Being of Use

Being of Use
by John Bennett

I’m not a sports fan. I’m not a history buff. I’m not a religious man or keen on retirement. I don’t accumulate trivia, I don’t collect stamps or exotic feathers. I cut my losses, plan things while appearing to be idle. I wander around with my hands clasped behind my back, humming into the tree tops.

People usually give me a wide berth. Occasionally small children skip out in front of me and make funny faces, cross their eyes, stick their tongues out. Sometimes I wink at them but mostly I keep humming and move on down the road.

I know what lies in store for them, the children. Already they’ve got too much stuff jammed into their pockets. Already they’re beginning to doubt their savage hearts. I’m what their parents warn them against, something they’ll have to beat down if they’re going to move ahead in life.

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