The man in the silver Volkswagen

There is a man in Durham. He drives a silver Volkswagen.  He parks it in a lane near to County Hall, near to the museum.

I see him when I park there in the morning and I see him when I leave again in the evening.  I see him when I drive past and I see him out of the windows of the Council offices.

He sits in the driver’s seat, facing the lane.  Sometimes his head is down as if he is snoozing but at other times his head is up and he looks straight ahead.

I know not who he is.  I know not what he does.  I know no reason for him to be there.

I do not know if he is there all the time but it seems that way to me.

He must be someone, he must have a history, a father, a brother, he must have been a son.

I feel a sadness, I feel a guilt, I do not speak, I do not acknowledge him, I do nothing.

I feel responsible for all the loneliness in the world.

I feel it like the ticking of an ever present clock in a room that is only heard when silence falls.

That silence has fallen.

How many men are sitting in their silver Volkswagen, looking straight ahead?

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