Monday, May 9, 2011

In a Fountain and Under a Tree

Over the past few weeks, two ducks have taken up residents in various fountains around a certain west coast private university. However, these ducks, a male and a female, have transgressed from a cute oddity one observes on the way to class into a campus wide sensation, frequently sited as many people's favorite couple on campus. Here is an excerpt from one of their conversations.

Male Duck: The water is kinda cold in the fountain today. Want to go sit under that tree?

Female Duck: Nah, not really feeling the grass today. Can we stay here for a little while longer?

Male Duck: Of course. Shit, humans are approaching.

(humans approach)

Male Duck: Quack!

Female Duck: Quack! Quack!

(humans stop and observe the ducks)

Human 1: They're so cute.

Human 2: Look at how they just float together. Adorable.

Human 1: Favorite couple on campus by far.

(humans keep on walking)

Male Duck: I'm happy they're gone, I fucking hate quacking.

Female Duck: Ditto.

Male Duck: Why do you think they watch us, gawk at our every movement?

Female Duck: Because the world doesn't own us.

Male Duck: What do you mean? We are confined to select spots around a single college campus. These students have the entire world, they can travel, read, write down ideas and argue them for simple posterity. If the world owns anyone, it must be us.

Female Duck: The world may physically restrain us, but it has no jurisdiction over cases of the heart. The students have unparalleled access to the world, but they are forced to wait to love. All of them, thinking they are so young and have all the time in the world to love someone. Yet, these students know that this is not the case, cancer, AIDS, out of control motor vehicles, all lie just around the corner. The unlucky ones may even meet their end via all three.

Male Duck: Yet, we are not outside of the realm of loss and tragedy.

Female Duck: You don't have to tell me twice.

Male Duck: What does that mean? I'm not going anywhere, don't worry.

Female Duck: Stop with the magnificent lies, they will only make me weep. At night, when we are floating side by side, I snuggle up to you and utter a simple wish: that this feeling will last. Yet we all know that everything that sun shines on is fleeting. Time will pass and you will disappear.

Male Duck: How can you say that? Our love is pure, we have each other, and even if my feathered body fails me, you will always have the memories.

Female Duck: Memories can only tide one over for so long. How long does it take to forget someones voice, their face? Five years, six? For before I met you I was alone, and now I am the prettiest of weeds.

Male Duck: You must not think like that; try, fight to stay aware of the world around you, what is real, what is essential, what is us. At night, between the hours of twelve and four, when the night takes on that special kind of silence, the students stare at their generic white washed ceilings and wish for what occurs in this simple pond. They want to be emotionally awake, to survive the unimaginably pain of the day, and come home having their hearts feel eternally full, the lifeblood of another running through their veins. For you are no better then the young individuals that stare at this fountain everyday; wanting to love, but fearing the pain that it may cause you. Yes, one day you will awake and I will be gone, and it will undoubtedly hurt; but because we had this connection, both of us will be better for it. The students do not chose to stop and look at this pond, it is that they cannot look away. There is power in what we have.

Female Duck: You sure are preachy, aren't you?

Male Duck: You think this is bad? You should have seen me in grad school.

The following week I spied four male ducks sitting in a different fountain, no female in sight. All male orgy or simple guy's weekend? I'm not one to decide.

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