It was a new bench outside a new window. The city was different, the feeling was the same. Today he sat outside watching the people of the town. An old lady with a blank stare walked toward him muttering to herself, he squinted his eyes and tried to tell if she was his or if she was naturally aged. When she passed in front of him, she stopped and stared in his direction, she mumbled something barely audible about the bench and how it needed new paint. Reaching out, she peeled a strip of flaking paint from right beside his head. He smiled, unnoticed. She was his, but he couldn’t remember from how long ago or what she had looked like when they met. Rarely did he speak to them, every now and then he would whisper a good day. He found it was better to let them move on, they did not know how to love him properly, not the way he loved them. It was always disappointing.
Once, before they stopped noticing him, someone called him a pariah. He had been off-putting as a very young boy. People always kept there distance, not touching him even in passing. He walked through life as if a bubble existed around him. They did not realize they were doing it, but he could tell. One day, an old man came right up to him and touched his forehead directly in the center. The man cackled and said several strange words. The boy reached out and grabbed the man’s hand away from his head, the old one dropped to his knees, smiled at the boy, and died.
From that moment on, the people of the town no longer called him anything, they did not even notice he was standing among them. There was nothing truly different, he felt the same. He craved the same things and despised the same things. The old man had unlocked something in his soul, however, he had given him a purpose.