There’s Eric who visits every day, sits down, lets his red setter off its lead and then ignores it whilst reading some boring book on astronomy or something. He doesn’t notice that Jupiter, is frightening the swans or that lady with the two poodles who are presumably female which means that he doesn’t contemplate what a red setter/poodle cross would look like in the same way as I do. He always wears brown cords, obviously has no sense of adventure as far as fashion goes and he thinks that no one notices that he picks his nose with about every fourth turn of the page. Eric is the most boring individual I have ever come across. At least that’s what I thought at first.
And then there’s Molly. Molly brings her knitting and used to sit there click-click, gazing up when a pair of ankles passed her own dimpled ones, crossed and stretched out in front of her, sniffing and absent-mindedly adjusting her hat whilst the scarf got longer; so long that it brushed my legs. When she sits down, her brown tweed coat is at bursting point and once, a button popped off; she had an awful job finding it in the dust as she was wearing the wrong glasses. So now, she sits leaning back to alleviate the pressure on the buttons and has moved up from looking at ankles to shoulders. Not many people understand Molly.
These two characters never arrive at the same time. I call them characters because they entertain me, performing their lives for me personally and I always have a front row seat. Mind you, Eric’s got a bony bottom and Molly needs to lose weight. But the good thing about being a bench is that people are always telling me their secrets.