It was a nice day. Sunny but a cool air. I sat down on a bench along the side of a road. It didn't face anything in particular, just the house on the other side of the road. There was no bus stop either. Benches like that have always baffled me. What's the mindset of the people who put theses senseless benches about the place?
"Oh, that's a nice house over there. I'm sure people will come from miles around just to stare at it from across a busy road. Let's put a bench there to make the oglers more comfortable."
This bafflement was part of my reason for sitting there - to see what all the fuss was about. But mostly, I just wanted to look at that really nice house.
Whilst sat there I became aware of a low rumbling. It sounded fairly far off. I pictured some Boy Racer dick-bags screeching their way down the idyllic road any moment.
The rumble continued, growing steadily louder. Was it just my imagination?
The rumble's volume grew once more. Could cars really make such a noise? I looked left and right, trying to catch a glimpse of this cat-a-wailing beast.
Just as the sound reached an unbearable point, it came into view. Not from left or right like I'd thought, but from in front and up.
From behind the rather attractive house opposite me a small, single engine aeroplane burst forth and roared over the street, over the bench, over my head, and away.
I exercised a few rapid blinks to try and determine my level of awake-ness. As the results were coming in I saw the crisp white door of the beautiful mansion swing open and a gentleman step outside. He was in a thin, tatty dressing gown, a bushy grey-black beard concealing his neck and upper chest. Wide eyed, he coughed out "Whut tha bludy 'ell-?"
As I was sitting exactly opposite his front door his gaze fell naturally on me. "A ... plane," I said, not quite believing it myself.
The man moved, slightly unsteadily to the pavement in front of his fine abode, staring off into the sky behind me. I felt the urge to turn and follow his gaze but I knew that from my position there was nothing to see and it would only result in me staring up at someone else's house. So I continued looking, slightly awkwardly, at the scruffy man.
The deafening sound from before had almost completely gone now, leaving behind a vague buzzing in the air. The world felt still and calm but ever so charged. Like we were trapped in a balloon that someone had just rubbed aggressively against frizzy hair.
The man looked back at me and his eyes seemed to clear a little. "'ho a' you?"
"Um ..." He didn't seem aggressive, but he did seem ... put off.
"Whut you doin' awtside me 'ouse?" He crossed the road and stood in front of me.
"Just ... sitting." It was a warm day, come to think of it.
He blinked. Looked at the bench. Looked at me. Looked at the empty sky where there once passed a plane. Looked back at me. "Well ... carry on."
With that he turned, crossed the road, returned to his house, closed the door.
And that was what happened the day I decided to sit on a random, senseless bench.