A flock of odd colored birds follow you everywhere…
Last week, it was odd—at least I thought it odd—when I recalled these seagulls seemingly chasing me, staying in my shadow. Maybe, I was in their shadow. It was odd. Oh, I said that. Well, it really was. It was odd to the point of being downright scary. I don’t rightly know, I’m not a psychologist, a philosopher or I wouldn’t rightly know how to interpret the whole bird deal. It was odd for a couple of reasons, no, for a whole bunch of reasons. You see, I am a mad Mountain bike rider. I mean that I am a rather enthusiastic Mountain biker, not an insane biker. Actually, I would have to say that there was a degree of insanity involved, but that is entirely different (at least I hope). I was biking, biking and biking. At first it was merely for exercise. I had left pretty early in the morning. Joan, my wife had packed me a lunch, something she never does. Joan also warned that my saddle (my bike seat might feel a bit heavier than normal. She said that she stuck four 12 oz. energy bars there. This didn’t really do anything since I had long ago understood what the human body could take and should take in these long and grueling programs. I knew that it took a lot out of me, but I didn’t know that it took a lot out of the people I cared most for, as well. Okay, I admit it. Joan wasn’t really my wife. I mean, we never really did get married in a church. Joan and I sorta had a common law marriage thing going. I think that bond was and is stronger, in many ways? Anyhow, the birds…It was odd. I took off one morning, Joan had packed, oh you know…and I got going, going and going. I was going pretty much faster than my Mountain bike had carried me, except for some of those instances when I was in races and on a downhill turn or something. I noticed these seagulls were following me, odd eh? Well, I didn’t really take a lot of it. Frankly, I still don’t. It is kinda odd that they looked almost camouflaged. But, like I said, I didn’t really take much note of them. Maybe, they weren’t even seagulls at all. I am not a real bird enthusiast, but I can tell if a bird looks like the trees or blue like the skies. Besides, all of the seagulls I had ever seen were white. I though seagulls were white. I don’t know why I was thinking camouflaged seagulls. By then, I had eaten most of the sandwich that Joan had fixed and I was getting thirsty. I had some more of that energy water, or at I thought I did. I hadn’t taken a whole lot of not of the camouflaged seagulls. But, I knew that I was making great time and it didn’t really seem that I was doing a lot of sweating. Twenty miles out my front tire blew. I hopped off my bike, gee, this hadn’t happened in a long while. Glue, glue, I couldn’t find any glue. Then, I found some on a piece of paper under the seat. When I picked it out…swooom…one of the camouflaged seagulls stole it right from between my left pointy-finger and thumb. I don’t know when I’d ever been so pissed. I turned a whole blue and then a red. How do I know I turned blue and red? I don’t know, I just do. The seagull knew that I was really pissed. I am not sure if he was trying to remedy the situation or if he was trying to make me more pissed. But, as I was inspecting the leak in the tube I saw that it wasn’t really that bad. Sill holding it out, the bird mad a perfect squirt the size of a buffalo head nickel right on the hole. I swear that I saw the bird wink with one eye as it flew away to join the others. Not being a total idiot, I slapped a patch on the quickly drying “shit hole.” Twenty miles? I guess I had about another twenty back. I wasn’t sweating, I wasn’t really tired. No, I wasn’t tired at all. But, I had this piece of…I had this inner tube. I didn’t really want to chance another blow out. I started back, I noticed that the camouflaged seagulls were still there. However, one clearly stood as the picture of Anton Chekhov, the author of The Seagull. So, I was on this Mountain bike, 20 miles away. I was now forced to go back. Before I hopped on the bike again, I took another swallow of energy drink. I looked over my shoulder the seagulls were right there just behind me and a little farther back was Anton, Anton Chekhov. It was odd. I wondered why I wasn’t tired. Why wasn’t I sweating? The fact that my speedometer wasn’t there didn’t surprise me at all. I figured that Joan had taken it off for some odd reason. That was one of the great things about her; she did these little unique things that …it just made me love her even more. I looked over my shoulder again just to see if Anton and the boys were still back there. They were back there. Well, Anton had moved up and towards the middle. Oh, I say boys…I don’t really have a clue as to whether they were boys, girls or friggin’ hermaphrodites. Hmm, we—I mean I, probably had about 10 miles to go. It was kinda odd, that in the 30 some odd miles there had not been any hills to speak of. In fact, there hadn’t been any, at least yet. There were still about 10 miles, but since there hadn’t been many or any up to this point, I figured that it would probably be more or less the same. I had biked this route, or what I thought this route was; what it should have been? I had biked it a thousand times. Ten miles was nothing. But none of this looked even remotely familiar. I looked back and the camouflaged seagulls they were there. But, there were probably 50% more. Flying high were what seemed to be the seagulls of life…wait “The Seagulls of life?” That sounds a bit philosophical. Anyhow, there were “The Seagulls of death.” By now, this was just blowing my mind and I wanted to get back to Joan. Even though I tried picking up my pace, it seemed fruitless. I wasn’t going any faster. Anton and the seagulls pulled up closer. They were still a hundred meters off, or so., but they clearly weren’t making any effort to stay behind. Finally, for the first time in 40 miles I saw a sign. It said “Allentown 10km.” This was Great I thought! And then, I noticed that some of the signs had been in Kms and some in miles. My elation just kind of drained from my body. I slowed; stopped and took a seat on the grass. The seagulls slowed and pulled back. Anton was puzzled. A minute later I was still sitting there and Anton Chekhov flew over, he asked in a Russian accent, “What now?” as if I were contemplating something and was about to make some grand decision. I guess, I guess I’ll be heading back. Joan expects me. Life must go on. I guess that is what Anton wanted to hear. He said, “Wake up from this dream.” Unfortunately, I was still riding a bike with a shit hole in it and…the good thing is that I was home. I had never left and I was still in bed. I was in bed with my common law wife. When she put the sandwiches and that bottle of energy water in my lunchbox, I took it out and tossed it. The other gulls had fled. I studied The Seagull in school, wasn’t that life and death premises sort of central?


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