The first time I saw you, you were sleeping on a park bench.

Your rugged canvas bag served as a pillow on which you rested your head, your hair the brightest white that reflected the rays of sunlight you basked in.

I didn’t think much as I ran past you; I deemed you no different to the trees and the flowers and the pond and the greedy, beady-eyed pigeons. You were just a part of park life; a down-and-out roughing it on a bench, surrounded by half-empty bottles of cheap wine and inquisitive stares.

I saw you again yesterday, this time you were heavily slumped against a statue and you were talking to yourself. You gesticulated wildly with your hands and your head twitched violently – something I don’t think you can control. You were lost in a world that is clearly so very real to you, but achingly transparent to the rest of us. Who were you talking to?

I wonder if you have children and whether they know that their Dad sleeps on a bench in the park. I wonder if you were loved as a small boy. I wonder if your Mother held you close as you told her about who you wanted to be when you grew up.

Everyone has a story.

What’s yours, old man in the park?

Love, the girl who runs past you and should probably stop and say hello.