ghosted by the owl
Monday, May 25 2020
It being Memorial Day, I fully expected the ammosexuals to start up early down at the bus turnaround. But they didn't begin until about 1:00pm. I grabbed my megaphone and ran down the Stick Trail to the spot I'd intended to harrangue from yesterday evening. I then let loose with my usual insults and insinuations. The shooting stopped, but not before a few rounds of "fuck you" shots, one of which sounded like it richoeted off some pieces of metal (a guard rail?). One of the things I most resent about this conflict is that the fuckers I am dealing with are heavily armed, and my only means of resistance is harrassment. The fight is inherently unfair, and I have to have faith that they won't have a sudden muderous impulse. Based on the way these people have trashed the bus turnaround, there's little reason to have faith in them as civilized in any way.
I'd run across my owl friend again on that outing, so later this afternoon I set out with just my headphones and camera. By then, the owl was no longer using that single-note deep whistle I'd heard him or her make yesterday. Today the call was a standard barred-owl hoot, the one that goes like "hoo-hoo hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo, hoo-hooooooooo!" The owl initially did this from nearby, and it only seemed fair that I reply in kind. I could do an approximate of this call by whistling, but it was hard to whistle such low notes very loudly. So I whistled it one or two octaves higher, where it sounded ridiculous. My owl friend was not impressed, and ghosted me after that. I then heard hooting in the distance, but the owl might've been a quarter mile away.
As I returned home, I saw Gretchen and Powerful coming towards me on the Stick Trail. Gretchen has been trying to get Powerful to exercise more to improve his cardiovascular health, and he's been willing to do more walking (and biking) in recent days.
As I returned home, the shooting at the bus turn around began again. I'd been drinking since the earlier incident, so I was feeling bold and indestructable. So I went running south down the Gullies Trail (which took me closer to the actual shooters), shouting into my megaphone "I'm coming in hot!" as I did. The sound of my heckling growing steadily louder should've skeeved the shooters out, but they didn't immediately leave. While I was doing this, I saw Gretchen and Powerful returning nortward on the Stick Trail, so I had Gretchen contribute her vocals to the auditory barrage. Her tact was more angry local citizen than crazy maniac, and she talked about how people up here had sick relatives and needed peace and quiet. That second voice seemed to be the nail in the coffin of that particular shooting session.
Back at the house, I jumped in the bathtub with the remains of a Modelo beer I'd started. I'd just finished running the water when Gretchen came into the bathroom with my childhood friend Nathan and his wife Janine on the phone (we'd tried to call them one or two Saturdays ago). We ended up chatting for something like two hours about our various lives and how things have been for us during the pandemic. Both Nathan and Janine have been working from home in house with two young teenagers (one of whom they adopted several years ago). Their social life is limited, they say, to a occasional socially-distant beers out on the front porch. But Charlottesville has largely been spared the infection rates of the northeast megalopolis hot zone (with us living in its northwest fringe). By this point, my voice was pretty much trashed from all the crazed yelling I'd been doing into the megaphone.
The owl today, with a backdrop of leaves belonging to a northern red oak.
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