Monday, August 19, 2019

Light After Darkness, That is the Way

On yet another way too hot day, I rode my bike to work.  As I drove down State Street I saw a rat that had just been hit or killed so instead of being smashed flat on the ground like all of the rest of the rats I have ever seen on the road, this one was just lying there, all chubby and healthy looking, yet dead.  I thought about him, how hard it is to feel for a dead street rat but what it possibly says about us or me in particular.  But in that moment, just killed, somehow I was filled with compassion.  It felt like nature was giving me a riddle.  
 I thought about the little guy some more, about how unbelievably hot it was outside as I rode along.  Considered how much I may sweat when I stop.  I wondered how hot you could actually get before you got sick and passed out, or died.  As I was pulling in to the parking lot, I notice a pigeon, large and also laying on the ground, looking pretty freshly dead.  I thought how odd this was, now a little stunned, to see two just killed animals, albeit ones that we all pass without much thought.  How did it happen?  The bird did not look hit by a car, just tipped over like a cow.  Could it have reached the end of its life right on my pathway by chance?  So I continue on to lock up my bike where you can see through the building onto the other side, which is the front of the store.  I see this man riding his bike but stopping suddenly the way I would if I saw a $20 dollar bill on the ground.  Soon I realize it's something like an animal flopping.  I come up to the front of the building and see that it's a tiny sparrow, dying in real time on the hot pavement.  I asked if he hit it and he said no, that he saw it just lying there in the road.  I immediately spout out my tale and he doesn't seem too affected, barely listening. But as I tell it, I'm more freaked out.  I shut up, we don't know each other.  I just watch as he carefully picks up the tiny bird and tries to make it drink water.  He assesses it, tells me it's a girl.  I ask him how he knows and I forgot what he even said.  I knew this wasn't a dream because I would never go to work in my right state of sleep.  And it was hot, so hot.  I was coming in to cover someone who had called out.  I needed to get inside and clock in but this was so incredible.  He ignored me opening the employee entrance door and saying it was nice to meet him, so then I thanked him louder for being such a good person.  He ignores that and tells me 'it can't drink water, it's neck is broken'.  He goes on to say, his little beak is leaking something.  He says, 'it's not going to survive'.  Then I realized it was best to just let this wash over me because it felt important.  I let the door closed and came closer to him.  We decided it would likely die but we weren't going to kill it because we couldn't be sure.  It could just come alive and fly off.  What a nice thought.   I didn't know what to do so I snapped a picture.  Such a weird gesture. 
Later I tried to tell the story to a few coworkers and one lady told me right away, 'That means something really good is going to happen to you!' and for a second I got really excited but then quickly dropped my smile, because I knew that was wrong, it was so wrong.  This was telling me that something, maybe 3 bad things were going to happen and as soon as I thought it I'm pretty sure I made it true.   And as fate would have it, one of them already did just a week later.

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