Wednesday Writing Prompt (WWP) is a biweekly challenge for you and for me. I post a writing prompt on Wednesday morning and a response to it on Thursday. Then anyone who wants to participate can write a 250 to 500 word scene or story in response to it. Let’s see where this wacky world of writing takes us!
Never underestimate the lives of old men sitting on park benches.
“Whatcha thinkin’?” I turned my head and studied my grandfather’s profile. He looked so old. In his little brown cap and paisley sweater vest, with his slight hunchback and silky white hair.
I’d never spent this much time with him. But now that I lived in the same town as Gramps, my mom had told me I needed to spend more time with him and take him for a weekly walk on Saturday mornings. I didn’t know that a morning walk included a twenty-five minute rest at the bench between Seventh Street and Swift Avenue.
“Oh, you know.” He kept his eyes on the tiny brown bird frolicking across the pathway.
“Uh, nope. Nope. I don’t.”
“Hmmm.” My grandfather just kept starting at that bird.
“Come on, Gramps. Whatcha thinking?”
He shifted his gaze to my feet, then slowly lifted his eyes to my face. He must have seen something there, because for the first time in my twenty-eight years my maternal grandpa told me a real-life story.
“Oh, well. I was just thinking of another time I saw a bird like that one.” He pointed. “I was travelling. I was young. Very young.” He looked at me then. Really looked at me. He moved his mouth as if he was chewing, assessing. “Younger than you.”
And then he told me about the time he was in Italy as a teenager. He met some new friends and spent his time wandering the streets and club hopping with them all night long. Apparently that’s not all they did. Apparently they were also pickpockets.
“They kept paying for glasses of wine. I didn’t know where they got all their money. And then I saw Lia cozy up to a wealthy looking man. And I saw where her hands went.”
“Yes,” he nodded. Then grinned even wider, “I asked her to teach some of her tricks. I paid my way to Greece.”
“It’s all about smooth hands.” He winked.
That’s right. Winked. While discussing using his hands smoothly.
Lesson learned: Never underestimate the lives of old men sitting on park benches.
I’m looking forward to more Saturday walks with my grandfather.