Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday scribbling 8 Oct. 2006

A short essay written by my Dad some time before 1978. This is for the assignment re; people watching for Sunday Scribbling.

Countdown

A young lad eight or ten years of age, sturdy and handsome, stopped his bike across from my porch the other day on his way out of the park. Still straddling the crossbar, he planted his feet solidly, looked straight ahead and stated his case.

"I'm gonna count to ten," he hollered, "then I'm goin' home."

He didn't seem to be talking to me, so I didn't answer. He counted in a loud voice, conscientiously, not stopping at ten but giving whoever he was shouting to the benefit of the doubt by continuing to twenty. He waited , silently, then hollered again.

" I'm goin' home."

He said someone's name, too, but I couldn't make it out. There was no one in the street as far as I could see, but then I realized he was orating for the benefit of some kids in the park playground, which was almost a block behind him.

Threatening to go home three or four more times without moving a wheel, he started counting again. I watched the group of kids in the playground but they didn't seem to be aware of his existence. All of this time he never turned around.

Two neighborhood dogs came over to investigate and get in on the action, so the lad got off his bike and rolled in the grass while they licked his face, but he soon remembered his wheel and started the countdown again. This time there was a note of desperation. Still no response.

Finally he rode away, leaving a trail of invisible tears.

23 Comments:

Blogger paris parfait said...

Fabulous! Love the attention to detail. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous andrena said...

Look-Out! Coming Through...from Dr. John's!

1:41 PM  
Blogger twitches said...

I love the unanwered questions here, a sense of emptiness in the piece. An yet, those playful dogs hint at a happy ending all the same...

1:56 PM  
Blogger Tina Dray said...

blimey, very moving. Dr John sent me.

2:22 PM  
Blogger bazza27 said...

A lovely story, but very sad. Dr John sent me.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

What a sad little story this is and so real, I can 'see' it happening. Makes me want to hug the little boy and tell him everything will be OK - when he's where his friends can't see of course! I'm glad the dogs came and played with him.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

the poor little boy, he wanted them to notice him....makes me sad :((...I am one of Dr Johns little people!

hope your having a great day Rel!!!

4:40 PM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

What a beautifully-told story

5:13 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

"... trail of invisible tears,"

I think that's one of our basic fears--that our tears will be invisible.

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

Good story.

Here playing six degrees of dr. john.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

I think we can all identify with that little boy at one time or another. Your dad had a good eye for small details. I like that in a writer.

Sprinting through on Dr. John's marathon trail.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous m said...

That was written by your Dad? That is so cool that you have kept his writing.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Cindra said...

that's beautiful, and poignant. Dr. John sent me.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rel, Beautiful and sad. Your Father was a very gifted writer.

As for beta, I have written a post about it because I have had several questions.

If I need to go under anaesthetic for any reason, will you come and sing for me???

4:12 AM  
Blogger Grish said...

Like your post alot. Very clever stuff...

7:11 AM  
Anonymous hundred and one said...

Nice one, Rei, nice one.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Gemma said...

My Dad was a writer too.
Nice essay.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Cuppojoe said...

That was pretty cool! I think I may have been that kid, once or twice...

Here via Dr. John!

11:08 AM  
Blogger PEA said...

I'll say it again...your dad was such a gifted writer and how wonderful that you have so much of his work! I found this story so very sad yet very heartwarming...I think we all find ourselves that way sometime in our lives!

5:11 PM  
Blogger Shell said...

I agree with Ms Pea. Your dad was very gifted. Loved the story.

6:33 PM  
Blogger sundaycynce said...

This is the second time I have left this comment--don't know where it went the first time. Apologies if you have one of those delay things where you get to read and approve it before it posts, but I looked and didn't see that comment.

Wonderful specific details! Especially ...hollered again...hear a note of desperation, and "rode away, leaving a trail of invisible tears." Beautiful and so painfully real.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Your dad was not only a gifted writer but a gifted observer. How wonderful that you have this piece to share with us. (But who is Dr John?)

4:55 AM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Beautifully written.

8:04 AM  

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