It's been a while. and the game's changed. I no longer serve on a regular basis, I get paid for some of my time and pay others for theirs. I also have this period of time in the middle that is left to me to decide what to do with. I've learned things. watch.
I watched, listened and smelled the other day. Waiting for the 11 bus to get to work. At the stop there was a crusty old guy who decided to interrupt the latest eminem that I had bumping the buds in my ears. he started by asking if I was waiting for the 11 and that he hadn't seen it in while.
Thanks, guy. I don't care.
But a crowd of pigeons flew into m face, changing the topic of conversation. Also, this guy could be profane, watch yourself if thats offensive to your ilk.
"those bastards'll knock you out if they hit you. look out for that"
yeah, it doesn't help that they live everywhere either.
"there are so many in this damn city. They should kill 'em. they do it to deer sometimes. just shoot 'em. ha."
here, he made a shooting motion as though he had a rifle in his hands.
"but you can't shoot in the city, you'll hit buildings and people and shit. aw well, we could poison em. or catch em. we used to do that at the poultry shop you know. I could pop a head off those things like that."
he made as though he was holding the body in his left hand and twisting the right hand. with a popping noise, the imaginary head came right off.
"make damn good chicken nuggets. or at least good enough no one ever noticed. just put em in the grinder, they look fine."
silence. i was interested, but afraid to lead him on to tell more as he seemed like the type to follow me around if i gave him that attention.
"too damn many of the bastards though. i tell you. you know, in europe they kill them, and i swear they grow back up. two more for every one dead. damn."
here, i wanted to confirm rumors i had heard of a man who would let pigeons land on him, perch on his shoulders and feed from his hair.
Wasn't there a man who let them land on him?
"yeah. walking pigeon shit. dirty bastard. nice guy though. a little crazy. some dickhead ran him down with a car. he was alright though. dickhead hit him right over there at that intersection."
I was pleased to see the bus come at this point, as there is only so much crazy guy i can handle at a time.
A few days later, which makes it yesterday, in my break between classes i walked down the chicago river to the lake, because I like watching the water in its dirty green glory.
there was a guy at the end of the pier with a pickup truck, loading an engine or other vehicle part into it. this guy was twice as entertaining, however also twice as profane and even sacrilegious. made me laugh though.
"you gotta take the bridge from navy pier from here?"
this was directed at me, the obvious local, so i answered.
Yeah, there's no bridge at te end of the pier.
"huh. signage around here sucks, you know? i got all the way out here just to turn around again. no other way?"
no, the bridge is the only way for a while.
"unless you can walk on water, huh? but he got hung on a cross."
ha, i guess tahts a sin punishable by death.
"yeah. or there's moses, he had the right idea. he just split it in half."
Got locked out of the promised land though. he had to spend forty years in the desert for nothing.
" you're right there. you are. I guess what we learned today is don't fuck with water. have a good one, thanks?"
being a lifeguard, this made me nervous. also i was confused as to the question "thanks?" being a farewell. but i returned it like a parrot and carried on my merry way.