There He Sat
By Bart Vogelzang

It was a Friday night, well, evening, really. Dark, wet, and cold, the weather had been anything but a pleasure to all who braved it, including me. The TV programming just totally sucked today, and I had completely exhausted my small library of tapes and DVDs. I bundled myself up, and dragged my sorry ass into the car and left for the movie rental place. As I pulled into the parking lot, I could see that there was only one other person who had braved the damp misery.

Ten feet away, in an older Toyota Corolla, which might or might not really be red, as sodium vapor lights hide colors so effectively, sat a youngish man, whose color couldn’t be disguised. The light, against the black background, highlighted the blond hair that was more like white cotton, topping a blanched face. He was looking down, and slowly picked a longish French fry out of a small packet. Putting it in his mouth, he chewed slowly. When done, he wiped his eyes. And again. Then, ever so hesitantly, he picked out another fry. Again the slow movement of his hand to his mouth, the careful and hesitant nibbling of this morsel, and again, wiping his eyes.

Feeling rather like a creep, I watched him. He was beautiful, he was alone, he was hurting. Yes, I could see that those were tears he was wiping from his eyes. I tried to imagine what could possibly be wrong. What could induce someone to go out on a night like tonight, and eat alone, in the cold and the dark? How had life screwed with him? Why does life suck so? Why? I could stand it no more. I had to do something; anything, to relieve the pain, the anguish, the despair.

I drove away without ever getting out of my car, leaving his pain behind me, for him to suffer in the now empty parking lot; and taking my own pain with me.

© 2008 Bart Vogelzang. All Rights Reserved