Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dangling feet

The listless habits of a stranger


There is a boy by the house that sits on a dock by the river. I see him sometimes on walks. He sits, often cross-legged, staring out across the lazy current, pondering, I suppose, some big questions.

Other times I have witnessed, he is laying face up upon the floating wooden planks. He appears at those times to be staring into the sky. I’ve observed he wears sunglasses in these instances.

Some days the sun is out, other days it’s cloudy and cool. He is not sunbathing, though, dressed casually in shorts and T-shirt. I cannot tell if he has ear buds plugged into an MP3 player or not, but I suspect this is commonly the case as I have noticed a toe tap or head bob on occasion.

I believe he is of college age, but I do not recognize him. I wonder if he is from out of town, only visiting for a while this summer. Perhaps that means he is away from his friends, and so he sits alone on a dock on the river...

He could be going through a difficult time in his life, I suppose, and thus seeking some serenity in solitude. If that is the case, I hope his meditations are met with equal parts socialization and action. Become too idle and it may become operose to regain motion.

Then again, if it is a change in direction the young man seeks, his time at the dock could be just the type of listlessness he needs. Maybe the sluggish river water is a cue, suggesting he let some of the sediment in his own life settle to the bottom for a while.

Or, I could be assuming far too much. This young man may be in much less turmoil than I originally predicted. Is it possible he is simply a music fan who needs a quiet place to dissect a new favorite album? Or perhaps he has chosen this as routine to relax after another day at his summer job. I could not say for sure, I never asked.

The last I saw the young man was over two weeks ago, and I am just now recalling what was different about that last sighting. He was sitting at the edge of the dock as usual, but that time, he had his feet over the edge, dangling them in the warm water of that lazy river.

See you out there,
A woodsman in training.

1 comment:

  1. Operose? Now you are making me work like Michael Perry does--making me go to the dictionary. Thanks for the push.

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