“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get”…Forest Gump.
And my box is usually empty. That is the surprise. So today I decided to take the empty box and run with it. I live in the dead of suburbia. This is the land of the living dead…mile after mile of dead silent short grass…very tiny little trees staked to the ground. Sidewalks full of screaming brats and their happily married moms.
As a man…living in quiet desperation…I had to get out before I exploded like a firecracker. So I headed to a nearby park…Sedgwick County Park that is. It was the closest place to go that was not entirely man made. I bought an oil can of Fosters and headed to the park.
I came to the spot—near one of the many muddy lakes (ponds actually) and this place was in a clearing surrounded by large trees—where the geese usually hang out waiting for bread handouts from the people. Most people just throw the bread, but I like to get up and personal. I like to hand feed the little devils. There was no on there that day and they flooded to my car, after I emerged with a handful of wheat bread that was left over from last spring. I fed pieces to the giant geese, both domesticated and the Canadians who come down for the summer. The domestic geese look pretty cool. Some were pure white, others had read, black and orange beaks, with all kinds of brown, black and white feathers.
Then to my surprise, the ducks started coming up to me. They usually only eat the bread that is thrown to them. But not today! They came up and took bread right out of my hand. That included the wild mallards and the various colored black, brown and white domestic ducks.
Then I ran out of bread and decided to drive on down to the more remote parts of the lake. I had pulled out the Fosters while feeding the ducks. Ducks and geese don’t like beer…I found that out. So I headed out Fosters in hand…to the more remote part of the park. I came to a large red bench thing on the shore of this fishing pond on the north end. On one side are the steep dirt banks and others the swampiness of the cat tails. As I drove there I contemplated the fascist nature of my society and how just driving with a Fosters oil can in my possession was a crime just short of murder in these here modern times in this here modern state of Kansas. I began to imagine a time when I drove through the country side without a single person to look at. I could drink beer—smoke a joint—shoot a quarter (if I had one) and no one would be there too complain about it. There was no one around to enforce the rules of the road. It was a sense of freedom that is hard to explain to those who have never experienced it.
I sat on the big doubled bench overlooking the pond-like small lake. I finished my Fosters and just left it on the bench. After all, this bench was the accomplishment of humanity. I saw nature with all kinds of reminders of man’s presents EVERY WHERE and I do mean everywhere. I left the can on the bench as a tribute to the monuments of humanity. After all this is a Republican’s state—a Republican’s park—I decided a Republican might as well clean it up.
I drove past five people—two rather large women with their boyfriends or husbands. They dressed in jeans and floral blouses. If anything stuck out about them, and little did, it was that they blended into the local scenery—lots of people nearly faceless that cross our paths and mean nothing to us. We are taught under capitalism that people are just obstacles to the things we want and need and I try my best to remember that when I am out and about
It was now time to start on my adventurous journey to the great outdoors and I knew the hazards that await me. There are the land owners who believe all land must be privately owned and “them thar city slickers” need ask to use their land. These landowners want us all confined to the city and not allowed to venture off of highways or sandy roads where we “jest don’ really belong.”
Then there was the time cops stopped me because concerned citizens of my town called the law on me. I had the nerve to wonder north of town past the sidewalks and under the overpass where there were actual weeds. I guess the idea of someone enjoying nature seemed too remote for them to believe and since they are bourgeois-middle-class people they thought I might be a transient passing through their Bioushy town.
This was a day spent in desperate search for the unspoiled wilderness which really doesn’t exist here in these modern times.