There is a knocking at my door.

There is a knocking at my door.

There is a knocking at my door.
A determined looking man stands there.
‘You have nothing worth saying,’ he says.
I try to smile at him, while shrinking a little.
‘There may be some truth in that,’ I say finally,
‘Would you like to come in and talk about it?’

We sit facing each other.
He seems so certain of himself.
‘If you do say anything, it will be rubbish.’
‘Well,’ I say, ‘I expect some of my utterings
do come under the heading of clichéd claptrap.
Would you like a cup of tea?’

We sit sipping our tea together.
He seems to come from a different world to me.
‘If you do speak,’ he says, ‘nobody will listen to you.’
‘You certainly have strong views,’ I say,
and it’s a little hard to hear what you say,
‘but I appreciate your coming to tell me.’

He gets up to go. ‘If they do hear your words,
people will laugh, or be disgusted.’
He seems to speak from bitter experience.
‘There’s something in what you say,’ I reply,
but I guess I have to accept whatever happens.
Sometimes I laugh myself, or feel disgust.’

At the door he pauses.
‘You will never come to anything.
Don’t even bother trying.
I say this only to protect you from pain.
Do what I say and you will be safe.
There is no-one in the world to trust.’

I reach out gently and try to hug him goodbye.
His body is stiff and unresponsive.
There is hurt held there.
‘Thank you for coming’, I say,
‘I’m grateful for your efforts to look after me,
and I have listened to what you say.’

He heads off down the path.
He seems smaller now, and younger.
I admire his solitary dignity,
and his survival through difficult times.
‘Maybe we can work together,’ I call,
‘See you again tomorrow as usual?’

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