IN CHARLIE'S PARK
Today I sat on a bench in a park named after Charlie Chaplin. I went there after I visited the cemetery where he is buried.
On the bench, I watched a number of children playing, perhaps a dozen or so. They were running and tripping, exploring, laughing and making simple yet undistinguishable sounds. I tried to bring myself to recall such song, such play from those tender days, seemingly eons ago but found it too difficult to do. My memory's refusal rattled me a bit and so 'sister sadness' quickly came to take a seat beside me, on the brisk green pine. Fortunately, however, I managed to deny her prodding provocations.
The present was of far greater interest as it offered assurance, the kindling of certainty, just enough to hold at bay the woe of another winter's day. As the seasons grind more and more slowly up the ever-winding hill, an ashen sky can squash a mending mind with little effort. Still, as the slide, the swings, the monkey bars, the other climbing thingamajig and the surprisingly still lush November turf were all being put to the test with glee, these tired eyes awoke. There were a dozen infants of the monumental age of four, no more. From the playground’s periphery, a few parents held their dutiful watch, while others plunged into the scene with overflowing pride, fearless with unbridled joy. Effervescent air filled each of my breaths as I sat in audience to the unfoldment of the impromptu play. Suddenly, the heat of hours, minutes and less, extinguished and dissolved into the ether as the exhilarating authenticity of it all whisked my consciousness to the unobstructed view of my youthful yesteryear, the highest of all balconies.
When I returned, the parents and children were gone. While facing a boasting tree and the brisk of dusk, I found my legs tightly wrapped around the wood, my brotherly bench. There I was, alone in Charlie’s Park but for the echoes of a saintly sunset and those once faint souvenirs of innocence.