Critters Places

Sound washing around you

My broadband is out this morning and I came down to Panera Bread (St. Louis Bread Company) for a latte and a small loaf of asagia cheese bread. I’m finding it pleasant to catch up on my weblog reading and email, sipping good coffee from a large, white china mug, and nibbling at my excellent treat. More, I’m enjoying the noise around me as I type away. I miss this by working at home–not the direct interaction with people, which is nice in its own right but is a different thing; the background sounds of people chatting, washing around you like a gentle river.

Yesterday, I spent several hours happily working on the CSS for a couple of different sites, discovering that I really enjoy tweaking and fixing other people’s pages more than my own. So many hours in fact that I was late to get out for my evening walk and had to rush down to the park in the twilight. When I got there, the last people were leaving, carrying flashlights to light their way. It wasn’t so dark that you couldn’t see the path but I cut my walk short to just the one path, and only one lap.

The nice thing about walking in the dark is that all the energy of your mind that’s normally directed to your eyes can get re-directed to your ears and you’re treated to a symphany of night sounds you just don’t hear when the lights are on. Various chirps and breeks and clicks, not to mention rustles of sound in the leaves and the bushes. An occasional something falls down, probably seeds or loose branches. I would never walk at night in the woods on uneven ground, but you’re okay in a park near the city. At least, this park, in this part of the city.

Except for the webs. In the dark you can’t see a newly spun web, and there’s few things worse than walking into a web. I brushed convulsively about me to make sure I had picked up no spiders and hastened my steps as if to get that much further from what is probably a teeny, tiny arachnid.

“Ewww, ewww, ewww, ewww!”

The late night forest sound of a woman running into a spider web in the dark.

Headed back to my car past the pop machines I stopped suddenly when I spotted a large racoon in front of me, it’s back to me as it snooped around looking for dropped food. It reached the end of the machines and turned back, spotting me as it turned. Its reaction was hilarious, as it tensed up and the fur around its neck fluffed out and its eyes popped. If a cartoon bubble had appeared out of nowhere above its heads with the word, “Eeeek!” in it, I wouldn’t have been a surprised. I shouldn’t have laughed, human laughter can be a frightening thing to an animal, but couldn’t help myself it was that funny looking. Scared the poor thing away.

This morning I was going to write about a couple of articles I found on the CBS memos and Iraq, the Missouri voters, and ‘man speak’, but there’s something about sipping a latte in a white china mug, listening to the murmer of happy, active voices around me, all against a background of soft jazz that just makes you want to write about something experiential.

No wonder poets spend so much time in cafes.

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