City Life

Walking through parts of the downtown area in my city is like walking through a dystopian themed SF movie set these days.

Clue: There’s a LOT of destruction/construction going on.

My ears are assaulted by the background noises like the workings of a frontier space station, where you can’t distinguish individual noises from the wash of white noise but you just know it’s the life-blood of the place and if it ever stopped you’d be in a whole lot of trouble.

The street I’m walking beside is completely encased in concrete and scaffolding. There are waterfalls of stuff that is probably water spouting from above, bouncing off the pavement and running into the shadows. Shadows that exist because the temporary lighting is short-circuiting and flickering out even as I watch.

Remember that scene in ‘Alien’ where the guy with the baseball cap, Brett, is looking for Jones the cat in the cargo bay of the Nostromo? Throw in a few cars whipping past me and spattering the waterfall all over their windshields and you’ve got the picture … all this in broad daylight.

I don’t want to be anywhere near her after the sun goes down. Zombie construction workers anyone?

Echoing throughout the construction canyons is an eerie sound. In the midst of all of these sounds of urban industrialisation is an odd and disturbing organic noise.


I look at the piles of litter that seem to breed in the chain-link fenced off areas. Nothing squarking there. I don’t suppose rats squark … do they? … Nah, but I think I’ll keep on walking, just in case.

Half a block away the construction ends and I’m in a high density residential area and I can still hear the strange sound.


The way the sound distorts all around these towers I’d have to guess a direction, but I can tell that it’s coming from somewhere up above me.

A decade or two ago, this would’ve presented me with a dilemma. Do I stop in the middle of a fairly busy big-city sidewalk and gawk up at the tall shiny hi-rises like a country bumpkin or walk on and pretend that my curiosity wasn’t torturing me? Back then it would’ve been a close call, but now? … of course I did.

Perched on the very edge of a modestly high apartment block was a snow goose, announcing to her beaux that she was of an age and inkling to boogie down and get some serious breeding happening.

So, it turns out that no matter where you find yourself, if you make up your mind about something and honk loud enough, it might just happen.

P.S. It wasn’t as though she was lost, the huge mid city park was just a few short minutes away … as the goose flies.


“Do you realize that in about 40 years, we’ll have thousands of old men and old ladies running around with tattoos and piercings? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!) No! Say it isn’t so!” Author Unknown


8 comments on “City Life

  1. Old ladies and men in tattoos and piercings. hahahaha. I hope I’m alive long enough to see them young’uns….I like the image of a horny goose in the middle of the urban construction. It would make for a nice picture book, PG rated of course.


  2. Urban reconstruction is an ongoing adventure, encouraging hordes of dump trucks to trundle up and down the roads. A couple of years ago, when the economic slowdown hit, construction ground to a halt. Building projects were abandoned and the giant holes that had been dug to cement the foundations became sink-holes that threatened the surrounding roadways and buildings. Now that things have picked up, construction has resumed, and the dust is everywhere.

    Flocks of Canada geese are congregating on buildings, parks and waterways around the city. The goose shit just adds to the ambience.


    • Widdershins says:

      And when those abandoned construction holes fill up with water as they do here, they make wonderful impromptu baths for the seagulls, pigeons and crows.


  3. jannatwrites says:

    Geese in leather chaps? Thanks for that mental image 🙂

    Love must be in the air because we saw 2 pigeons today and my younger son asked why they were fighting. We stared for a bit before my husband said, “um, I don’t think they’re fighting.” That’s where I expertly changed to subject to avoid the inevitable questions that would have followed.


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