Distant churblings

I’d planned a longish walk*, for today — down Bucketwheel, across Leg In Boot Square, and back round Moberly Road, with frequent stops for birdly investigations — but my plans were obstructed by a public spitter. He’d parked his car smack bang outside my building, between me and my intended route, and there he leant, swigging from a water bottle and spitting on the ground. He spat and spat, making the most egregious squelch, squelch, ptooees. He spat between his teeth, and the water squirted in bifurcated streams: he must’ve had a tooth with gaps on either side of it, so he could spit like that. He only paused in his spitting to clear his throat loudly and repeatedly, no doubt coughing up all manner of ghastly expectorates, to add to the mix. I was quite repulsed. I didn’t want to walk past him, in case he spat on me. And I couldn’t just wait for him to go, because his spit could’ve spread out by then, and how would I know where to step, to keep my shoes from the contaminated area?

Beyond the spitter, I could hear the cheepings and churblings of a hundred tiny birds. I picked out robins and chickadees, the peepings of bushtits, song sparrows’ aggressive chirrups, and other sounds, ones I couldn’t identify, all tantalising and out of reach. I should’ve gone around the other way. Only, Monk McQueen’s is that way, and it always smells of fish — faugh. Who invented fish? What lousy creatures!

Over the spitter’s shoulder, I spied a crow, picking something apparently edible from an evergreen tree.

Crow on Moberly Road, eating something it plucked out of a pinecone.

Crow on Moberly Road, eating something it plucked out of a pinecone.

Later, from my balcony, I saw a little white duck, with a black patch on the back of its head, and round its neck — what could that’ve been? If the spitter hadn’t been there, I could’ve got closer, got a picture, added it to my bird list.

It's a crow!

It’s a crow!

On another note, is it possible to get second-hand high from one’s neighbours’ pot fumes? Because I was out on the balcony, after my failed walk, and a marijuana smell kept blowing up my nose. For about fifteen minutes, I could smell marijuana; then, I got hungry, so I went inside. Could I have had the munchies? I mean, one doesn’t ordinarily get hungry, while smelling a nasty smell. But I don’t feel high. Or, at least, I don’t think I do. What does “high” feel like? (Note that I hadn’t smelt the marijuana when I let the spitter spoil my plans: that lapse in courage was all my own.)

* By the loosest possible standards of length. The route described is about the circumference of a city block.

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