One Man I recognized. He had light brown, thinning hair and he had a scrunched up face. I always thought he was a bit weird. He was sitting at the chess tables closest to the east river. There were three chess tables, all in a row. I watched them for a few seconds and then the man said "hello" tome. I was a bit startled, but I said a hasty "hello" back to him. I was always a bit frightened of him, although he seemed nice.
Earlier that afternoon I had deceided to take a walk. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday. I took the elevator downstairs. As soon as I stepped outside, I saw the cars in the small, curvy street, and the playground to my right, which was where I decided to go.
The playground outside my building was busy with children,ost of them younger than myself. All around the playground was a fence. I went to it and rubbed my hand along the cold black paint as I walked. It reminded me of a prison, with it;s cold, hard appearance. It was almost vulgar, despite the fact that there was brightly colored playing structures inside with laughing, playing children on them.
I walked on, wordless, and sat down on a bench, The red-brown bricks and the green windown frames of the buildings were so friendly, each one a twin of the next. All the benches the same, all a tan beige with black paint covering the cold metal, and shiny, smooth, silver-colored studs to hide the screws and secure the bench together. The color all around me was cast with a blue and white glow from the blue-white sky...it was almost surreal.
I walked toward the center of my neighborhood. It was very peaceful, so I decided to sit again. This bench, however, was slightly different. It was darker wood, a more chestnut color. I wondered if it was just the wood or nature had changed the color.
Then I remembered a time when the benches were different. My neighborhood was very different at the time. Things had been renovated. I remembered the friendly green benches. The ones that had been there a long time before the wooden ones. I remembered when I would sit inside on a windowsill, and pressing my face to the glass in wonder. I remembered the construction taking place, and the loud machines. How they ripped out the old playground, the slides, swings, how the tore away at the cracked cement and replaced it with a mysterious spongy material. I remembered that old park and for a second thought maybe it was really there. I turned around to check, only to realize that the new park was there after all.
I sat for a while, imagining the rest of the old neighborhood replaced with the new. A lot had changed. I sat for a while thinking. A few runners passed by now and then.
I have always enjoyed quiet walks, especially in warm weather. That day was definitely something special. All around me my surroundings seemed closed in, my own little neighborhood in my own little world of stuyvesant town.
The story was posted on 0000-00-00