Strange Encounter (More prose)

 I sat on a bench outside the hospital awaiting the arrival of a taxi. They said ten minutes; they always say ten minutes.

A disheveled looking man occupying an electric wheelchair made his way toward me. He wore pale blue pyjamas, plain, standard hospital. A roll up, pointed inwards, was pinched between middle finger and thumb. It started to rain; he pulled a hood over his head.
“How’s you today?” he asked, throwing away the roll up, not waiting for an answer. “They don’t know what’s wrong with me; that’s why they’re keeping me in”. The roll up lay smouldering.

 He was upset he was going to be in hospital for the start of Ramadan. I felt the need to be polite ; I asked how long it lasted, even though I already knew. His eyes, vaguely focused on some middle distance point, seemed vacant as he informed me it lasted a month, fasting during daylight hours. I enquired about drinking water. He shook his head solemnly. That’s why he was hoping it wouldn’t be too warm. I expressed surprise at the notion of taking no liquid, and he stared at me intently.
“It’s only a month”. he said. “The Prophet did it for a whole year”.
I felt uncomfortable.
“That’s a long time”, I said, a little weakly. “I wonder how he coped”. I heard myself; it sounded a silly thing to say. Still staring hard, he pointed a determined index finger, arm stretched to full length, toward the sky; he remained silent throughout the whole process.

 My taxi arrived. He smiled
“Have a nice day”, he said.


42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ina
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 13:45:49

    Hi Christine, that is lovely! To drink not a drop of water during the day is hard, I hope it went well for him 🙂 I like it how he in the end said “have a nice day ” 🙂 so really back to Earth! 🙂 xx L&H


  2. journeyintopoetry
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 13:55:52

    Thank you Ina!

    It was quite an experience! I felt very humbled by the whole event.

    L&H xx


  3. lscotthoughts
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 14:51:25

    The first word that came to mind was also humbling, Chris, and I also hope it went well for him. I can’t imagine fasting without water for a month and then we think of people who are starving for food and fresh water every day. It’s truly humbling. But his devotion and determination is commending, too. And then to wish you a nice day…very nice! Thanks for sharing this wonderful encounter, my friend. Have a lovely day yourself and sending many hugs! xo HBL ♥


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:05:17

      Thank you Lauren!

      It was indeed a humbling experience. I just hope he hasn’t to stay in hospital too long and they discover whats wrong.

      It wasnt something I epected while waiting for a taxi, but sometimes messages are delivered to us in the strangest of circustances.

      HBL ❤ xx


      • lscotthoughts
        Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:08:47

        I agree…hoping his hospital stay is short and they find out what is wrong..boy, how I can relate to “not knowing.” And yes, profound messages can meet us any day, any time, any place. Sometimes, I truly have “aha” moments! 🙂 xo

  4. journeyintopoetry
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:13:36

    Yes, the unknown is very distressing.

    It was very much an “aha” moment for me. There was absolutely no doubt in his mind whatsoever. A great example of pure faith. Xx❤


  5. susan jones
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:16:57

    Crikey, I hardly go an hour without something to drink, even if it is water. How do they survive??? Your face must have been a picture Christine.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:25:18

      Thanks Susan.
      The man involved wouldnt have noticed my face I don’t think . I honestly dont remember him making eye contact with me once! It was deinitely a strange encounter 🙂


  6. Pete Armetta
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 15:17:06

    I love how breezy and conversational this is. It’s like being there. 🙂


  7. bardessdmdenton
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 16:13:29

    Oh, wonderful little story, Christine, capturing a seeming insignificant but somehow very profround encounter. You offered just enough – to say so much about patience and endurance, and most importantly, faith. You poetry has developed so beautifully through observation and honesty and your loving use of words, and your prose is doing the same. Your unique voice shines through both! XO ♥


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 16:34:09

      Thank you very much Diane.

      This man not only gave me an example of solid faith but also offered me a wonderful writing opportunity, and he is most likely unaware of giving me either. But how could I pass by an opportunity to have another go at prose, having been given this strange but amazing encounter?! ❤ Xxxhugsxxx


  8. countingducks
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 17:15:31

    I think you handled it very well. I feel for the guy. What a horrid position to be in, but you also come out of it with much credit, for just being so accepting of his faith. That’s beautiful in its own right if you want to know


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 17:30:11

      Peter, thank you very much.

      I have to say it was a little unnerving. It may sound daft, but I felt quite alone. 🙂 Anyway he gave me a practice at prose, which I am still quite uncomfortable with 🙂


  9. suzywordmuser
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 17:38:17

    That was a pretty awesome meeting! 🙂 And I love the way you have told the story Christine, comes a cross very powerful! I have done fasting a long time ago, only for one day of the year, but it’s pretty tough in warm weather without water, he’d definitely need some help! 😉


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 18:17:56

      Thank you Suzy!!

      It was definitley not how I expected my hospital visit to end!

      Anyway, it gave me an opportunity to practice some prose, which as I said above, Im not comfortable with yet.

      Thank you for tour encouragement; it means a lot 🙂


  10. bennetta faire
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 04:32:49

    Hi Christine! Those kind of experiences can feel so awkward, and take time to process. I was rather awed, reading this. You’re doing wonderfully with the prose writing, my dear! God bless you BIG–see you soon….xxxoooxoxoxo


  11. leamuse
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 05:55:28

    Hi Christine, if you have any discomfort in your prose, it certainly doesn’t show. I sincerely hope you keep at it. Yet, do not ignore the poetry in doing so. Love, Lea 🙂


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 09:17:59

      Thank you Lea. I will keep having a go. I am much more at home with poetry though so I wont be ignoring that in favour of prose. I think the novel may be a while yet!!! Lol 🙂

      Love xxx


  12. harulawordsthatserve
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 05:58:41

    This is beautifully written Christine, not a single unnecessary word (I envy you, I find it so hard not to be ‘flowery’) and so well observed, I feel like I’m there.. I’m so glad you’re sharing some prose with us – it’s really excellent, and this story packs a powerful punch with its fantastic ending. I love your willingness to share the inner process ‘felt the need to be polite’, ‘asked even though I knew’…both of those were very close to home for me. Brilliant, just brilliant.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 09:27:30

      Thank you so much Harula!

      Your comment means a lot to me as it is so encouraging. The person who has been encouraging me to attempt prose gave me a few suggestions including taking out what doesn’t seem necessary. Well!! I could have ended up with about three sentences!! 🙂 but I did try to concentrate on this aspect and I was hoping it worked. Your lovely comment suggested to me that it may have done. Thank you.

      Love and hugs xxx


  13. Through My Eyes
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 12:19:19

    I really enjoyed reading about your encounter Christine. Beautifully written, you kept the reader interested to the end and as mentioned above no flowery bits. You certainly have a talent for prose 🙂


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 12:31:29

      Thank you Norma!

      I still feel very wary with this new adventure, but its all good food for the soul. And unlike the me from years ago I am willing to have a go. I would have been so afraid of “failing” in the past, or more likely, of being imperfect, that I wouldnt even try. And that would deprive me of much fun, learning expeience and also meeting new friends! So in this respect I have already succeeded. 🙂

      Thank you for your ongoing support, it means a lot. 🙂


  14. beckarooney
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 19:51:36

    A very profound and touching piece, I’m really enjoying the prose you’re writing at the moment Christine. Looking forward to the next post! 🙂 x


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 20:06:47

      Thanks very much Becky!

      Its a big step for me. I am still more comfortable with poetry, but I have become interested enough to keep giving prose a go. I think my next one will be poetry again 🙂

      Thank you for your continued encouragement ; it means a lot to me:)


      • beckarooney
        Jul 05, 2013 @ 11:09:38

        It’s always good to have a varied writing style, I feel inspired to give prose a go after reading your recent posts. You’re welcome, you deserve it 😀 x

  15. journeyintopoetry
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 11:51:57

    :). :). :). Xx


  16. tikarmavodicka
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 13:11:29

    Hi Christine,
    How lovely to see another piece of prose from you. 🙂
    It was a pleasure to read and what a great encounter!
    I love it when the everyday provides an insight for us to grow from. For myself it’s a reminder that no part of our lives is insignificant.
    I hope the gentleman won’t have to stay in hospital long. His faith and his devotion is inspiring.
    I could relate to your inner thoughts too. I think we’ve all done that trying to make the best of awkward situations.
    Thankyou for sharing. I’m looking forward to what you will choose to share next. 🙂

    With lots of love
    And (((Big Warm Hugs)))


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 05, 2013 @ 14:35:10

      Thank you very much Tikarma!

      It was one of those situations you really wish you weren’t in, but after it, realised you learned much from it. And it gave me some more prose writing practice too!

      I will keep having a go but I think the next one will be poetry. I find I can put across strong feelings in a poem without sounding like I am whining.whereas if I try to put that kind of thing in prose I am in danger of turning it into a moan. Not sure if that makes sense but its what happens. With some practice that might change.

      Lots of love and
      (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
      Christine xx


      • tikarmavodicka
        Jul 05, 2013 @ 14:47:11

        I relate to where you coming from, on both points. 🙂
        Poetry is a very different medium to prose and I too find poetry much better for more intense and deeper feelings. Each has its place and I’m sure as you continue to explore prose you’ll discover those subjects that are “just right” and make prose a pleasure. 🙂

        With lots of love
        And (((Big Warm Hugs)))

  17. journeyintopoetry
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 14:52:51

    Thanks Tikarma, your comment makes a lot of sense. I am realising now how each has its own place, something that is only being revealed to me as I move forward.

    Thank you for all your encouragement. 🙂

    Lots of love and
    (((BIG HUGS)))


  18. Fergiemoto
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 18:33:56

    Another excellent piece, Christine, but yes, what a strange (and interesting) encounter. I could feel the awkwardness.
    I hope they figure out what’s wrong with him. I have had the torment of being debilitated in extreme pain, but the doctors telling me they don’t know what’s wrong and that they couldn’t do any more for me.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 05, 2013 @ 18:52:17

      Hi Fergie. Can I say first how grateful I am that you have taken the time to come and comment, not only on this post but on two of my other posts too, as I know you are going through a very ifficult period in your own life at the moment.

      Like you, I have had that torment too, years of being told my symptoms were all in my head.

      This was a very strange experience! But as I said above it gave me a good writing opportunity! :).


  19. belfastdavid
    Jul 07, 2013 @ 09:44:42

    Hi Christine,

    I love these little slices of life which you portray so well.
    I felt as if I was sat (that should probably be sitting!) beside you! 🙂
    It is good when we are aware enough to notice what is going on around us.
    Well done you

    Much love
    David xxx


    • Journeyintopoetry
      Jul 07, 2013 @ 11:14:11

      Thank you very much David.

      You are right; there would have been a time when I wouldnt have been aware enough to notice any of this. I must have missed so much!! Oh well, lots to notice now 🙂

      I think “sitting” is correct too, but it’s only grammar!!! Lol

      Much LoveChristine


  20. Betty Hayes Albright
    Jul 07, 2013 @ 17:42:12

    Glad you wrote about this experience, Christine. These are the small but rich moments of life and you’ve given us a glimpse into this man’s experience through your compassionate conversation with him. Glad I had a chance to visit your blog today – it’s good to “see” your latest posts!


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 08, 2013 @ 12:12:04

      Thank you Betty!

      A blogging friend suggested I have a go at prose so I keep practicing! I thought I may as well share my attempts with everyone. I don’t find it comes easily but I will keep going. Xxx


  21. Francina
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 19:04:08

    we never know who we meet, do we Christine 🙂 I really like how you wrote this. To the point and with a good flow. You got me at the first line.
    love and hugs xoxox


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jul 09, 2013 @ 08:36:41

      Thanks so much Francina! I am determined to keep having a go at prose. And this seemed a perfect opportunity.

      It was a very strange expeience and it did unsettle me a little, the man in question was so intense.

      Love and hugs xx


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