Two Slices of Bread

Today a very early morning walk downstairs to the kitchen wondering what I have left to eat to absorb the day’s first cup of coffee, though, as always, there are several bags of frozen vegetables to cook-up. Funny how when things get tight the diet gets healthier.

Walking now through the living room I smile, comforted by the sight of books stacked on the side table next to my reading chair:  “The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge” by David McCullough,  the complete collection of Bernard Malamud’s short stories along with his “The Assistant” and “Dubin’s Lives.” And then there is “Steinbeck: A Centennial Tribute” by Stephen K. George and last and anything but least, a remarkable biography of Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellman. I am not alone!

In the kitchen now I hit the button on the coffee machine. I nearly always prepare it the night before and that magical morning push of the button is one of my favorite moments of the day. I open the refrigerator knowing there is not much in there now at the end of the month but you never know. Seconds after seeing two tomatoes which will do the trick I spot a crumbled package containing two slices of bread. I toast up both slices, slather them with strawberry preserves, and now I’m in early morning heaven, made all the more so by pouring my first cup of coffee and quietly sipping it as I watch two Canadian geese at the edge of the pond, both still, enjoying the morning just like me.

After a few minutes of drinking in this delicious moment I head back upstairs to my writing room, making a mental note as I climb the stairs to buy extra bread after my disability check comes in so I can share some with the geese.

The Faceoff

The four of them are locked in fierce vocal combat. It’s two against two. Two on land, two on water, yet they are no more than 20 yards apart, bellowing at each other with all their might and welded into a staring contest on top of that.  This has been going on for more than half an hour and neither side is backing down. One wonders what would happen if they got within reach of each other.

However, in this particular instance, the land duo is suffering the indignity of having to operate from within a restricted space that precludes them from reaching the water in the first place. That, and were they somehow to reach the water they are clearly no match for the two water-going vessels. This is just as well because it is clear that both duos are very aware of what their combat strengths and weakness are. Neither pair would be a match for their opponents were the current faceoff happening on their opponent’s turf.

There are moments when the two water-going vessels move away in unison and sail out of view of their land-based opponents. For a moment, only a moment mind you, there is quiet, as if both sides have, without speaking a word, decided to take a break from the fray. The quiet doesn’t last however. The two water-going vessels sail back into view and point there bows directly at the two landlubbers and the roaring begins again.

None of this makes any sense to me, other than I suppose this is what happens when two Canadian Geese and two penned-in American dogs decide to get into a shouting match.