Sunday, July 1, 2012

...man chained... (Finale)


I remained in my spot, curious about how this miserable, chained man would react to this little rocker chick offering him her charity. Showing no hesitation at all, Rodnee walked across the park to the man and I looked around to see if any other witnesses were present. There were a couple of old men playing some card game, a mom separating two brawling little boys, a cop in his car at the edge of the park, and a bored nobody sitting on the same park bench he sits on every day for his lunch break. I was the only one paying attention as Rodnee approached the man, who didn’t raise his head or look in her direction, just remained leaning against his tree. I watched as Rodnee said a few words and smiled. He ignored her. She stepped closer and I think she repeated herself, fearless and genuinely considerate of this man’s struggles. She held the styrofoam cup out to him, stepping even closer. I tensed up a bit when his head turned towards her and he straightened himself up away from the tree. Before I could decide if I truly cared for Rodnee’s safety, the man exploded with a yell in some strange language and backhanded the soup, knocking it out of Rodnee’s generous hands and causing soup to splash all over her and Steve Miller’s face.

I didn’t move. I’m not a hero, I’m not brave, and I’ve never stood up to anyone. I didn’t move. Rodnee was frozen too. I quickly glanced around, the old men were still playing cards, the boys were once again getting along, and I was almost certain that this was all a hallucination until I noticed the cop making his way towards Rodnee and the stubborn man chained to a tree. Rodnee, with her patched jeans and lip ring, barefoot, with four braids, was covered in an orange and green mess and the shock had knocked the earphones out of her ears. I just stared at her staring at the man as he turned away and went back to leaning on his tree and mumbling. Something inside of her must of broke because she shouted something I couldn’t hear and stomped off, earphones dangling by her side, a green and orange mess leaving a trail behind her. The cop didn’t pay her any attention as he passed and approached the man, his hand resting on his baton. I didn’t move and my eyes weren’t following as Rodnee left the park. It didn’t occur to me at all that she wouldn’t return. The cop said something and this time the man didn’t hesitate in attacking his intruder. He shouted what sounded like the same thing he had said to Rodnee and before the cop could retaliate, the man chained to the tree reached out and pressed two fingers into the cop’s neck.  The cop dropped, motionless.  The man returned to leaning against the tree and I decided it was time to get back to work.

Whether it was what I had witnessed between Rodnee, the man chained to a tree, and the cop or not, I didn’t know, but I woke up the next morning knowing that I wouldn’t be going to work that day. I had nightmares all night about the words the man had yelled and the power in his touch. I didn’t leave my bed until just before noon, when I ventured out to visit the park, not necessarily to see Rodnee or the chained man, more out of some natural urge that I couldn’t ignore. I arrived to find an empty bench and just a chain attached to the tree, no man. I didn’t fool myself into thinking the girl would eventually show and I didn’t spend any time pondering what had happened to the man. Instead, I walked over to the tree where the man’s cryptic protest had taken place over the last six days, probably trying to find some clue as to what he was for or against. It was just a tree, maybe older than the others in the park but with nothing spectacular about it. It was just a chain, could’ve been acquired anywhere. It looked kind of lonely, wrapped around the tree trunk with no one attached to it. I sat against the tree and watched the empty bench for a few moments, putting myself into the mindset of the man who had been chained there. After a couple minutes, a feeling came over me and I grabbed the end of the chain and began to wrap it around my arms and wrists, knowing it would be a long while before I left that spot. So I just sat there, trying to think of something to protest.


(End)

This is original writing and copyright and all that fine print kind of stuff. Please credit this to Chessterr Hollowberry. Thanks!

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