The following is a story that I wrote a little over six years ago . . . man how time flies. A friend of mine brought this to my attention recently as I'd almost forgotten about it. There has been some time between posts, but I will be posting more frequently now. Some good post ideas have come to me recently, and I think they will be enjoyable and beneficial for the passerby reader. Apparently, this story is being used for English lessons in Indonesia. It's interesting how something from time past can still have meaning.
Without any further ado I hope that you enjoy this short story, and sign up to have e-mail notifications with these posts if you like. The link should be somewhere on the right. Have a good one!
It was a Friday a little bit after noon and I was tired of working, so I decided to leave. Didn’t want to go home because the landlord was over there trying to get the electricity to work, so I figured I’d take a nap along the creek in the grass on this fine summer day. I rode my bicycle, and I passed all the homeless and all the alcoholics, and I looked at them napping there in the grass and wondered why in the world they weren’t at work. So I kept on riding, looking at all the good spots, already taken up by all the other people, who had to be homeless or at least alcoholics, and I looked across the creek and saw how good it looked over there, and I remembered, “The grass is always . . ., well, you know what I was thinking.
So I just kept on riding down the path and I passed some kids swimming in a little lake to the side of the creek. One of the kid's bikes was in the path, right in the middle of it, right where the path goes over a bridge with guardrails on both sides, and I just felt like yelling at the kid, but then I realized that he just wasn't thinking. He didnâ't mean any harm, he was just enjoying himself, and heâs still young and innocent and just so happy. I just took my time and went around his bike, not even saying a word.
It would have probably been fine, and maybe even prudent, to kindly correct him, and have him move his bike, teaching him a lesson about taking care of his personal property, and respecting public property, and related things. But after being transformed in an instance from being upset and vindictive, to being happy and at peace, it seems that he had a more important lesson to teach me than I did to him. So I kept on riding my bike until I found a place that looked cool and comfortable. A good place seemed to display itself to me very quickly in my new happy and peaceful state. I got off, took my bag off, sat it next to the tree, sat down, laid my head onto the bag, and began to rest. It was good.
When I was just a little ways into this nap a man walked right by me. I panicked a little, since he had to be homeless or at least an alcoholic. He just left me alone, and kept on walking. So I wondered to myself:
-What was he doing walking over here?
-Weren't there other places he could have walked?
-Didn't he see me?
-What am I so worried about?
And then I realized that I'd just walked up to that place a minute earlier. Furthermore, Iâm not homeless, or even an alcoholic, though I like to drink sometimes, and like the chance to head off early from work sometimes, and even like to sleep in the grass sometimes. And I have a home, or at least a place to stay, even though things are kind of run down, and it takes too long for the landlord to fix things sometimes. But if I didn't stay at that broken rundown house, with the landlord who apparently likes to take off work early sometimes, or maybe even most of the time, Iâd probably spend a lot more time napping in the grass, and I'd have more time to notice some of the little things.
Insects, tiny little black things so small that I couldn't count their legs, sat in front of me. Small little legs kept them hanging upside down attached to a tiny clover plant, with a beautiful little yellow flower on it, a plant that seemed to be doing alright even though the summer had been way too hot, way to dry, and fire had come at times and rolled haze so thick that when you crested a hill and looked off towards the horizon you couldn't see very far. It was in this sparsely inhabited chunk of dirt in the shade of this big tree (completely unsure of what kind of tree the tree is) where this little piece of clover surrounded by these black insects (completely unsure of what kind of insects the insects are) seemed to be doing pretty good.
That whole time while I'd been admiring the black bugs and the creek and the grass and the clover with the pretty yellow flowers and all of the homeless, or at least alcoholics, I came to find out that an entire civilization had snuck up on me. Ants were walking underneath the clover, where the little black bugs were, and they had managed to crawl all over me. There was a large congregation of ants in the small area of what I thought was sparsely populated earth in front of my face. They were moving around so quickly that I couldn't even count them. If such a throng of ants was amassed in such a small area, there must be armies of ants in the small section of field I was in next to the creek.
Now, I hate insects. My motto in my house is that if it doesn't pay rent it must die. I'm afraid of insects too. I don't like touching them or moving them, but my hate for them is so strong that it overpowers the fear allowing me to smash them into bits. But for some reason watching all of these insects around relaxed me, and I felt so happy and so at peace that I didn't need to attempt genocide on the congregation in front of my face, much less the armies of ants in the field, or all the ants in the world, probably all over the world.
It was about this time that I realized how amazing the entire situation was and the amount of depth that is in every small aspect of life, and how not all the songs have been made, or all the books written, and something as small as the life of a single ant has enough depth in it to fill all of the pages of all of the books that have ever been written. It was time to write this experience down and flesh it out.
So I pulled the bag that Iâd been using as a pillow from under my head, and dug through it for some of the things I needed. I grabbed a short dull pencil out of the backpack and had to sharpen it with a pocket knife. Iâd gotten this pocket knife with a bundle of five for four dollars at a garage sale a couple of years ago. The old guy who sold them was pretty neat to talk to. His lawn hadn't been watered in a long time and was overrun with crabgrass. Anyways, there was just a single piece of paper in the backpack. It had printing on one side, was half covered with a to-do list on the other, and was crumpled on both sides. I started to write this story. It didn't take long until all of the paper was covered in writing and there was a lot more still left to write.
So I got on my bike and went home. The landlord was done with his work and the house seemed calm and I forgot to get this written. So here I am, two days less than two weeks after the fact, writing out the rest of the story. A reflecting pool doesn't have to be deep or even perfectly still to show the beauty of what is behind it, and that is how stories are.