Living in the big city is weird. (If you’re about to poo-poo this blog post by snarkily retorting “big city? did she just say ‘big city’?  I live in San Francisco! Now that’s a city!” If, in fact, just said that, you probably also just spit over your left shoulder and threw up the peace sign… just to make yourself look more city slicker-esque) (that’s right, I just threw “esque” onto the end of a word)  Life’s a little different here.

For example: Just 3 hours ago, a firetruck / ambulance combo visited our apartment neighborhood (and for the 6th time, I might add) and took our downstairs neighbor to the hospital (Before you ask, the answer’s no. I still don’t know why this gal is a frequent flyer to the ambulance club.  I just creep through the window and see the whole thing as a casual bystander). There are also no cows within a 20 mile radius, and that’s just not acceptable.

Hang on, there is a man yelling some words I’ve never heard before outside of my apartment (how comforting). I’m going to close the window to muffle the noise. Maybe it will mix with the pounding bass from next door and make my living room into some crazy dance party hall. (If that happens, I’m putting in earplugs and going to bed. I have to work tomorrow)

This evening, drawn by the beautiful sunshine and pleasant breeze… (and missing the sprawling 40 acres of Chase-o-topia) I struck out to find a tree to sit under, a pond to gaze at, and some ducks at which to throw rocks. Our apartment is not big enough for such luxuries, so I grabbed my car keys and set out.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought. My quest lasted about 10 minutes (and it was only that long because of traffic.  That’s another thing about the city I can’t get used to: traffic. Give me an open county road and smashed road-kill any day.) and I found myself at a nearby park, under a tree, next to a lake, with a peanut butter sandwhich, a handful of rocks and a flock of ducks at my disposal. Somehow, after conking a Canada Goose in the head (which was OH so rewarding) and picking up my book to read for a spell (reading “Emma” by Jane Austin. A-Mazing) in the shade of a sprawling oak, I dozed off.

I’d been hoping to watch the sunset… but was awakened an hour later by a pinching feeling on my left hand.  I opened my lids and made direct eye contact with a giant white duck. I don’t know who was more freaked out at this point, but we both shouted, jumped back, and shook our arms/wings at the other to scare them away. I don’t know if it was the fact that I had been reading Emma, or the fact that I was groggy beyond belief, but all I could think to shout was “insufferable!”as I protected my dearly beloved napping spot and book.  We must have been quite a sight: an oddly dressed receptionist with flailing limbs facing off with an average sized, and quite perturbed, white duck.  We were both hissing and circling each other. It was pretty epic. (I realized later that the duck must have been trying to eat the sandwich out of my hand. No wonder he was upset… I had used crunchy peanut butter!)

The duck eventually gave up and dove into the water as I searched through the grass for my car keys (which I later found in my pocket… exactly where I left them). Sadly, I had missed the sunset… but I wasn’t too bummed. I’d stared a duck in the face and lived to tell about it.