to the south lies the concrete and halogen, amid endless ribbons of traffic. the fuss and commotion creates a constant buzzing in the ears, like a black fly hatch that never ends. seldom is a solo venture truly solo. often, there is an interminable wait for someone to move or the light to turn green. when movement comes, it is fleeting. the light turns red and the wait is renewed.
it is a place where goodness and badness intermingle and a million agendas co-exist and clash and confuse.
me? i live here, where the wilderness begins out my front door and only one stop light can impede your movements between silver bay and the canadian border. there is a sense of comfort; there is no sense of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
granted, the city has culture. me? i have new picture windows.
the other day i was out on my bike, trying to fend off old age and morbid obesity when a part of the city came to tofte. it was a tightly wrapped blue bag, positioned in the grass, right off the onion river road. my initial hunch should have sufficed, but the biologist in me needed empirical proof, so i inspected it. it was a tightly wrapped blue bag of dog poop. here, on the cusp of the boreal forest where the earth reclaims all that pass through or stumble.
dog poop in a plastic bag.
of course, i immediately sought the logic of that move. the pooch has to go and as is the canids wont, does so and then scratches his feet with joyful pride. somewhere in his recesses, he thinks he should get a treat. his owners, out of habit or a poor sense of reality, bag the bundle, look around, don’t see a waste basket, so leave it there.
“someone will pick this up, won’t they honey?”
“i’m pretty sure they will.”
“good, let’s go get some scones.”
for some reason, that just kind of grinds my lower colon. the owners (the square pegs) have thrust their sense of civility onto the boreal forest (the round hole). it is a bad fit…just like the smell of perfume or cologne on the cross-country ski trail (you might smell good, but you still suck as a skier), or being passed on a gravel road by someone who absolutely has to get into the wilderness so they can relax for 3 days, prior to returning to the concrete and halogen.
of course, maybe my story isn’t based on reality and instead, is a misdirected interpretative retelling. the real story is that the owners picked up the bag and tucked it into a pocket, but the pocket was full of scones and so, the bag fell out. they didn’t realize they didn’t have the bag until they got back to their condo and by then, they had eaten so many scones they had to take a nap and once the ambien kicked in, they forget they left the bag, or that they even had a dog, and so when they woke up, the dog had shit on the carpet and they were back at square one.
except this time, they took the tightly wrapped blue bag with them when they returned to the concrete and halogen and endless ribbons of traffic.