It ran around without any apparent sense of purpose or direction, the golden bundle of sniffing fur, stopping here, sniffing there. A ‘Dougal dog’ from the Magic Roundabout whatever that is or so I’ve been told.Full of the sense of freedom that all animals seem to enjoy so much when, at last, they can have four paws on the grassy ground and be away from the four walls of the master’s box, the disturbingly boring energies of the television with it’s expensively ear numbing multi channel sound system, the late night CD music, the endless monotony of the colour scheme, the tedium of waiting for the master to return from work. So, it ran around playing tag with the pollen mixing amidst the dust speckles that were highlighted by the morning sun,swirling and shifting them in air currents like a canine Jackson Pollock.
He just stood there. He was trying to remember where he'd left his brain. On the pillow? In the dvd from the previous night?Still locked into the dream, fantasy, that had electrified the neuron messengers during his unconscious state of sleep? What was that dream?Why had it left him so restless?
Oh,Oh, whistle the dog, going too near the road!
Yes. What was that dream? Today he has to get that report finished. The boss will be screaming at him again. What was the wording he had about those fissures that appeared in the bridge supports?
It's a beautiful morning this morning. The sun is already well up on the horizon. He probably wouldn't ever notice it if the dog didn't drag him out early. Amazing how the sun's position changes over the months. Two months ago it would just be showing it's full circle over the horizon, clouds permitting.If he didn't have a dog, he could have another 40 minutes of sleep and finish his dream. What was that dream? Why was he in that strange place with all those faces glaring at him? Still, if he didn't have the dog, hell, it would be a damned lonely apartment to come home to. It's a stupid way to live. Up in the morning, dog for a walk, off to work, home afterwards, dog for a walk,cook the meal, read the book or watch the t.v.,dog for a walk, go to bed. To bed. To dream. It was a blue room, with pink curtains, and all those strange faces glaring at him?
6-50. Time to go or he’ll be late for work. 'Here boy, good dog, come on'.
07-15. It's getting warmer now. The sun is driving away the dew-dampness and warming everything around like some enormous convector heater. Clear sky. It's going to be another hot one today. Hope it doesn't reach the near forties like yesterday. Goodness knows, that was hot enough. Thank God there was that slight breeze. Mustn't forget, it's nearly 07-20 and he'll be here in a minute.
Wowwww, see that?
They nearly hit each other. I don't understand what is so difficult about driving those cars with sufficient distance between each other. It's amazing how they manage to miss each other when they are so close. Damned nuisance really, I have to put up with their noise, and fumes, all day and sometimes late into the night. Endlessly revving their engines as they stop and wait at the traffic lights, like greyhounds growling at an electric rabbit as they wait to come out of the traps.
Look at that walk, I mean, just look at it. It's like a sergeant major drilling the squad. So precise the rhythm, so exact, the length of pace almost measured with a tape measure each time and to within three millimeters plus/minus tolerance I’ll bet. The back straight, the chest out, the head high. I wonder what it's like to live in the same home as him. I bet everything is in it's own, very precise place. The breakfast table laid out like a strategic command centre's planning map: what's the campaign today? Move the milk and another infantry battalion goes into battle, shift the sugar bowl and another tank corps advances forward.Accidentally knock the teacup over and we've got a replica of the Somme.
But he never stops! He never, ever stops.
Ah, he's moving again. Faster pace, quick march! Bent slightly forward.On the double, now.
There it comes the long red cigar with windows. On the double. On the double.What's he been doing, he never wears the same suit two days in a row? He never stops, always the same pace, the same route, the same bus. He's alright, he's made it in time. Maybe he's not alright. Maybe he's sick or something.Strange behaviour. Stopping. He never stops.
I hope he is alright. He seems to be a nice, calm man. I get good vibrations from him, I sense that he is always happy, even over-awed, by the beauty of the park, the persistence of the plants and trees. A bit regimented, disciplined, but I get the sense that it's just his way of coping with the necessity of the work routine. Maybe that is why he likes the park, the ordered structure of nature appeals to his sense of the necessity for order and discipline in life. I hope he's not sick. It's just not like him to stop. Maybe he's got a lot of worries. Perhaps his wife, or a child, is not well and he has had to leave them at home on their own. Yes. That's it. That's why he stopped. Pang of conscience, moment of doubting, of indecision. Maybe he shouldn't go to work today if he has someone sick at home. Well, he must be in his middle or late fifties, so if he has a wife she will probably be around the same age. I can't see him being married to some young dolly bird or something like that. Yes. He stopped to re-consider, evaluate the probabilities, make a calm and deliberate decision in the relatively tranquil surroundings of the park. I hope his wife is not too sick.
Of course, he could simply have stopped because he had indigestion. Got up a little late, been up in the night because his wife was a little sick. Yes, that would explain him wearing the same suit as yesterday, he just grabbed the nearestthings. Rushed his breakfast. That type always eat their breakfast, they know the importance of going into battle properly equipped, gun loaded, boots polished, helmet on. Yes, he would have eaten his breakfast, rushing it, gulping it down.Indigestion, wind in the gut, must stop for a moment.Yes. That's the explanation.
All the same, I hope that neither he nor his wife are sick, or any of his children if he has children.He seems such a nice, calm man. That is not to say that if he wasn't a nice man then he would deserve to be sick. No. That is not my meaning. No-one deserves to be sick, not even that drunken sod in the middle of the night, last night. He was well gone. Still, there's no need to piss his alcohol-poisoned piss all over the tree next to us. Well, anyway, even he doesn't deserve to be sick and certainly the nice man in the grey double-breasted suit doesn't deserve to be sick. No-one does.
Noisy devil. So who's got a new car then? Got a replacement train set. We've got a nice, new, scratchy sounding horn to match the nice, new, glossy metallic paintwork, haven't we?Got to attract everybody's attention, even if the traffic light is red. Hoot. Hoot.Look at my nice new car! The man obviously hasn't got an Audi, or seen the Audi advert. What does it say? Oh yes, some drivers are like boys and some are like responsible fathers.
Aha! Serves you right, you ego-centered maniac.
Stalled on the green! Ha. Not quite got accustomed to your new car yet, have you? There is a justice after all. I bet he'll be in a bad mood when he gets to work, especially if any of his workmates, colleagues, associates have seen this.No use having a nice, shiny new car if you don't know how to drive it, is it?I can hear the sarcastic comments even now, imagine the inner rage he will feel. All that money just to be humiliated.So, don't sound your horn unless you need too, we can all see that you've taken out an even bigger loan than before so that you could get the latest status symbol.Hoot. Hoot. Yeah, that's a 'hoot' alright. Embarrassed by your own ego.
I hope the sergeant-major is alright, I have a strange feeling about him today. I'm probably just disconcerted by his slightly abnormal behaviour pattern.
The human life of the park really starts a little after 05-00, when the first stirring forms start to criss cross their way through, negotiating the various pathways and, sometimes, just crumpling across the grass. Most of the people, in those early morning hours, don't really show very much interest in the magnificent creative beauty that is freely available. Occasionally, a person will stop to study some recent progress in nature: perhaps a new flower has opened fully, or a group of birds are holding a conference, even stopping to observe the individual progress of a branch as the spring rushes into full glory.
It all seems to happen so quickly here. Within the space of aboutten days, skeleton trees and bushes suddenly become bedecked in royal robes of fresh, sparkling greens. The northern latitude compresses the life-filling seasons into short, but highly active, periods. The long, cold, frosty winters - with their own special snow covered splendour - fight to stay here, reluctant travelers not wishing to leave this haven. When, eventually, the winter has grossly overstayed it's welcome, if it ever had one, the spring hastens in with a real sense of urgency.
In the high summer the human life of the park seldom stops at all, since there is almost twenty four hour daylight and it hardly really goes dark. Occasionally, in the high summer heat haze, we can see mirage like reflections, an overhead mirror, giving us glimpses of the city itself. It has changed considerably over the past ten years. Old areas of the city, for example, have undergone massive modernisation and change. Old apartment blocks and empty wasteland have been transformed by new buildings, shopping centres, living places. So close to the city centre this area is well positioned to offer economical living standards with it's profusion of low price shops, a price war instigated and motivated by the immigrant influx into the area, and it's proximity to the central hub of the city.
The park where I live is called Munchin Park. It is a pleasant cultural and recreation area. In the immediate vicinity it boasts the University Botanical Gardens, and a large artists' culture house, which is really a community of studios were many artists work. We have the famous Museum gazing at us from the other side of one main road. There are other roads so that, at my end of the park, I actually have roads on three sides of the park perimeter. They all become metal snakes in the morning and evening rush hours, twisting slowly and shimmering.
We have the shopping centre, the University Press publishing house, and some local government offices. Within the park perimeter we also have public swimming pools, both outdoor and indoor, which are a haven of recreational activity in the summer as well as being quite moderately attended during the winter months. Sauna and sun-tan facilities are a big attraction in the coldness of winter.Deep in the rock and earth beneath us, the subway runs. An efficient and low cost public service, like all these transportation forms in any large city it is a total enigma when you first start to travel upon it. Within a short time, however, you soon learn to move around the city with appreciable efficiency and very appreciable economy..
I, like all my friends and relatives, never journey beyond the park. We never have any need to do so. We have everything we need here and a continuous, endless, parade of humanity allows us immeasurable entertainment. The more serious amongst us tend to wish to view this kaleidoscope of humanity from a deep philosophical standpoint. Others of our number are deeply engrossed in academic study upon the subject. My cousin, for example, has been conducting a comparative study between the activities of the humans that come to the park, and the activities of the ants which have a colony near the base of his tree. His general view, to date, is that humans are amazingly complex and contradictory creatures. They live, for example, in social groups, societies, but do not yet appear to have developed the sense of co-operation and inter-dependence that the ants demonstrate.
However, I would have to be honest and tell you that there are some rather weird,strange,peculiar,hmmm, what is that word I’m looking for? Maybe eccentric.No. Oh yeah, irrational,that’s the word,irrational. Yes, there are some rather irrational aspects,outstandingly irrational aspects, to human behavior. One that springs immediately to mind is that in the mid-morning, even in the heavy humid heat-burdened weather,there comes a woman in some kind of military uniform. She goes up and down the road sticking labels on cars,only cars never on the long red cigar things. I think that’s real weird,I mean, she wouldn’t have to walk about in the heat so much if she stuck all these labels on the bus.
What is this with the human love of labels? If you had been here earlier, about 06-15, I could have shown you another label lover. He runs up and down the paths through the park, up and down, up and down. Just once in a while he could change it and go down and up, but not him,no,no,no. Up and down. Anyway, this guy is always running where people are walking. When the wind has been in the right direction I have heard a few comments from some of the walkers who are going across the park. In brief, I was going to say in short but that was too much linkage to his garments, ah, but then, so I suppose is in brief. Hell. Language is such an inadequate tool sometimes. Anyway, this guy seems to love to expend energy like the woman in the uniform, but he doesn’t go sticking labels on cars or bus’s or stuff like that.He,apparently if I understand this correctly, has a penchant for sticking designer labels on his clothes. Now,some of these walker whisperings I have heard about this guy seem to imply that he must have a lot of money because of these labels he sticks on. Even more eccentric is that he seems to have spent much buying these designer labels only to remove most of his garments when it’s getting to hot. Now, the thing that is really really really, I mean really,weird,irrational is that it seems he has paid a lot of money to have designer labels printed on his body. I have heard that he has a woman’s face brand label on his stomach,some name ‘kylie luvme’ or something like that.He’s got labels all over the place.He puts them on and even when he’s taken some of them off,he still has some carved on his body.
Strange behavior. A little like those who come here into the park cutting labels into the trees. I have misunderstood an important life-lesson or something that is connected with this label compulsion?
It doesn’t do anything for me but then I am not in the advertising branch so maybe there’s some significance to it that is not, as they say, relevant to my pay grade.
I, however, have no wish to become embroiled in such serious matters as my cousin or some of the others. I am perfectly content to be here, observing all the diverse activities and,I must confess, being amused by some of the behavioural patterns. Simply being my inoffensive me and watching this great spectacle of existence, life, going on all around me is absolutely a full time experience.In my more serious moments - yes, I do have them - I must confess to being somewhat deeply perplexed by one aspect of human existence, namely, there does seem to be little joy in being who or what they are, as a general rule. Generalisations, I know, can be dangerous and there are always exceptions to the rule, so you must use your own judgmental abilities upon my generalisations. Humans seem to spend a great deal of energy trying to be something they are not.
This seems to me to be such a sad thing, this exhausting process of performing, as it appears to me that they only need to be themselves. I find each of these human beings to be so wonderfully fascinating in their complexity, fine and beautiful examples of the physical achievements of nature and creation. They seem to possess certain characteristics of emotion and thought that, if really developed, could indeed make them the most superior creature in creation. So often, however, they appear to be overly obsessed with the opinions of others in relation to self and self-image.That labelling compulsion again in a somewhat more convoluted form. I think I am beautiful - so I am beautiful. It doesn't matter to me whether all my friends, relatives, acquaintances, strangers, even label-stickers think I am beautiful or not. I am as I was created and thus have a dignity, a beauty in being myself. I do not have a problem with my identity. Others may have a problem understanding who I am, what I am, but that is their problem not mine. I am me, little, happy, contented, sun-loving,colourful me. Sitting on my tree in the Park.
© Copyright 2016 Geoff Groom. All rights reserved.