well here I am... sitting on a chair staring at the clouds mowing on a clif bar thinking of not drinking more coffee right around 2pm toting a book of haiku flipping to any random page pondering the vision three short lines can bring inviting my crow friend to take part riffing on Kerouac shedding 5-7-5 constraints realizing he wants no part of it he wants the fucking food
A few feet to the right of the crow-eats-peanut-off-campus-map-show there’s a handiramp outside the Atmospheric Sciences Geophysics building spitting distance from a blind corner obscured by shrubbery. Right around 8:29 am Monday through Friday, one dude freewheels down it and across Okanogan Lane to store his bike, while another dude rolls up it to enter the ATG building. From my vantage point muttering to myself or talking with crows and schlepping packages I can hear each dude’s freewheel singing, approaching from different directions and without looking at my watch I know it’s nearly 8:30. Although my watch always says 3:33 so it wouldn’t matter.
Just yesterday morning… …both dudes hit the handiramp at the same time and dude #2 says “watch it!” then dude #1 gives a long angry but silent questioning why-don’t-you-fucking-watch-it look over his shoulder as he keeps rolling.
I continued muttering to myself and wondering how this could not be the first time these two dudes, who work in the same building, 50 fucking feet from each other, have had a close call. How could these two dudes not know each other? How can this be the first time this “almost” almost happened? Have they not talked about bikes before? Have they not discussed the merits of single speeds or the hype of Cannondales in the late 80’s? Have they not run into each other before? How can this be?
Fast forward 23 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds to this morning in the midst of feeding my crow bro peanuts, I hear dude #1’s freewheel and watch him for a moment to see where he stores his bike when half a moment later dude #2 hits the handiramp.
I smile and momentarily ponder the worn out old story problem and the variation I drafted 12 years ago about two commuters meeting at the same spot plus or minus 10 seconds each weekday morning and the infinite number of variables that have to fall into place for these two seemingly unrelated sequences of events to coincide. Insert here some math textbook references, asterisks and footnotes citing the Burke Gilman Effect which I also coined sometime in the last 27 years. But I’ve been there - done that and today’s story problem pondering didn’t last too long
because of a unique package delivery, there was a subtle difference in the routing of my route this morning, but my crow bro caught on and seamlessly transitioned, joining the route already in progress. He actually got a little touchy, some might say aggressive and followed me to Chemical Engineering. Flying low he slapped me on my left shoulder with a wing after I only offered up one peanut. We had a little chat and then I gave him a few more peanuts over at Atmospheric Sciences.
Around about that same time Bret in ABQ was emailing me a digital copy of this Raven sign bounce passing it off a satellite orbiting earth and hitting my phone perfectly on the fly. The words it strings together speak to me on several levels and once again everything is coming together.
the Uber came to an abrupt halt then a passenger door flew open and a frat boy hopped out never looking up from his phone walking around the front of the car and then the Uber did a quick jaunt to the right and a full U-turn left
variations on the theme
play out in slow motion
at all times
on all days
get in line
pay your taxes
don’t ask questions
do me a favor
don't do me any favors
arbitrary goals set
and then met
there’s no sense of accomplishment
no looking back to admire a day’s work
it’s a treadmill
stationary bike like
what’s next !?!
is that all there is?
used to do a little
but a little wouldn’t do
so the little got more and more
trapped in a man-sized Skinner box pressing the lever with efficient frequency or frequent efficiency but the returns are clearly diminishing in a constant cost-benefit analysis. In the beginning the reward pellets were more sub sub sub substantial. It was as if they actually meant something
there is no reward for hard work
just as there is no penalty for being a gold bricking cherry picking total sack of shit
ask me about sustainability
inflatable pools with unpatchable leaks leaching plasticky poofs of last summer’s last breath
spent toner cartridges packed up with postage-paid return labels if that makes you feel better thinking they’ll be recycled but they’re just on their way to a landfill in Eastern Washington
talking the talk sounds good on Earth Day
you’re all fucked–The Replacements
it seems “tall drip” is written in sharpie on my forehead. The barista knows me and my coffee. A little further along the continuum and the forehead sharpie message reads “IPA”
—OK google suck it out of my ass and save it on a server somewhere so you can sell it back to me later—
Cut & Paste the above statement into your browser a few times and take note