Bench of Strangers



Three hours break between sessions and a book to read means that she will have to find me a seat in the library. Although, it was cold just the idea of locking herself in a closed place for three hours sounded unbearable. 

After a short walk, she found herself at Campo Santa Margherita. She looked around for an empty place and under one of the trees she took a seat on an empty bench, fastened her scarf and jacket, chose a suitable music for reading and got her book out. She had the bench for herself for a while, as she enjoyed both the book and the view. She saw people passing by. There was the old woman dragging her shopping cart careless about the surrounding that seems to be boring usual view for her, followed by a couple astonished by every single thing they see around, fetching their camera trying to capture every sight, and there is a mother on the other side running after her son. Over there a bit further, the fish market stands out and people were gathered around to buy the best of it, and on the other benches people sat  enjoying their fresh hot pizza slices. The Campo was busy, where all the places and restaurants tables out were full with people. 


She put her  head down focusing on reading the book, and in a few moments, she felt the  presence another person filling the end of the bench. She took a glimpse of the figure  it was an old man with his newspaper. For a while, he sat there reading his newspaper after which he packed his stuff and left again leaving the bench for her. A girl then joined and took the old man’s place, she set out  several Tupperware and placed it in the middle of the bench between them and kept it untouched. She sat there nervously looking around at the alley way behind the corner in expectation, fetching her phone checking it and putting it back, hushing the pigeons away and scanning the other girl with the book accusative as if she so self-absorbed, it was almost an hour when she gave up on the wait, packed her untouched food and walked away. She  felt for that stranger and for her unfortunate luck as she saw her walk away sadly.


It was then that two guys came to share the bench with her. The smell of the pasta that they were eating filled the place. Their loud voices overcame her music and she could hear  their conversation talking over the lyrics. One shared his struggles in Venice as a foreigner while the other told him about his lousy date the other night. She couldn’t concentrate anymore on reading so she put  her book back in the bag and  walked away keeping her seat for another stranger!


On this same bench, a bunch of strangers sat with their own stories in a city of culture and history, that always made them feel as if all that is just a fictional story.

Campo Sanata Margherita – Venice -Italy/ photo by : Husein Djulovic
Campo Sanata Margherita – Venice -Italy/ photo by : Husein Djulovic

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