The Bandstand

Originally Published 02/28/2011 06:18:59 AM


Photo Source: Jessica Beebe

Horace Albion made a point of walking around the bandstand every day during his lunch break, even in the middle of winter. Even with the wind cutting through the park and the snow swirling in icy dervishes, he could always hear the music of summer. If the snow wasn’t piled up too high, he would often sit on the steps of the bandstand, dreaming of summers past and hopeful of summers to come.

His office was only two blocks away, and the room he rented was only four blocks away, so the park was easily accessible. But Horace always went during lunch, when he could be alone and have the park and the bandstand to himself. And he would sit, on the cold of the steps, feeling the warm twilight sun, hearing the music, smelling the popcorn, hot dogs, cigarettes and perfume. And there she was, always with her girl friends, always the only one in the crowd, always so beautiful he could hardly stand to look at her, but couldn’t look away.

The wind would whip up, tossing around cigar ends, coffee cups and bits of newspaper, but Horace always felt warm inside. Thinking of her, longing to hold her and dance away the sweet hot summer nights. The town band, the Sousa marches, the picnic blankets; he always felt these feelings while sitting on the bandstand on the square. And he thought of what it would be like if she ever came over in his direction…

He certainly couldn’t introduce himself. He just…couldn’t. Horace always saw himself saying the wrong thing, and her laughing with her girlfriends. And the pain would be too much, and he’d have to turn and walk away and hear the laughter over and over… too much. He wanted to sleep with her every night for the rest of his life, but he couldn’t bare the thought of talking to her.

But maybe…maybe she would come over to him. One night, maybe. Just…

It was so lonely being alone. But it was always warm in his thoughts and dreams. Summer was coming. Not long now. Maybe this would be the year she came over. Maybe…just…..maybe…….


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