A Charles Fort Kind Of Day





This morning I made a comment to an elderly neighbor as an epic storm of disturbed Australian Cockatoos pierced the skies above our inner-urban, leafy suburb of old Melbourne with a furious cacophony of outraged, discordant shrieks.

Any left-over tranquility for my local region had been instantly shattered.

A tranquility which was diligently and silently mapped out inside the heads of early morning joggers, as they traced the boundaries of these maps with their bodies, pushing on through the hushed still-born air, padding down leafy footpaths watched over by ancient oak trees, and rhythmically connecting the dots with drops of sweat, thereby shaping the only conjunction of serenity and sensory delight for that entire region of inner-city Melbourne, at such a raw, unripened hour.

The ritual of Saturday morning serenity in the glowing dawn light, protected by shaded lane-ways and elusive cul de sacs, is bordered by richly perfumed florist shops which always halt me in my tracks to savor the delicate floral fragrances, followed by the delicious, fresh smells emanating from a trio of early morning bakeries, and finally culminating with the heady, addictive vapors of 2 competing Italian Cafes.

It felt like I had uncovered a secret formula embedded in the tar and cement, the bricks and mortar of this matronly old suburb which somehow provided just the right combination of stimulating sensations to create the perfect Saturday morning.

When taken together, as if one had ordered at a fine restaurant, these 3 disparate businesses and their accompanying sensory delights of taste and smell...of texture and sight, formed a unique heady mix which was greater than the sum of its individual components.

They formed a unique, rich mixture made from the traditional, time-honored delights of the inner city, which I had discovered by accident on a better than usual day, merging uniquely into a kind of epicurean tone-poem of sensory delights in the hushed morning air.

Thus remaining the exclusive preserve of those joggers and fitness fanatics who, in order to experience this poem, are willing to drive around at a very early hour, or jog quickly enough to maintain total recall of the sensations evoked by the first two stops, as they simultaneously sit down to savor the third...

This had all been shattered by a swarming, crested cloud of irate cockatoos that had suddenly chosen to invade the oak trees and rooftops, even the footpaths were littered with their frustrations, tantrums and piercing shrieks.

I turned to my neighbor indicating the unusual spectacle of a battalion of wild birds that were so visibly enraged by some calamitous event which had occurred out of sight, that they just ignored all of us humans, as cars began braking and jerking to a crawl, their drivers gaping in disbelief...

I said get out your mobile phone and take a picture...this is not a natural event I said...it could be related to some meteorological event I added.
The similarity to scenes from Hitchcock's horror movie :

"THE BIRDS" was overwhelming, and it stained the entire scenario with a pall of malevolence as surely as does the sight of over-militarized, privatized Policemen, dressed to kill in their finest Kevlar combat gear, who maraud through the public streets in laser-guided tanks and fully armor-plated vehicles...

I could almost reach out and feel the soothing wet touch of ice as it slid along my spine.

This was definitely an event worth recording.

She mumbled a reply and nodded her head.

Now at this point in the conversation I should have left, but it is almost as if i have a radar for these things, and my inbuilt "climate-change denier" alarm was buzzing away merrily in my head...

Alas, over the past 10 years or so I have become increasingly less able to resist the temptations offered up by a nice chat over a tea-pot, with climate-change skeptics.

The lure, the promise that I might be able to take out my moral indignation, sheer bloody frustration and simple anger, by beating another man-made Climate Change skeptic about the head with the tomes of science is simply irresistible...Sigh.

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