Monthly Archives: August 2010

Notes from a Bench


Sitting here on a secluded bench outside the Faculty of Music because it’s the quietest place I could find. Despite popular belief and comparison to London, Cambridge is not as peaceful as one might want it to be after a long day of having your mind occupied solely with reality. Completely engrossed in Neal Cassady’s letters to Kerouac, my back against a pristine pillow which I conspicuously carried from my hotel room and down the street,  I become aware of a delicate sound like the first few drops of summer rain before a downpour. But I look up into the sky and it’s blue with heavenly pink and white whipped marshmallows roasting in the setting sun.

The sound persists.

I look around me. Around my bench island is a sea of woodchips and dead pine needles, and nothing stirs among them. I stretch my legs [bare feet, cold toes] and notice a wasp (bee?) on the edge of the bench, busily and unselfconsciously carving out a haphazard path as it eats away the dried top layer of the wood.I watch it for a few minutes, not daring to move lest I disturb it.

It seems I’m not the only creature in Cambridge with strange solitary habits.