Protecting us from the pigeons

It's a lovely day at the ominous Burien Transit Center, where drunks loiter and preachers preach; where litter blows in the wind, last week's vomit lies on the concrete until the rains come, and three Transit Security guards oversee everything from their vantage point, leaning on their 'squad car'. 

Today there's a little black boy, perhaps five years old, chasing pigeons and sometimes shouting, but not in English. "Areeum," it sounds like. His mom watches from a bench, a slight smile on her face, but this is his playground and she's given him all of it except the bus driveways.

The kid's adorable, honestly. He runs at the pigeons and cyclones his arms, and the pigeons scatter into the air. Whee, there he goes again, breaking up a crowd of birds.

A shy blonde girl joins him. She's about the same age and wants to help, but she's not as brazen as the boy. She follows him into the birds, never takes the lead. C'mon, kid, haven't you heard of women's lib? You can scatter the pigeons as well as he can, if you try!

The girl's father sits and watches from a bench, far from the boy's mother watching from another bench in the other direction, but when their eyes meet, they both smile.

Always at the transit center, there are more pigeons than can be counted. Some roost under the overhang above us, or at the parking ramp across the asphalt, and always dozens are on the concrete floor space between the passengers waiting for a bus.

Not this afternoon, though. The kids won't let the pigeons take even an inch of the concrete, not in our part of the waiting area. Now the boy screams something in his foreign language as he frightens more birds and they fly off, and the girl repeats whatever he's shouted. "Areeum!"

Through ten minutes of this while waiting for my bus, there are pigeons on the concrete only intermittently and very briefly, because here come the children. Often no pigeons can tough down at all, an unprecedented event.

When my bus pulls up, the boy runs in front of me pursuing birds. He's close enough to hear, so I say loudly, "Thank you for protecting us from the pigeons."

He doesn't hear me, though, or doesn't understand, and only keeps running. The girl runs after him and laughs, but she's been laughing the whole time so it wasn't at me.



  1. So freakishly wholesome.

    1. Just don't do it again. Lovely vignette, though.

    2. Fuck Dean, and fuck people who lose their keys. I'm 52 and never lost a key in my life, nor locked myself out - house, car, locker, whatever.

      People who lose their key and ask to borrow yours... will then lose your key, and then you're both fucked.

    3. Oops, comment on wrong post. Who's the ass now?

    4. Thanks, Zeke. You're the first real Zeke I've known, but I had a damned fine buddy in an earlier version of this life, whose nickname was inexplicably Zeke. Why I'm telling you this? Because the bottle in front of me is empty.

    5. Claude, you've never lost your keys? Most impressive. I used to lose keys now and then, but not for 30 years or so. Long enough I dunno why I still make spares. Who's the ass now? All of us, of course.


The site's software sometimes swallows comments. For less frustration, send an email and I'll post it as a comment.