The Mysterious Person; Curiosity, Tension And Relief


An account of the activities of a mysterious person during walk and efforts to unravel the real facts full of suspense, tension, and embarrassment.



I have watched him since he started his walk-cum-jog-run activity six months back. I am a regular at the Royal National Park for the last ten years. I walk for forty-five to fifty minutes daily. This new entry looked to be in his mid-thirties, sober-looking with big ears and small forehead. When he first started coming, the only noticeable thing about him was his track suit. Dark red, it had many pockets like jean and with an attached covering for the head. Later I discovered that he would come at a fixed time daily, and followed a fixed, but strange routine. After reaching the starting point, he would put his right hand in the pocket, took out a small diary, looked at it for few seconds and put it back. Next he would stand still, stretch both his hands forward with palms open, say something, as the lips indicated and then touch his face with both the palms. The next step would be, to have a few seconds standing jog, and then he would start his walk. After ten minutes it would change into a jog of ten minutes and then further followed by a five minutes run and then back to the walk. He would continue from an hour to an hour and quarter. While moving on the track he would pass on a smile on seeing children, and some time wave as well. A few times while going through WJR (Walk, Jog, Run) he would sit down on some bench, take out his diary from the pocket, see for a few seconds, put it back and restart his WJR.

Now, to the most strange part of his activity during his WJR session. He would constantly talk to himself. It was very difficult to hear what he was talking about, but talking he did all the time. The pitch of his voice would not be loud enough to be audible to a person moving in front or behind him. I am sure about it because I tried both these positions to quench my curiosity about his talk-in motion, and failed both the time. The only option left was to move along him, which looked awkward to do. Some time I would think to have a talk with him, but during all this time he never made any attempt to talk to anyone. I collected all this information myself as my walk time coincided with his time to a great extent. As I am not very punctual I would sometime find him just starting, while some time in the middle of, or completing his WJR. As my curiosity increased so did my tension and urge to solve the mystery. I became a sort of detective and came early and stayed until his departure to get most information about him. Sometimes I did not like what I was doing thinking that it was not any way my concern to solve the mystery. But, most of the time my curiosity would nudge me to continue.

I thought of few methods, but rejected them all as against my personal values. Finally, I decided that first somehow he should become acquainted with me, and then I will go for the real objective. On the first day of my mission I arrived before him, purchased two juice packets and waited until he had completed his first round on the track. Just as he started his second round, I started my first and the only round of the track. As he had tired a bit after the round I was able to catch him during his walk part of the WJR. I at first walked behind him for a few seconds, then started walking besides him. At that time I had already taken out the two juice packets and was sipping from the one. I could hear some murmurs emanating from his mouth, which could not be heard clearly, there was a sort of repetition. I addressed him by saying “hello” and pushed the other packet towards him, saying “please”. He looked surprised. He took the packed and bowed a little without saying anything. After a few minutes, I slowed down my speed and he moved ahead. After that day, I waved to him the next three days. On the fourth day I did not wave, but on seeing me he waved and I felt delighted, as my plan had worked. The waving part continued for a week and then came the “D” day. As planned I finished my walk before his arrival, and as he entered the park and was walking towards his starting point I spoke out loudly from his back “Hello, hello” and offered my hand for a handshake. Without saying anything he shook my hand.

“I am David Mortimer,” I started my talk. He again did not say anything. He put his hand on my shoulder and nudged me towards a nearby bench. After we sat down, he took out his small diary and with its attached pencil wrote something and gave it to me.

“I am Mark Stevenson, and I cannot speak like you”. A sensation went through my body. So he is a dumb, I said to myself. But, he continuously talks while walking, what is the mystery? After expressing my apology and words of sympathy, I asked him whether he is dumb by birth or otherwise. He made a long note at the end of his diary and handed over to me for reading.

“I was just like you until about a year back. I was working as Production Manager in a famous company. A car accident changed all that. I was severely injured and remained under treatment for four months. I recovered fully thanks to my Company’s help, but lost my voice. I met an expert and he advised Speech Therapy, which I am now undergoing. I weekly visit the specialist. He gives me homework, which I do throughout the week. A part of that homework is done in this Park that I call Walk-The-Talk. The specialist has given me a set of sentences which I have to deliver irrespective whether they are delivered correctly or not. On weekends I deliver those sentences in front of him for advice/further treatment. During the last six months I have successfully delivered twelve sentences”. He then showed me a list of sentences, which were a bit weird:

– A big cat did exit forest going happily in jacket keep laughing

– Mostly no one performs quietly, raving stupidly

– Totally understands various ways xenophobia yields zilch.

– Zoom your X-ray we value uniquely the subscriber returning quietly, persistently on new matters

– Like kid jokes in humor giving free entertainment during class by Armstrong

– None shun fun so done, done, but no fun with gun.

– Crying trying better than trying crying or egg frying.

– July before June and September before August means November before December.

– Jane wants, but Jim, John, Jefferson and Johnson say aye if Jonny don’t say nay.

– Riverside on your side, abide, deride or decide another side.

– No way to go, nothing to show, tow my line, come at nine, fine.

– Humor and joke, go for folk, best function, kill stress and tension, enjoy life, forget strife

I was spellbound. A feeling of embarrassment took me over and I felt sorrow for the distress he had gone through. However, after sometime a feeling of relief set in and I told Stevenson that he was a brave person and I would like him to accept me as a friend, despite difference in our ages. He looked elated and warmly shook my hands. At that time the thought of his walk starting activities came to my mind and I asked from him.

“Well I open the diary to see the sentence I have to practice during my walk. Then, I pray by stretching my hands for success and that’s it,” he wrote. I got all the information I wanted and was very happy. But, the next thing he wrote brought about a lot of tension and anxiety, and made my whole body ache.

“We will now have a walk together”. I already had my walk, but I could not disclose that to him. He took my hand into his hand, and started moving towards the starting point.I have watched him since he started his walk-cum-jog-run activity six months back. I am a regular at the Royal National Park for the last ten years. I walk for forty-five to fifty minutes daily. This new entry looked to be in his mid-thirties, sober-looking with big ears and small forehead. When he first started coming, the only noticeable thing about him was his track suit. Dark red, it had many pockets like jean and with an attached covering for the head. Later I discovered that he would come at a fixed time daily, and followed a fixed, but strange routine. After reaching the starting point, he would put his right hand in the pocket, took out a small diary, looked at it for few seconds and put it back. Next he would stand still, stretch both his hands forward with palms open, say something, as the lips indicated and then touch his face with both the palms. The next step would be, to have a few seconds standing jog, and then he would start his walk. After ten minutes it would change into a jog of ten minutes and then further followed by a five minutes run and then back to the walk. He would continue from an hour to an hour and quarter. While moving on the track he would pass on a smile on seeing children, and some time wave as well. A few times while going through WJR (Walk, Jog, Run) he would sit down on some bench, take out his diary from the pocket, see for a few seconds, put it back and restart his WJR.

Now, to the most strange part of his activity during his WJR session. He would constantly talk to himself. It was very difficult to hear what he was talking about, but talking he did all the time. The pitch of his voice would not be loud enough to be audible to a person moving in front or behind him. I am sure about it because I tried both these positions to quench my curiosity about his talk-in motion, and failed both the time. The only option left was to move along him, which looked awkward to do. Some time I would think to have a talk with him, but during all this time he never made any attempt to talk to anyone. I collected all this information myself as my walk time coincided with his time to a great extent. As I am not very punctual I would sometime find him just starting, while some time in the middle of, or completing his WJR. As my curiosity increased so did my tension and urge to solve the mystery. I became a sort of detective and came early and stayed until his departure to get most information about him. Sometimes I did not like what I was doing thinking that it was not any way my concern to solve the mystery. But, most of the time my curiosity would nudge me to continue.

I thought of few methods, but rejected them all as against my personal values. Finally, I decided that first somehow he should become acquainted with me, and then I will go for the real objective. On the first day of my mission I arrived before him, purchased two juice packets and waited until he had completed his first round on the track. Just as he started his second round, I started my first and the only round of the track. As he had tired a bit after the round I was able to catch him during his walk part of the WJR. I at first walked behind him for a few seconds, then started walking besides him. At that time I had already taken out the two juice packets and was sipping from the one. I could hear some murmurs emanating from his mouth, which could not be heard clearly, there was a sort of repetition. I addressed him by saying “hello” and pushed the other packet towards him, saying “please”. He looked surprised. He took the packed and bowed a little without saying anything. After a few minutes, I slowed down my speed and he moved ahead. After that day, I waved to him the next three days. On the fourth day I did not wave, but on seeing me he waved and I felt delighted, as my plan had worked. The waving part continued for a week and then came the “D” day. As planned I finished my walk before his arrival, and as he entered the park and was walking towards his starting point I spoke out loudly from his back “Hello, hello” and offered my hand for a handshake. Without saying anything he shook my hand.

“I am David Mortimer,” I started my talk. He again did not say anything. He put his hand on my shoulder and nudged me towards a nearby bench. After we sat down, he took out his small diary and with its attached pencil wrote something and gave it to me.

“I am Mark Stevenson, and I cannot speak like you”. A sensation went through my body. So he is a dumb, I said to myself. But, he continuously talks while walking, what is the mystery? After expressing my apology and words of sympathy, I asked him whether he is dumb by birth or otherwise. He made a long note at the end of his diary and handed over to me for reading.

“I was just like you until about a year back. I was working as Production Manager in a famous company. A car accident changed all that. I was severely injured and remained under treatment for four months. I recovered fully thanks to my Company’s help, but lost my voice. I met an expert and he advised Speech Therapy, which I am now undergoing. I weekly visit the specialist. He gives me homework, which I do throughout the week. A part of that homework is done in this Park that I call Walk-The-Talk. The specialist has given me a set of sentences which I have to deliver irrespective whether they are delivered correctly or not. On weekends I deliver those sentences in front of him for advice/further treatment. During the last six months I have successfully delivered twelve sentences”. He then showed me a list of sentences, which were a bit weird:

– A big cat did exit forest going happily in jacket keep laughing

– Mostly no one performs quietly, raving stupidly

– Totally understands various ways xenophobia yields zilch.

– Zoom your X-ray we value uniquely the subscriber returning quietly, persistently on new matters

– Like kid jokes in humor giving free entertainment during class by Armstrong

– None shun fun so done, done, but no fun with gun.

– Crying trying better than trying crying or egg frying.

– July before June and September before August means November before December.

– Jane wants, but Jim, John, Jefferson and Johnson say aye if Jonny don’t say nay.

– Riverside on your side, abide, deride or decide another side.

– No way to go, nothing to show, tow my line, come at nine, fine.

– Humor and joke, go for folk, best function, kill stress and tension, enjoy life, forget strife

I was spellbound. A feeling of embarrassment took me over and I felt sorrow for the distress he had gone through. However, after sometime a feeling of relief set in and I told Stevenson that he was a brave person and I would like him to accept me as a friend, despite difference in our ages. He looked elated and warmly shook my hands. At that time the thought of his walk starting activities came to my mind and I asked from him.

“Well I open the diary to see the sentence I have to practice during my walk. Then, I pray by stretching my hands for success and that’s it,” he wrote. I got all the information I wanted and was very happy. But, the next thing he wrote brought about a lot of tension and anxiety, and made my whole body ache.

“We will now have a walk together”. I already had my walk, but I could not disclose that to him. He took my hand into his hand, and started moving towards the starting point.

By: Tasneem Hameed






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One Response to The Mysterious Person; Curiosity, Tension And Relief

  1. Waу cool! Some extrеmеlу νalid points!
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