A walk

I took a walk. It wasn’t planned. In the morning I had gone into town. It was grey, overcast but not cold. My time ran out on the parking meter but I didn’t want to go home. So I drove to a village and found a little car park. I parked up, left the radio on and settled down. I nodded off occasionally. I woke with a start when a woman called out to her dog.

I thought about going home but the sun had come out and it was even warmer. I walked along the road to the village shop and treated myself to an ice lolly. I carried on, past the Saturday afternoon football players on the village green. I kept going and found myself at the beginning of a riverside walk. I’d done this walk before and I thought I might just do the first half mile or so. As I approached the pathway, I noticed a group of four lads up ahead.

I thought that they were probably up to no good. A secret cigarette perhaps, against explicit instructions from their parents. Or worse. Drugs maybe. Glue. They would soon be making a noise, swinging from the tree over the river, breaking stuff.

I walked the other way. I admit to being rather intimidated. As a child, I was always scared of gangs. As a man, I still feel that fear. I realised it wasn’t possible to go any further downstream. I would have to either go past this gang or return to my car. I made my way around them, as wide as I could, hoping that they wouldn’t see me. It was then that I saw what they were doing. They were fishing.

So. Apologies to you youths who are minding your own business. Apologies for my pre-formed prejudice. I would like to think this experience will change my view of young people but I know it probably won’t. I wonder on exactly which day in my life I turned into an Old Bloke. Oh well.

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