Reading in the Park
Lying on a bench, in a corner of a park, is a man reading a book. He flicks the pages slowly, licking his thumb and forefinger with each turn. His ears twitch and gradually he is drawn out of the world of fiction by a sound. He glances around at first, unsure of whether he is hearing things or not.
“Who’s there?” He asks. There is no response.
“I can hear you,” the man exclaims. He swings his legs off the bench and stands up, holding his book open with his thumb.
“Stop playing silly buggers and show yourself,” the man says noticing that the voice he hears speaks as he speaks.
“Stop it. I said stop it! That. Stop that. Aargh,” the man lets out a frustrated cry. He sits back down on the bench and shoves his head in his book determined to ignore the intrusion. He staunchly remains silent for a long time. He flicks over a page and sighs as he hears the voice again. He stops reading, putting the book down on his lap. The man remains as motionless as possible giving absolutely nothing to describe.
Ruth couldn’t bear it much longer. She stood in her small and long kitchen, more like an alley in shape than a room, with her legs crossed and supporting herself with a hand on the countertop. The tap above her sink dripped steadily, she avoided watching it.
“Leave me alone for a minute,” she pleaded. She’d become used to the voice now, it came and went with little rhyme or reason but it had never obstructed her days. Certainly at first she had thought she was being followed by a stalker, and had been subsequently reprimanded for wasting police time. Mostly it was easy to ignore the constant narration of her actions, irksome yes, but ignorable.
It wasn’t until yesterday when the first real problem had occurred for her. She glanced to the door at the end of her kitchen, beyond which was the bathroom and the toiletry facilities her body desperately craved.
The entire waste removal process had been described, the phrase ‘in unnecessary detail’ never being more apt. Despite no one being around Ruth had felt embarrassed and shamed by the ordeal. She shook with the effort to restrain herself. It was no good, she was going to have to go. She leapt through the bathroom door and slammed it shut behind her.