green things, feathery things, and my war against human things
I have moments where I feel like waging war against every living thing on this planet. And then I have other moments in which I feel something completely different...
1. A couple weeks ago, I had to visit one of the offices we're closing and bring a bunch of plants over to the office where I work. There were a lot of plants. I was barely able to fit them all on the utility cart. And the plants didn't look all that healthy--like some of them had what appeared to be plant cancer. I was really irritated. "Fuck these diseased-looking things. Why can't we just throw them all away?" A few minutes later I was outside and wheeling the cart full of plants down the sidewalk. I noticed, waiting on the corner for the light to change, how bright and green the plants looked in the sunlight. They had this kind of glow that made me suddenly feel protective of them. San Francisco streets may as well be made of gravel, at this point, so I was slow and careful while pushing the cart across the intersection. Ten minutes later, I was on the 19th floor in my building, transferring the plants from the cart to a long counter next to some windows that get a lot of light throughout the day. By now, all my initial hostility was completely gone. I felt sorry for the plants and hoped for them to pull through and survive their plant cancer.
2. Monday morning, I was doing my walk-thru. 18th floor, 17th floor, then up to 19: just looking around to see if there were any issues to report to the building engineers. Our office is still empty--like the Overlook Hotel in winter. On 19, I approached a window by the patio--and froze. There was this large shape made of feathers perched on the railing. "That's a big fuckin' bird! Is that a hawk? That's a HAWK!" I took a picture through the window, but the picture didn't look all that great. I quietly opened the door, not wanting to startle the hawk. I approached the railing. I was now within five or six feet of the hawk. It swiveled its head and checked me out, like "Good morning, Harold. How's it going?" That thing was fearless and wasn't going to be spooked by the likes of me. I got some nice pics while the hawk continued scoping the street below for breakfast. It was kind of a nice moment, you know? Emerging from the dead, empty office--just me and this hawk relaxing in the cool air and looking out over the city. He was still perched on the railing, when I went back into the office. I stopped by to check on my rescued cancer plants, then finished my walk-thru. But I've been thinking about that hawk all week and keep looking at the pictures.
...Small episodes like these make me re-think the way I think about the world. And then a few hours later, I'm climbing the escalator from BART to the filthy streets and sidewalks and running the gauntlet of bums and drug dealers and San Francisco "progressives" and thinking to myself, "Goddamn, I'd like to drop a bomb on this neighborhood."