Saturday, 17 October 2020


Daniel, sat upon the old bench, looked out into the calm view ahead of him. The mild breeze, of course, reminded him that it was a positive decision to bring his jacket. The view, including the sea in front of them, featured a few perched boats upon the sand, as well as the various seagulls flying from point to point.

He’d been visiting this spot for the last few months, seeing as his Grandfather, Mr. Potters, was slowly advancing in age. He knew that time was precious and, upon each visit, he simply loved listening to all of the various stories that his family member presented. Many stories, on occasions, repeated themselves. He didn’t mind. He didn’t care, as the insight into another’s life was precious to him. Important. The essential moments taken out of his day, to brighten both of their lives.

Daniel’s Grandfather, sat beside him, chewed the sticky toffee bar whilst making various grunting noises. How he managed to chew such a bar, with a mouth full of false teeth, was beyond Daniel. Either way, the man genuinely seemed to enjoy the treat. Daniel smiled, glancing to his side, “You enjoying that bar, Grandad?” The man nodded, as he stuck a finger into his mouth, no doubt finding a little bit of toffee stuck to his gum.

“I am lad, I am. Good stuff this. Your Grandmother used to buy me a few bars when she went shopping. I do miss her!”

“I know Grandad, I know!”

Thomas, Daniel’s Grandfather, removed the fingers from his mouth, then rubbed the slobber over his jeans. Daniel shook his head slightly, amused, knowing fully that Thomas had no time for pleasantries of certain kinds, as he’d lived his life, paid his debts and endured the pain.

As Daniel returned his gaze to the view ahead of him, his Grandfather stood, placing the chocolate wrapper into his coat pocket. Then, for some random reason, Thomas started to empty his trouser pockets into his jacket. Item by item. Moment by moment. Then, once finished, Thomas pulled out the trouser pocket linings and started to slap the edges. Daniel watched as various bits fell from the lining. Fluff, random bits, string and more fell away.

Bemused, Daniel looked at Thomas, “What are you doing, Grandad?” he asked.

With a smile, Thomas returned the lining into the pocket, then sat down.

“I have another lesson for you Son!  Your mind is like your pocket. When you’re born, you don’t have pockets but when you do get them, they’re clean, empty, with the following years adding strength and understanding, to hopefully reduce the holes that might appear within those pockets. You don’t want holes in your pocket lad. Nope!”

Thomas, once again, picked at his teeth, eventually continuing, “You see, each bad idea, harsh word from another or our own mouth, creates fluff. Your pocket is supposed to be a safe place, that keeps you warm. Your hands are the working ways of your soul. You write, you create, you work. What happens when your nails are covered in fluff, lad? Can’t have that.”

Daniel nodded, expecting more.

“You have to clean your pockets Son. Remove the fluff. Clean pockets, clean mind. Imagine if you met a lovely lady? Chance would be a fine thing, with your haircut lad…”

Daniel laughed, as Thomas continued, “You wouldn’t want to hold her hand, when your own hand is covered in fluff now, would you? She’d think that you were a scamp. Can’t have that. Clean pockets, clean mind, fix the holes and keep your pockets safe and secure. You’ll have a better life that way!”

Daniel nodded, fully understanding the small adage spoken succinctly by his Grandfather. He’d never actually thought about it before and, if he were honest, he’d never checked his pockets for fluff, let alone tried to discover the fluff within his own mind.

Turning to his Grandfather, with a great big smile, as he reached into his pocket to grab another snack, he spoke, “Thank you, I shall keep my pockets clean from this point forward!”

Thomas pushed Daniel’s shoulder with his, “Shut up lad, and gimme’ another toffee bar!”

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