Monday, November 29, 2010

The Preserver

I recall an elderly man from my childhood. He could always be found on a bench overlooking the main lake of the park. On days of fair weather people tended to gather about the lake, feeding the ducks.

Often when I looked up I could see him sketching away on a notepad. Sometimes he merely observed. When I was a child I was more curious, and at many times wondered what the old man was drawing. Was he sketching the same thing daily? How boring! Or did he switch subjects all the time, secretly taking notes like a spy?

One day I got up to the small overlook. He did not seem to mind me. Peeping from behind the bench, I then saw that he was drawing people, or more specifically, the people down at the lake. They were rough sketches, quickly drawn, and every few minutes or so he would flip the pages of the notepad and begin drawing another subject.

"Why are you drawing everyone? Are you a spy?"

He did not give me an instant reply. It was only after he completed the current drawing that he spoke, seemingly to himself and not addressed to me.

"In 100 years time how many will be remembered? In 200 years time, perhaps the only evidence that they ever existed will be my drawings."

It was many tens of years ago when my family moved away. I did not see him again after we moved; I supposed he must have died.

I wonder if anyone else remembers him today. Perhaps the only evidence that he ever existed is from this very story.

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