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Misfit / Außenseiter
cliff dive
Image by Georg Schwalbach (GS1311)
Feral pigeons, also called city doves, city pigeons or street pigeons, are derived from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild Rock Pigeon, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. All three types readily interbreed. Feral pigeons find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for sea cliffs, and have become adapted to life and are abundant in towns and cities all over the world.

(Wikipedia)

– – –

Die Stadttaube oder Straßentaube (Columba livia forma domestica) ist ein Vogel aus der Familie der Tauben (Columbidae). Sie stammt von der Felsentaube (Columba livia) ab, die als Haustaube in Gefangenschaft gehalten und gezüchtet wird und dann wieder verwildert ist. Sie ist in Städten in weiten Teilen der Welt verbreitet.

(Wikipedia)


cliff dive
Image by wakingphotolife:
Notes to self / Personal warm – up / Random:

* It hung in the air, way above the parking lot tree line, and had the faint gray outline of wings or propellers. I thought it was a helicopter because of the way it was suspended motionless. If it was a plane it would have been moving. Propellers then. Because it was only a black dot from where I was watching it, I imagined that it was far away. Then it dove. Was the helicopter in the middle of a crash? Maybe some rotors failed. It happened very quickly and I braced for the sound of distant destruction.

It descended into the tree branches and I saw some of the leaves shake. It turned out to be a humming bird. If it was a helicopter, it would have taken its time and spun on the way down. This one dove straight and humming birds never spin in circles do they.

* I was typing and having coffee at Seattle’s Best, the one inside Borders, when someone approached me. I noticed him looking around. He was dirty, like the boy who constantly had dust falling off him, Pig-Sty, and couldn’t have been more than 23 or 24 years old. Or even younger than that but I wasn’t sure. It’s hard to tell the age of white people in their twenties. Some 18 year olds look as if they are 30 or more. He was wearing a dirty beige parka, stained jeans and tattered Chuck Taylors.
"Can you do me a huge favor. It’ll save my life," he said.
I thought for a few seconds. Should I? Should I not? If he was going to ask for my money so that he could get some gas or make a phone call, I would have said no: I left my wallet in the car, I don’t have any change, I only have my credit card with me; if you can swipe, I can help but I’m sorry. Seeing that I was thinking, he said, "I’m trapped here."
I thought about this too. We were in a bookstore, Borders, there were plenty of people and they had not closed yet. What do you mean you’re trapped. "Please…," he said.
"Sure," I said, "What can I do for you?"
I was sitting down, he was standing. He took a seat next to me and I caught a whiff coasting off his shoulder. He smelled like homeless folk.
"Can you help me get on Myspace or Facebook?"
"Um…what do you need?"
"I hitchiked here and lost my phone. I really need to email someone. I need to talk to them but I lost my phone."
"Sure."

This wasn’t such a big deal I thought. But, I did not give my computer to him. I saved my google documents, logged out and closed the window. Then I scooted my laptop to the center of the tall round table and angled the screen towards him.
"Here, you can log yourself in."
He looked at me. "Can you do it for me? You’re hella faster."
This was strange indeed.
"Okay. What’s your email?"
"It’s _______@hotmail.com."
"What?"
He spelled it out for me, one letter at a time. "At hotmail."
"Your password?" I took my hands off the keyboard and looked at him.
"It’s ______", he said. He spelled this out too, one letter at time.
Strange indeed. Here I am, trusting him with computer, and here he is, trusting me with his password. When Firefox asked if I would like to remember this password or not, I said "Not now." I suppose this was an exchange of trust. Hitch-hikers weren’t as secretive as I thought.

"Where did you hitch-hike from?" I asked while waiting for the screen to load.
"Mendocino."
"I see."
Mendocino is up north. In the real and legitimate Northern California. The true geographical Nor-Cal. It was an eight hour drive from here. Almost the same distance it would take to get to Los Angeles down south. I imagined it would have taken him a few days hitch-hiking (including the time spent waiting on the side of the highway with his thumb up).

Either the password he gave me or the log-in was wrong. "It’s not working. Here. Why dont you try it?"
He typed in his information, one character at a time, to the same result. "I don’t know why it’s not going through," he said.

So we tried Myspace but it was still the same.

"I really need to email a friend on there."
I took a breath. "Why don’t we do this? I can log and send whoever is your friend, a message through my own Facebook."
"You can do that?"
"Yeah."
"You don’t have to be on their friend’s list?"
"No. You don’t."
"Okay. Let’s try that."
I typed as fast I could through the log-in screen. The kind of typing I do when I don’t care about typos.
"You’re hella quick," he said.
"What’s your friend’s name?"
"It’s Shelbie."
"What’s her last name?’
"It’s _______"
We looked through the list that came up. "Is it this one?" I pointed at a photo of a girl with dyed red hair, a stack of raver bracelets, and a fir collared coat, taken in front of her computer, likely with a webcam. She was from El Cajon, all the way by San Diego, and worked at an Auto Zone.
"Yeah that’s her," he said.
"Alright. What do you want me to say?"
"Can you say, ‘I’ve lost my phone. I need Hannah’s home number. So Hannah should call Robert. Thanks.’" he said.
"By the way, what’s your name?" I had not asked for his name up until this point.
"It’s Drew."
"Okay."

So here’s what I said, "’I am emailing this for Drew. He asked me for help from a Borders. He wants to say: I’ve lost my phone. I need Hannah’s home number. So Hannah should call Robert. Thanks.’"

"You’re awesome man."
"Don’t worry about it."
"Can you message Hannah too?"
So I searched Hannah ______ up and told her the same, more or less, on behalf of Drew.
"What are you going to do?" I asked.
"I’m staying with a friend here but I don’t have my phone and don’t have any of their numbers. I need to talk to them."
"Well, it’s done."
"Thanks so much. You saved my life," he said.
I wondered if he really meant it, or it was just an exagerrated expression of gratitude. I wanted to ask how I had saved his life but didn’t. Where are you going next? To Shelbie? Hannah? To El Cajon or back to Mendocino (hitch-hikers rarely return to where they started I guessed), or even Mexico (no, too dangerous).
I didn’t offer to shake his hand, I was eating a pastry, and he left. "What’s your name?"
"Long."
"Thanks Long. I really owe you big time."
"Take care and good luck Drew," I said.
You don’t owe me anything. You won’t be able to pay what you owe anyway.

After Drew left, Shelbie sent me a Facebook message: "Okay, I will let her know that she needs to call."
I ran out to look for Drew and his dusty khaki parka, just to let him know that she responded but he was nowhere to be found.

I called you the day after and told you about it even though you didn’t sound too interested.
"That’s so risky. I wouldn’t have helped him," you said.
"I guess not."
"I suppose not. He said he was trapped."
"In a bookstore?"
"Yeah. I guess so."

* "What? Your ipod’s broken?"
"Yeah. Even though I’ve charged the battery, it runs out after just like two songs."
"No worries. I’ll keep sending you music."

Feral Pigeons / Stadttauben
cliff dive
Image by Georg Schwalbach (GS1311)
Feral pigeons, also called city doves, city pigeons or street pigeons, are derived from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild Rock Pigeon, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. All three types readily interbreed. Feral pigeons find the ledges of buildings to be a substitute for sea cliffs, and have become adapted to life and are abundant in towns and cities all over the world.

(Wikipedia)

– – –

Die Stadttaube oder Straßentaube (Columba livia forma domestica) ist ein Vogel aus der Familie der Tauben (Columbidae). Sie stammt von der Felsentaube (Columba livia) ab, die als Haustaube in Gefangenschaft gehalten und gezüchtet wird und dann wieder verwildert ist. Sie ist in Städten in weiten Teilen der Welt verbreitet.

(Wikipedia)

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