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Keeping the murder alive.   —   The Social Experience

Most every morning I wait for the bus with a man who wears a black trench coat. He stands there, legs spread wide in a secret service stance, his mirrored sunglasses reflecting the sky and his giant black tote bag slung carefully over his shoulder. The list of possible contents that his bag may carry is a long and dangerous one in my mind. And every morning as I spend my time waiting for the bus reading, he spends his feeding the crows. He keeps a bag full of peanuts, the kind that are still in their shells, in his coat pocket. His method is odd. While standing perfectly still he discreetly reaches into his pocket, produces one peanut, and slowly tosses it to the lawn directly in front of the bus stop. There was a while there that I had no idea it was happening. That's how covert he is. But once I started noticing, I couldn't stop noticing, and then I realized he did it every morning. So much for my observational skills.

The lawn in front of the bus stop belongs to a small yet attractive apartment complex. The grass is always cut short and is adorned with low trees and flower gardens. The entire lot sits on land that is about four feet above the sidewalk, walled within white brick confines. The crows flock to the branches of the trees, filling up the empty spaces like small gargoyles perched on a building's ledge. There are usually half a dozen to a dozen of them and they wait in the trees until the man throws a peanut, then it's a war of the wings, every crow from himself. The champion gets the peanut and flies back to an empty branch and while holding the peanut under its foot the crow hammers the shell with his beak until it cracks open and he gets the prize inside. This goes on until the bus comes. Before the man boards he gives one last toss of a handful of peanuts to the lawn which sends the crows into a final fury.

This morning I spoke to him. Just as the bus was approaching I asked, "Do you feed the crows every morning?" He smiled slightly and said, "Every morning for the past four years." He went on to say, "It started off as just an experiment but when that experiment was over, the crows kept coming. Every morning when I would arrive to the bus stop the crows would slowly start to come and fill the trees. They'd just sit there, looking at me. It was disturbing so I started feeding them again, and I've never stopped." I said, "That's remarkable. I love crows. They're so smart." The man stared past me this time and said, "It took me a while to get used to them. As a child I was very frightened of them." I said, "They do have a reputation of being creepy, I guess it doesn't help that a group of them is called a Murder." He shook his head and said, "No, that doesn't help at all."

We boarded the bus and sat across from each other in the back, and like every morning he pulled out the newspaper and began to read.

Posted 11.14.2008 4:18:19 PM

N@ wrote:
I pulled my head out of Buffy to read this.

It made me remember people go outside and have interactions with others.

But then the next episode started.
Posted 11/14/2008 4:22:49 PM
Doll wrote:
LOL. Yeah, and check your voicemail woman! We want to do Pictionary tonight! oh it's SO ON.
Posted 11/14/2008 4:25:14 PM
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