Today’s Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.
Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.
I was talking to Elayne in the park.
“I don’t think my therapy helped. I need a new therapist. And her customers are just whacked. I was waiting for my appointment when this mad gypsy woman came out of her office, grabbed my hand, and started spouting nonsense!” I whined, while unconsciously waving my hands wildly in the air in audacious exaggerated movements, my face resembling one of Jack Sparrow’s finer scowls.
Elayne gently held my hand and lowered them. “Why? What did she say?”
“She was crazy, I tell you, craaaaaazy! She talked about doom and Armageddon coming. She saw the devil… death approaching… *shrugs* All that psycho stuff! She probably just wants to sell some fancy ass voodoo protection charm to me.”
“Did she what?”
“Sell anything to you?”
“Of course not! I won’t buy any of that crap anyway! She’s crazy and needs help.”
Yusof was one of my worst patients. I have tried everything. Nothing worked. Recently, I concluded that he has finally lost his sanity.
He barged into my office an hour ago and sat down, catching me by surprise as he was not due for another two days. Then he began telling his tale, accompanying it with his signature erratic hand gestures. He looks like he is trying to draw an enormous cow in the air. I decided to take him outside. Fresh air might help, they said.
I wholly regret my decision. Public is not where I want to be seen with a madman. Now, he was yapping on about his delusions, claiming some gypsy woman had tried to predict his future.
“Heh, I can tell his future too. Easy. A lifetime in the asylum,” I thought.
Finally, he finished his tale and stopped under a tree, next to an occupied bench.
“Same time next week, Yusof?” I still had to ensure a guaranteed inflow of customers in order to pay the bills.
Yusof was not paying attention. His eyes were round as saucers and looking at something else. Following his gaze, I saw an elderly woman knitting on the bench.
Yusof began to shudder. I was terrified. “Yusof! Wh- what- are you okay!?”
His convulsions were getting violent. He fell on his knees and elbows. He began whimpering.
Apart from feeling panic rushing up my throat, I was also feeling a tad embarrassed. I frequent this park and knew the regulars. I must not be seen like this!
“Yusof, come on get up!!!!”
“That r- r- red sweater,” he stuttered while his mind recalled the gypsy’s warning. “I’m going to dieeeee!”
Great. I am certain the whole park heard him wailing. I looked around at the watchful passers-by and grinned sheepishly. I had myself a small audience. Brilliant. I could only imagine how weird this would seem to them. A grown man crying on the ground on this wonderful afternoon. Oh, somebody help me!
I hate myself. Screw that. I abhor my very being. I never seem to get anything right! My own grandchildren hate me. I make them cry, my son said.
It’s my face! It has a natural scowl and there’s nothing I can do about it.
That morning, I made an impulse decision. I’ll knit something for my grandchildren. A peace offering, of sorts. As noon rolled by, the weather became unbearable in the house, and so I left for the nearby park with my knitting kit and my trusty cane.
I knitted, and purled, and weaved, and tried hard to let the knitting take my mind off my unhappiness.
No bad thoughts! I deserve happiness! I’m in my golden happy years!
That was when I felt a man’s gaze upon me. Looking up, I saw Yusof, and Yusof saw me. I was afraid. Staring contests were never my best game. And strangers should not be staring at me. But primarily it was the fear of the prospect of a staring contest. I was about to look away but not before he broke down into tears while he watched me.
And just like that, my will was broken.
Forget it. The whole darn world hates me and my scowl.
Morals of the story:
Don’t call others crazy. You may be crazier.
What happens in the office, stays in the office.
Don’t please everyone. Someone will still find reason to hate your guts, or scowl, in this case.