Thoughts from the bridge

He stared into the water, waiting for the swans.

Nowhere in sight.

And so he waited a while longer.

While he waited, he watched the passers-by.

He knew none of them; they didn’t know his story, nor did he know their own.

And so he invented stories for them all, to pass the time.

While he waited for the swans.

Two young mothers pushing prams passed the bridge. They giggled and whispered as they walked by him, as he stared into the water.

One of them has a husband, he thought, the other does not. They are most likely sisters.

Still no swans.

An old man passed by.

“Dia dhuit ar maidin,” the old man said.

“Dia is Muire dhuit.”

Broken Irish is better than perfect English, he thought, as the old man went about his way. He turned from the water to watch him fade into the fog.

He’s a pensioner; his wife has died, and he’s all alone. He wanted to speak with you, if only for a moment. And you keep staring into the water.

You should be ashamed of yourself, he thought.

And he was, for a moment.

Still no swans.

He saw a man sleeping on a park bench; a bench he had slept on himself, years before. Only  it wasn’t the same exact bench; that one had been replaced years before. He knew this because he had carved his name into it, and now his name was gone.

Soon, that sleeping man’s name will be gone as well. Who will remember him? He wrote poetry once; he loved someone and was loved by others. He fell by the wayside, and now, he’s nothing.

Keep staring into the water, he thought. The swans will come, sooner or later.

On another bench, a young woman sat crying.

She had to have a story as well.

Her first novel was rejected, which made her sad; then she found out that she was pregnant. She hadn’t planned on having a baby, but the news made her happy. But when she told her boyfriend, he left her.

She doesn’t know yet that her next novel will be a success.

These things he thought of as he stood on the bridge, waiting for the swans.

And finally, they came.

He had some bread crumbs for them, but when he threw them into the water, they passed on by.

The swans were not following the current.

They were following their own reflections.








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17 Responses to Thoughts from the bridge

  1. benmadigan says:

    lovely – avoided pathos with the last line – layers of meaning

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Huh! This story’s lesson is quite clear; like water (haha!). The man is wasting opportunities to engage in the world around him by not interacting with others and would rather make up stories in his head about them. He could be making connections but chooses to be an outsider.

    The swans, too, missed out on the bread, because they chose to be in their own, little world, as well.

    Ah, those missed opportunities that pass us by everyday; never to be retrieved.

    Thank you, Oggy. I love how you write, because you don’t come out and say what your story’s about. It takes talent to write the way you do — you allow the reader to pick up clues and create their own meanings…. to follow the bread crumbs 🙂 LOVED it! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This…This is a work of art.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. acarson1 says:

    Woah why have I not been reading your writing in ages? I have been selfish. I love your style. So calm and thought provoking. Twice now you’ve made me think about my life, damn you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. acarson1 says:

    I’ll make some time to read and reflect tomorrow on the blogs I missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oglach says:

      You’re not missing much! I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing; you’ve been supportive toward me from day one and I truly appreciate that.


      • acarson1 says:

        We have totally different styles. Mine is angry ranting in the exact way I speak. Yours is creative and gentle. I love reading your stories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • oglach says:

        Thank you very much, Aine, I really respect your opinion. I love the honesty in your writing style; there’s nothing wrong with angry ranting as long as it has a logic behind it, which yours always does; and I don’t know too many Belfast bloggers who try to show the positive aspects of the city the way that you do. That’s important.


      • acarson1 says:

        Lol yeah I’m on my own crusade to show we aren’t all a bunch of dicks.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. skat says:

    Just by introducing swans in the first place, you set a tranquil tone with this. I am lulled by it, but the final line is jarring. It pulled me up. Thinking of Narcissus. More please.

    Liked by 1 person

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