The Weeping Concierge
A weeping concierge sat on a bench, just outside a hotel, in Regent Street, London. Standing in front of the bench, the view to the street was covered by bushes, which were sprouting up. Blooming roses wriggled itself around a pavilion, in which a bench had been neatly arranged. Despite the great number of roses, you were still able to get a good view through to the bench, here and there.
It was a chilly calm evening, though the sun had barely started to set. Concerning the concierge, he seemed to be a bit nazzy. I became more determined about this fact, as I had noticed the bottle of Champaign rolling around on the ground, right next to him. He gave the impression, as if he had sneaked it from the hotel's bar. His distraught countenance which I observed, aroused my sympathy.
As I drew nearer, his red cheeks surfaced. His eyes were glistening, apparently through the alcohol that he had been drinking. His clothes were neat and clean. Dressed as if he was about to head for his shift, he looked ready. Anyhow, his drunkenness distracted from thinking so. His hair was sort of fuzzy, since he must have been fumbling around with it. He had been wearing way to much hair gel. As I drew nearer, his gaze was attached to the ground, not even lifting his head up to look at me, as the sound of my steps approached. In my pursuit of talking to him, he appeared confused. Towards many attempts, he eventually spoke. It was around 7pm, as he and I had a talk.
His name was Barry Lowsley. He told me his story. He described, how he got abandoned by his family, and fought through adolescence.
'I never received much affection from my family. I grew up with my younger brother. I felt lonely, and abandoned. He simply was the smaller one, who received a great deal of attention. I felt lonely, and left out. I started drinking at a very young age, which turned out to be a comforting valve for me. At the age of 14, I had been drinking at a daily basis. Not to mention heroin, and all that stuff. But I don't want to put you off. So far, I had gone to rehab, to deal with my drug issues. But I still do have the need for drinking once in a while.'
'How on earth do you manage to keep your job?', I pushed to know.
He then replied, 'I don't want to talk about it. I like to sit here, and take a look at the sky. I rarely drink though. Have you seen the sky this evening yet? Take a look at the sky, it is beautiful. C'mon take a look at the sky!'
I asked him, 'I walk past here every day, noticing that our paths have never crossed.'
'Mostly, I don't sit here for too long. I have been off duty for over an hour now, so it was less likely for you to be seeing me,' Barry sighed.
'I pass by here all the time for many years now, I don't recall to have seen you before... How long have you been employed here?,' I was interested to know.
He then stated, 'I've held this job for quite a while.'
'Then why have I never seen you before', I demanded.
'I really couldn't tell you. Anyhow, right now I have the urge of going to have a coffee, all of a sudden, don't you think you need a coffee too? I think you need a coffee, I can sense that you are a coffee drinker. Why don't you join me? I think it is way better than the booze I have been drinking all evening long,' he stared at me and continued, 'loosen up, you look all stiff. You are becoming tired, close your eyes and rest a bit, just rest.
While my eyes were closed I wanted to know more, 'Well, how has life treated you recently?', I wanted to know.
He pointed out the run down building across the street, which was approximately 300 meters heading into the left direction, on High Borough Street, at the far end of Trinity Street. He snapped his fingers, and my eyes opened to take a look.
Barry's eyes widened, 'I live right there.' He analysed the detailed work on his shabby home. Fascinated by architecture, he interpreted it's historic attributes, which gave the building a certain piazza. Despite the horrible condition of his place, he seemed to think a great deal of it. His point of view put me in awe.
As we continued our talk, and it was time for me to go home, he looked sharply into my eyes. He approached to sit closer. From there on, I started to feel, as if I had been put into some kind of hypnotic trance. I sensed an implausible feeling: My mental presence seemed to have relocate. The whole ambience suddenly changed a great deal. As I had become tired, I decided to say goodbye to Barry. So as I had gotten up from the bench, I immediately had the urge to kneel on the ground. I felt as if there was acting a force against my wish of getting back up. As I looked up to ask Barry to help me getting back up, he sat there and stared at me.
'Its time for you to go home now. And don't forget to meet me for coffee,' he said.
And so I did, after giving him 10 English Pounds for his convenience. Barry's' story didn't leave my mind, until I eventually fell asleep at home. It had started to make me feel exhausted, by the given circumstances in his life. I returned the next day after work, since it was on my way home. The moment I had arrived, I didn't see the need of talking to him, and keeping him company. Noticeably, there were other good souls around, and considered enough to listen to a stranger's trouble. A lady in her late 40s fumbled around in her purse, then handing Barry a package of tissues. They both sat on the iron bench, that he and I had sat last night. I hadn't noticed the bench's uniqueness. It was green iron wrought, and the details should have caught my attention. The paint had come off half way, and rust had made its appearance. Anyhow, I was so touched by the man's sorrowful life, that I had paid no mind towards my surroundings.
I peaked into Barry's conversation with the lady, since I wanted to know, how Barry had been doing. I didn't mean to interrupt their chat, so I sat down on another bench, which had been situated on the opposite side of the pavilion, which was facing the hotel's entrance.
Lady, in her late 40s
I exited the hotel that I stayed in. It was my last evening in London, as I came to visit a friend who lived here. I decided to go out for a walk along the street. Chilly air occupied the evening. I heard noises coming from behind the bushes, and headed towards where they came from. There he sat. A weeping concierge told me his story. His name was Barry Lowsley. He described, how he had had a terrible accident, and had been faced to be limping on his left leg ever since.
'I walked home from work, when I crossed the street. The lights were green. A car suddenly appeared from around the corner, and missed the red lights. They seemed to have seen me, as I heard the breaks creaking. But it was too late for me.', he sobbed.
As I am a woman of great sympathy, I was kind enough to hand him over some tissues. I wanted to know, how it was possible for him, to be working this kind of job, considering his condition.
'I think of the only child, me and my wife have at home. We have a baby, who suffers from the so called Hirschsprung's disease. It developed during my wife's pregnancy. Anyhow, the risks during the surgery are small. Still, we are worried.
Despite from paying rent, and bringing bread on the table, bills need to get paid. My wife is pregnant with our second child. I feel even more responsible now. I need to keep earning money to pay for our spendings, and the surgery.'
'I understand,' I said to him.
'Care for a mint?' he asked.
He was staring into my eyes, as if he pursued a staring contest. I then frowned, and asked him.
'Why are you star...'
Suddenly Barry led out a cry, threw his head into his arms, and kept on weeping. Both his arms rested on the bench's armrest, his arms resting on top of each other, his face tugged into them. After lifting his head back up, he continued talking. He had a scar on his arm which he showed me, and told me to keep focusing on it. I thought that his scar looked pretty intense.
While I was sipping on a cup of coffee, I had become so tired, that my eyes finally shut, and I dropped my cup. This seemed ironic though.
He said, 'Just yesterday, I talked to someone, who was sitting on this exact bench. I offered him to go to a coffee shop, which is running it's business in this hotel. It has the best quality coffee. You have to, you just have to go there.'
Barry's story was on my mind for a longer while. How was he going to manage in the future? How was he going to make ends meet, and paying for his daughter's surgery? Then, I had a plan. I was going to make a charitable donation, asking around in the neighbourhood, to help donate for the surgery of Barry's daughter. I thought about putting up posters, and going to the newspaper, in order to raise attention. I was so excited by this idea, that I went back to the hotel the next evening. I wanted to tell him all about it. But as I arrived, Barry didn't seem to be needing my company. He was talking to some stranger. As I didn't want to interrupt, I wanted to wait for the end of their conversation. Another bench had been situated behind the pavilion, facing the hotel's entrance. I headed towards it, and sat down. Another man had already been sitting on it, he had a concerned look on his face. I went to sit down, resting my left elbow on the armrest. I couldn't believe the fact that he seemed to have snooped around. He peeked into Barry's conversation. It was obvious, as I sneezed, and he told me to be quite, as he could hardly hear anything. He whispered to me. I started arguing with him. I was startled, and asked him if he didn't mind his own business.
The lady that Barry was talking to, must have been around 70 years of age.
The lady, who was 70 years of age
A weeping concierge told me his story. His name was Barry Lowsley. I noticed, that he had hiccups, and a bottle of the finest whine rolled around his feet. I believe that he must have drank it.
He stated, 'Around noon, when I was on my way to work at Regent Hotel, I have seen one of my stepsisters. I have two of them.'
'What makes you so upset about that?' I was curious to know.
'A couple of years back, I was living with my step parents in Slough. The scariest thing happened to me. One day, I was on my way home from school. I had stayed a bit longer than usual, to meet up with classmates, in order to finish a course preparation. My family knew.
'What happened on your way back?' I pushed to know.
'Who is telling the story here?' he responded rudely.
But he looked into my eyes, while his were wide open. He then opened and closed them just a tiny
bit, it barely became a movement. This look on his face gave the impression, as if he was trying to figure something out.
He then apologized, and continued while he turned his head away from me, and the tears came flying through the air, 'I got stabbed.'
'During your presentation preparation?' I asked.
'No! On my way home. I didn't see any people around. But I do recall hearing the voices of my two step sisters. I also saw someone's skirt vanish around the corner, as I lay on the ground, weak and helpless. It was the same skirt's fabric, which one of my younger sisters', had left the house with. Anyhow, the police had abandoned the case, for the lack of evidence. Once, I had recovered, I packed my stuff and left my parents' home for good. They weren't as trustworthy either, so it seemed only logical to be leaving. I had been adopted by them, when I was seven years old. I had been living in an orphanage for a year previous to that. My actual parents had died in a car accident, and I had no family to go to.'
'Wait!' I responded, 'One of your step sisters apparently stabbed you? You,..you saw her today?' I stammered.
'Indeed,' he said. 'It won't leave my mind, how one or even both my sisters could be involved in this. They never appreciated my presence, never asked me to spend value time with them. Now, I work at this hotel as a bartender. I have no other profession. The pay isn't well, and I hardly get by. Now, I don't have another choice, but to keep up the work. I have no post-graduate education, so my future ain't going to look as bright.'
'What shocking conditions', I started to have trouble breathing, as I howled out, 'Do you have any friends, who are there for you?'
'The incident had been just a little over two years ago. Ever since I had left my parents' home, I have made some friends here, but financially I have no one supporting me. My friends from school are living in Slough, I do keep in touch. They are reliable people, but most of them do have a difficult life as well. I won't bother to ask any of them for any support or help.'
'Anyhow, he said, grabbing an old coffee cup, which had been lying on the ground. 'Do you see this cup?' he asked. It is a beautiful cup. Look at it, just keep looking at it. See all the details on it. You like coffee don't you? This amazing coffee shop, which I keep recommending everyone, you should go there some time. I really want you to go. Here take a look at the cup.'
I reached out my hands, and Barry handed over the empty cup of coffee.
Eventually, our conversation was over, I started to walk home. I started to think about Barry's story. Knowing, that he at least had some good people to socialize with, I felt better immediately. But what sounded frightening, was the fact that one of his sisters, who may have stabbed him, was around. I left with an upset stomach. As I had arrived home, I immediately had to make a tea to calm me down. Also did I want to warm up, since I had started to cough a bit. It was rather cold outside, and a bit windy, since I had been sitting on that iron bench for over an hour. Barry's story was so touching, that I went back to the hotel the next day.
As I arrived, Barry had been sitting on the bench. I immediately started to sympathise once again, as I observed a desperate look in his eyes, as I stood right in front of the pavilion, peaking through the roses. I would have liked to talk to him, and ask him how he had been. I wanted to give him an advise. But for the moment, I couldn't do anything but wait. Barry was sitting on the bench with a young lad around his early twenties. As I was a bit tired from my walk, I planned to head back home. Though as I turned around, I saw a bench which was facing the hotel. I had thought about taking a rest, and headed towards it. Although, it had been occupied by three people, who seemed to had a profound argument, I simply wanted to sit down. And so I did. While I took a rest, I peaked into their conversation.
Lad in His early 20s
I had come to London, for a conference, which was about presenting my PhD results. I was staying at this great hotel. I had gone out for dinner with friends, whom I got to know during prior preparation here. On my way back to the hotel, a bench became visible, which stood inside a pavilion. It was empty, so I went to sit on it. Observing this beautiful night, I closed my eyes, and breathed in the fresh evening air. Then, out of thin air, a man appeared, who burst out in tears. Truly, I had no intention of listening to this man's whining.
He grabbed my arm, and said, 'Please stay!'
His name was,... Oh, I can't remember his name. I think it was Barry. He wanted to tell me his story. I had my conference on my mind, more than anything. I hardly paid no mind towards whatever he was telling me. He seemed to be crying, and staring at me, wanting to have someone to talk to. As he touched me, I felt a little shiver going through my body. Then all of a sudden, me offered a a sip from his Brandy, which he held in his hands. I kindly refused.
'At least have a mint,' he offered and continued, 'I don't mean to be rude, but your breath is awful. And you look terribly tired. Take a look at my eyes too. We both look awfully tired. We both could use some coffee. You know, I keep telling this every single soul I meet. Go to this coffee shop. There is an amazing coffee inside this hotel. Go there and get a coffee, and get me one too! I want you to go now.'
I took the mint, swallowed it down, then left. Subsequently, I walked back to my room in Regent Hotel. There were posters put up, on the entrance's door. I recognized the man's face, it was Barry's. I went up into my room on the fifth floor, and grabbed my wallet. I went down into the hotel's restaurant, and ordered a tea. I went back outside, to meet Barry. I wanted to comfort him. I walked towards the bench, past a crowd of people, who were loudly speaking. Passing them, and the pavilion, which were to the right, I then made a right turn, so I could talk to Barry.
Barry was gone. I turned back around, walked towards the crowd of people, that seemed to have a profound argument. I felt the urge, as if I desperately needed to talk to Barry. I wanted to find out his whereabouts. They must have seen him leave, and into which direction he went.
Four people without identity have been found last night, wandering around in a Café. The front counter staff pointed out, that something funny had been going on. Once they had ordered their drinks, none of them could find their wallet. It has come to our knowledge, that neither of them knew where they lived. It had gotten even more mysterious, as they showed up as a group, but apparently none of the people knew each other. Eventually, they started to have a thorough discussion about a crying man, whom they ordered a coffee for.
Please help us identify these people! Photographs are attached.
Last night in Regent Street Hotel Show Room
We are presenting Barry Lowsley, who is visiting all the way from Edmonton. He is here today, to give you an insight, about his incredible work he is known for so well. He had already announced, that he was going to hypnotize four people! Now, lets welcome Barry Lowsley!
Lets welcome, Barry Lowsley!
The Crowd had been clapping and cheering, but Barry never showed up.