Monday, September 17, 2007

More Geese

I was riding my bike to the office in the semi-darkness by the lake and about five geese flew in and landed next to me, way less shy then usual, but also not honking aggressively. I went right by them, inches away, and they looked at me, and I said, "My friends, the geese!" They smiled, as geese will do when in a small group like that.

Just then, I saw a young man and women out running, and I nodded to them, smiled, and said "hi"-- a little embarrassed that they had just caught me talking to the geese. They didn't smile, however, or even change expressions, looking straight ahead, focused on whatever goal it was they were intent on. Overcoming pain perhaps? It seems like most runners are really into pain, and I get the idea that is has something to do with being able to steel themselves for bloodthirsty conquest in the corporate environment. I'm generalizing, of course, put I really feel like runners should at least try to LOOK like they're having more fun.

Of course this is Milwaukee, where strangers don't smile at strangers, and there is a clear delineation between work and fun. Work is what you do at the office and fun is what you do at the bar after work. Maybe I'm being too harsh-- maybe those people were just shocked to see a man riding a bike at six a.m. with Jesus hair and an Amish beard talking to the geese. (I'm just kidding! I don't have an Amish beard!)

God help me that I don't have to get a temp office job in Milwaukee! It was bad enough in Portland-- where they seem to have invented the phrase, "Have at it." But here, I can only imagine the horrors! The humorless office managers named Pat (woman) and Chad (man), starting work at 7 am! (It's a lot different writing this at 7 am then going to an office where everyone has arrived punctually with Starbucks cups, and someone has been assigned to bring in two dozen donuts from Pic'n'Sav.)

Oh my god, I'm having a nightmare and I'm not even sleeping! I said GOD twice, and I'm not even a religious man (despite the Jesus-hair). Will they make me wear a Green Bay Packers jersey on casual Friday, with a the number "4" on it? How can everyone be #4? What if I was to wear a Mark Chmura jersey and ask my co-workers how old their daughters are? Would any of them think that was funny?

To end on a positive note, it's a beautiful morning, and I got out before most of the Monday traffic. A crazy old guy who was fishing by the art museum said hi to me!

7 comments:

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Ray Speen said...

I hope that the people who make spam emails feel good about their place in the world. No I don't. Even the most greedy and weak scum of the earth while committing crimes against humanity can find a way to justify their actions somehow and fool themselves into feeling good. Anyway, it's pretty pathetic to try to promote your illegal activities on some poor bastards journal entry about Geese. Whatever you can say abut geese, they don't go around trying to hustle money in a sleazy and pathetic fashion.

Infinite said...

Hi. I live in Milwaukee too and I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm wasting the best years of my life here. I'm trying my hardest to finish this damn degree but I'm about up and ready to head for warmer states. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great folks here in Milwaukee, but I can't shake myself from the persistent perception of what I call a drowsy sleeper's funk. This town is asleep, and even with all the amazing people I know, some just doing their thing, some trying like hell the wake the place up, I just don't see it happening... a few more people wake up here and there... but it just seems like a ridiculously long road up hill... but I digress...

I very much enjoyed your blog about geese, and had I been up at 6AM in the morning (which never happens, unless I haven't been to bed yet) I would have been happy to say hello the passing geese-friendly, Jesus-haired man.

Ray Speen said...

Thanks for writing, "Infinite", god knows how long ago. I felt much the same way about Milwaukee as you describe, but then I moved to Mount Erie where you can't deny things are always happening, the place always jumping, and... I miss Milwaukee! I feel more isolated and asleep in Mount Erie than I did in Milwaukee.

I think it's not so much the place as it you. I know that sounds both overly obvious and trite, but it's true, it's always true, and like all the most true things we forget it the fastest. Right? Right? Whatever a place turns out to be, for you, is what you make of it. But still, sometimes you've got to move somewhere else. Especially if it's too hot or too cold or too suburban or too whatever where you are.

This is good advice for myself. As I look around Mount Erie I see a blank canvas, it's a bank with no security guards waiting to be robbed. A mountain climbed only once, but the dude never came down... a weed filled glass called a cocktail... a bee in flight, on a parabolic arc.......