Buttonwood Park

My laundry was in the dryer, and I decided the evening was too pleasant to waste sitting in the laundromat staring at my clothes going around and round. I walked down to Buttonwood Park.

Plenty of people were out walking on the broad sidewalk at the west end of the park: two middle-aged women out for a fitness walk, a tall exceedingly fit-looking man jogging, a little boy riding a little bicycle with training wheels and his father close behind. Two young people stood in the middle of a gaggle of Mallards and domestic ducks at the edge of the pond, and even though they were right next to a sign that said “Don’t Feed the Ducks/ Por Favor….”, they were feeding the ducks. A pleasant-looking woman striding by looked over at them and said (pleasantly), “Don’t feed the ducks, now.” The two young people guiltily said, “We’re not. They’re eating something else.” The latter sentence was true: the ducks were snapping at big, slow, fat insects rising up from the edge of the pond. “They’re eating the bugs,” said the pleasant-looking woman matter-of-factly, and strode on.

I turned left down the road that bisects the north half of the park, ambling along, feeling logy. Two small girls, who looked to be twins, came tearing down a side path towards the road. “Don’t run out into the road!” shouted an adult voice from far behind them. Laughing, the two girls stopped one another, which involved one girl pulling the other girl’s shirt off her shoulder, and the second girl pushing away the face of the first girl. They got disentangled, still laughing, and resumed tearing along the path, coming to a dead halt at the very edge of the roadway (disconcerting the driver of a huge SUV that had fortunately come to a complete stop at the “Stop” sign at the crosswalk). They turned around in order to look back at the woman walking towards them pushing a stroller, and put on their best angelic faces as if to say, “See? We came to a stop before the road!” The angelic effect was spoiled when one poked the other, and the other whispered something back that made them both giggle.

A hoard of Ring-billed Gulls swirled around the edges of a soccer game, screaming and trying to steal scraps of food from each other, but now I am bored by the gulls that scream all night from the rooftops around our apartment, so I walked on by. Besides, I realized that my laundry would be done soon, and it was time for me to hurry back to the laundromat.