Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

William at the Oasis


He’s there almost every day by the Oasis. Almost always smiling. Almost always engaging with anyone who passes by. Almost always talking some kind of good natured nonsense. And, his voice carries, so you can usually hear him from a fair distance as you approach.

William  is a customer of the Oasis – a café in our local shopping precinct in Barnet. He’s a small, stocky middle aged man and the kind of person a lot of establishments would rather not have hanging around, in case it “puts other customers off”.

However, the people who run the Oasis are kind. Even if some folk may not wish to be in earshot of William’s good natured rantings, the café owners clearly allow him the dignity of enjoying a magnificently long lasting cup of tea at their table outside the entrance.

I’m glad William’s there so much of the time. He adds some colour to the environment. I even enjoy a bit of mutual nonsensical banter with him – he often mistakes me for Trevor McDonald’s dad.  He reminds me that the world is made up of a rich array of people – many “normal” and others less so. I’m pleased the café owners choose not to shoo him away, as can often be the case. After all, he clearly has “mental health issues”.

Perhaps, most of all, I admire his childlike nature and capacity for being himself, rather than “appropriately”  falling in line with convention.

William brings to mind a ditty  I read recently:

“We never grow up, we just learn how to behave in public”.

I’m not sure William ever grew up, but equally I’m not certain most of us ever really did either.

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