterson pleasure to meet you” Samuel,Jamie samuels i responded and answered “not knowing, how do you mean?”
Well you have been sat here for close to half an hour now, sitting anxiously and full of discomfort, it seems as though something is troubling you, and for most discomfort i suffered in my life is usually a fear, and that fear is just often the unknown. All the what if’s that we’ve ever imagined conjugated together to develop a fear.
When Paul first offered his hand to me i was reluctant and somewhat pessimistic, ready to stand up and leave this bench, but Now feeling slightly relaxed and very much intrigued I asked “Well yes I guess, well I have this big decision to make, Something that could influence the outcome of the rest of my life”
“HMMM, wow, the rest of your life kid?!” smuggley he said as he also sat up and squirmed closer to me with a look of excitement”Im not so sure that one decision can have such an influence on your life, but if it does, don’t be afraid of it” Enjoy the experience, it sounds really exciting, WOW, this next decision will have tremendous results for you. Get excited think of it from a perspective of joy and happiness, impose some real emotion to the decision, this will guide you to making the right decision. if you invest fear into the decision you will never be able to dream up the the enormity of happiness that stands before you, as you will be to busy worrying to fully relax and enjoy your life.
I sat for a moment and absorbed his words. As his words began to rest with me I felt what can only be described as a refreshing wave flow through my body. Anguish fear and worry immediately eluded me.
After a moment of inspiration and almost a week of regret it came to me.
Without a response he again leaned over smiled and said “don’t worry kid, in fact don’t even think, just do. Fear is all the what if’s. when I first started speaking with you their was a cloud of fear gathering momentum in yiur mind, and now look at you 2 minutes later relaxed, loose and energised. Don’t think about this decision, just act on the right feeling, this will guide you to every success, but more importantly it will keep you on the road to happiness. Don’t think ahead and worry, act now, in the present. It’s the greatest gift we have.
He stood up, looked to the skies and profoundly said”life is to important to be taking seriously” and briskly began to walk away.