Sleeping rough – part 7: Nettles and cow parsley

I remember taking refuge in the sounds of the city. The wheels of the tram whining in a sharp turn in the rails guiding them home. Sirens from a police car racing by. Hundreds of cars humming nearby and farther off, their wheels hissing on the pavement. Distant trains. It all became a one voice, not many. One beautiful voice. And it met with the voice of nature. The wind in the trees and in the tall grasses in a vacant lot. Birds claiming their territory. The Spring buzz of busy bees returning home after a productive day as the sun was setting now. A mosquito finding my face. The two voices met and sang the most beautiful city duet one ever heard. My heart settled in my chest as my hands sensually were stroking the brick wall I was sitting on. The bricks warm still from the sunlight it had been bathing in earlier.

The other day I woke up from a door slamming. There were voices in the entrance hall of the school. I could not make it out exactly but there were people coming in to the school. Some hours later they left. It took me some time before I was not afraid to move again. My clothes were almost dry by then and I put them back on. They were not really clean at all though. Who were those people? It made me even more cautious of my moves in and around the school.


Today, as I came back from the city and I approached the school carefully, I found there were cars in the parking lot of the school. And the lights were turned on in the auditorium. I also heard music. I did remember there was an amateur drama company that used the auditorium for practice purposes on Wednesdays, but I would have thought there would be no activity during school holidays. Well, I thought wrong. They were there.

So I crossed the street and I walked passed the school and crossed the next road into the park. There I found a nice little spot to sit in and rest a bit in the early evening sun, sheltered from view and from wind by a brick wall. The remains of a bunker, part of the logistic system supporting the Atlantic Wall from World War II. I had checked out these bunkers before to see if I could get in, but they were locked with bolted cast iron doors. There was no way I could get in. There were many nice corners though and also you could easily get on top of them. So they did provide shelter when needed. They especially hid you from view, while you observed people walking the park with their dogs or playing with their children, riding their bicycles. Just having a good time and you tried to share their joy from where you were.


I spotted a group of loud kids on their bikes. They were fooling around pushing and pulling at each other. Laughing. They were not much younger then I was. One of them tossed something into the bushes. I knew what that was. Food. They were coming home from somewhere. His mum made him lunch and he did not like what she made. But he did not want to disappoint her either with bringing it back home. So he ditched it.
I slid down from the wall and walked towards where the package must have dropped. Nettles and cow parsley all over the place. Now, where was it? I picked up a stick and searched thoroughly. Then I spotted a plastic bag. A lunch bag with sandwiches it was.

I carefully unwrapped it. Sitting here in that last bit of sunlight of the day, having sandwiches with ham and cheese and with peanut butter and cucumber. Feeling the warmth of the sun drawing into my skin. Having the city singing that beautiful city duet to me. Nothing could beat me, ever.


Next episode

Whole story


About Jikai

Living a life of blessed less where my feet support my walk and my hands create my story. View all posts by Jikai

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