On the subjects of work, ducks, enslaving humanity and Xavier

For a few precious months I had company on my morning commute to work.   Xavier interned and lived with me so naturally we drove together.   Just under eleven miles in the pre-coffee part of the day.   Xavier and I had this natural aptitude for absurd, weird and even offensive humor.   Any time we found a thread of humor we would pull it to see where it went.

Very early in our commuting partnership we found an odd and repeatable series of events.   Every day at 8:35 A.M.  we would cross the small bridge on Chambers Bay Road.   Every single day a large gathering of ducks would be assembled, perhaps 35 or 40.   Maybe more, maybe less.   They would all be fanned out in a semi-circle facing inwards towards a single mallard.   We came to believe it was the same mallard leading the group every morning.

First we though perhaps they had gathered for morning prayer.   Then it evolved to a morning staff meeting.   If it was a staff meeting, what was the project or company involved in?  It goes without saying that we assumed they endeavored to take over the world and enslave humanity.   Xavier said this out loud as we crossed the bridge, and suddenly the ducks took flight.   All at once they lifted from the mirrored surface and ascended to the heavens.

They knew that we knew.

The next day we drove towards our future mallard masters in silence.   The kind of silence thick with fear and loathing.   We made the last bend and came face to face with a flying sheet of feathers and fowl.   Not only did they know we knew, but they knew our schedule.

You would think that something like this would grow tired, this did not.  Every day we added just a little bit more story.  We gave the ducks names, roles and backstories.

It made me sad when the ducks left this winter, it felt like I was losing a little bit of my friend.  I became angry at ducks.  All ducks everywhere that ducks have every ducked at.  In my grief I considered how one might undertake genocide against all aquatic birds.  I accepted that these ducks had dealt me a critical hit.  I moved on.

Then I remembered the most important fact I had ever learned.

Ducks return every spring.