what was that? is that all there is? who is this? this is it.

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he's a messenger, a reminder...

April 27, 2022

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. 


Add Comment

I wouldn't want your job on a day like this said...

This sequence of events is based on reality as perceived from the perch of an electric-assist bathtub. The dude’s names have been omitted intentionally. I don’t even know their names. But I do know their bikes. I can guarantee, that neither dude #1, nor dude #2, is named Cliff Mass. He does hit that handiramp, but at slower speeds approaching from SSE so he doesn’t corner blindly. And I’m guessing that Cliff Mass would have a bit more to say than “watch it” in a similar close call.

Posted April 28, 2022 05:58 AM | Reply to this comment

Judy Isaacson said...

Does the crow have tenure in atmospheric science—if not, does anyone…the ones colliding perhaps… .

Posted May 1, 2022 07:24 AM | Reply to this comment

Judy Isaacson said...

Does the crow have tenure in atmospheric science—if not, does anyone…the ones colliding perhaps… .

Posted May 1, 2022 07:27 AM | Reply to this comment

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