lately, i’ve been eating lunch with the birds. when i can, i take a sandwich and eat it outside the children’s museum which is right along the harbor walk. it’s about a five minute walk from my office. there’s a big milk jug that is actually a snack bar that is actually an au bon pain. there are lots of kids and their mothers. and nannies, i imagine. but most of all, there are birds. today, i had lunch with a seagull. a dirty, scruffy thing who looked a little like danny devito. i ate lunch yesterday with some pigeons who are a bit more bold and peck a little closer to your area. they are not as bold as the squirrels in boston common who eat out of your hand.
even i think that’s disgusting.
in the river (is it a river? or is it the harbor? these are things i do not know yet). in the river/harbor, there are scruffier birds floating around with grey, fluffy feathers. there is a plaque that says what birds are what, but i have yet to read it.
it’s sort of of a lonely thing—eating with birds. i come a little later in the day and it’s just me, kids and their mothers leaving the museum and also older women who look like they once were art teachers. a generally quiet crowd who can’t waste their energy as the sun is too hot and everyone—save a few brave souls sitting on the picnic tables with no shade—sit peacefully under the umbrella trees. it seems to be observation time in my life now. constantly taking in new places and people and ways to do things and new routines.
at this moment in my life: there are holes in all of the pockets of my jeans. i have the time to sing the entire soundtrack of any given musical. i drink an exorbitant amount of iced tea after work. i’ve finally accepted that my hairline is not as youthful as it once was. i screen a lot of calls because i don’t always like to be cheery. i send a lot of emails so i am not forgotten. watching other people fascinates me even more than it did before:
i see a girl exit the au bon pain in a hurry, she’s holding back tears and her voice is urgent. i feel for her and i want to give her a hug. i see a chinese man who, from far away, looks like a teenager in a michael jordan sleeveless t-shirt and basketball shorts. his wife, who definitely doesn’t look like a teenager, sits behind me and calls for him constantly. he’s fascinated by this speaker outside of the children’s museum that plays different bird sounds. last night, i see a dog bark and growl at another dog and a man a few feet away gets unreasonably concerned and crosses the street.
constant observation. just call me amélie.
and in this time of observation, it’s hard not to reflect also on the past as you sit and observe: what worked; what didn’t work; favorite memories; people you miss; people you don’t miss; fun times; how the fuck you found yourself eating a ham sandwich by an over-sized milk jug in front of a seagull that looks like danny devito.
but i sit in the shade and take it all in with big, deep breaths. sometimes thinking too much is, well, for the birds.