He’s in his mid-30’s and pleasant looking. He sits on the bus stop bench at the corner of Redwood and McPherson. Whenever Wilson (my 13-year old dog) and I walk by, our interaction usually goes like this:
“How’re you doing?”
“Fine. How’re you?”
“Have a good one.”
“You, too. Bye.”
This time, my “How’re you doing?” is responded with “Not so good.”
I stop. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s the same old thing day after day.”
I imagine it is. He sits on this bench nearly all day every day.
“People either accost me for money or ask if I want to buy drugs. I tell them no, but they keep harassing me. I don’t know what to do about it. There’s no solution.”
I can think of one: Stop sitting on this bench nearly all day every day.
“I guess I’ll have to eventually get the cops involved.”
“That might help.”
“You’re welcome. Have a good one.”
My advice to stop sitting on that bench becomes a metaphor for handling my own troubles.
I don’t know what to do about the five extra pounds I can’t seem to shake.
- Stop sitting on that bench: stop eating Cyrus O’Leary’s chocolate cream pies and work out more.
But my body aches after I work out.
- Stop sitting on that bench: stretch for 10-15 minutes after each workout.
I don’t have time to do that, so let’s change the subject.
When Gary goes on a whistling marathon, I want to yell at him.
- Stop sitting on that bench: eat a Cyrus O’Leary’s chocolate cream pie and you’ll feel better.
But then I won’t lose these five pounds.
- Stop sitting on that bench: work out more.
But then my body will ache all the time.
- Stop sitting on that bench: then stretch more.
This all seems like too much trouble.
- Keep sitting on your stupid bench and shut the hell up!
You shut up!
No, you shut up!
My friend and I continue to sit on our respective benches.