Reflections On A Bridge

“What’s that about Sid” I heard someone ask. We were sitting in the café, mulling over events or the lack of them, (purpose can drift out of your life with age,) and his name came up. “What about him?” said Terry, and the new guy to the group, Alex I think his name is, said, “I passed him in the rain, just leaning on the bridge watching the water flow below him. “

“I asked him if he was OK and he just said, “I know where I am,” and I thought, “I know where I am.” What’s that’s supposed to mean?” Geoff, sitting opposite me, whose read a book or two in his time piped up and said, “I think it’s a quote from a novel” and we all looked over to him but that’s Geoff. His information comes in disconnected fragments and talking to him is like wandering through an archaeological site without an expert on hand to give context to your finds. Still, that’s not really the point is it?

Some bloke I didn’t know, who was sitting at a close-by table, said “His wife died last week” and there you have it: answered in a phrase. Sid is one of those guys who looked the other way when real life drove by. Why his wife stayed with him I cannot say, but the power to endure was admired back then before the age of planned obsolescence and euthanasia parties. I mean Sid is a good hearted man but basically a mess in a worn-out shirt but he loved his wife. That is the truth in him: her living gave him purpose.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in ageing, creative writing, Humanity, Love, marriage, old age, Peter Wells, Relationships, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Reflections On A Bridge

  1. mikesteeden says:

    Poor old Sid…reminded me of my old Dad when Mum died; a lost soul who knew that was exactly what he was.


  2. Al says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, may I say, wow!


  3. So sad, and yet so real… Will he join her now or wait his turn to be reunited? Bridges are potent places for reflecting on transitions, being both vehicles and metaphors for change…

    I hope, and trust, that Sid will choose the path that best serves him, as he always has before…

    Another beautiful story, Peter! You have such grace and deep empathy in telling these all-too-human tales…


  4. gotham girl says:

    So much truth here that happens on a daily basis…well written and so engaging!


  5. In some way I feel that we all find a sense of purpose in somebody else. As ever this is a wonderfully observed study, Peter.


  6. ksbeth says:

    two hearts grow into one.


  7. nelle says:

    I’d guess staring at the water flow after loss is not at all an unusual human activity. Here’s to all who are there.


  8. You never disappoint Peter, always thought provoking. This short story speaks volumes, a poignant truth for many people.
    Well done my friend


  9. Quite an interesting little study, Peter. Men sitting around pondering a man who was pondering. I suppose that’s what many of us do rather than doing, well, something…or anything. It says more about the blokes in the cafe than the widower. You clever, clever man!


  10. This is wonderful. I loved the camaraderie of strangers, the empathy for a man’s pain–everything. Kudos, Peter.


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