By Benny Harris
It’s evening on a sunny October day. The weather seems perfect. It’s warm but not hot. The foliage is in full bloom. The trees are multi-colored. A cool breeze shimmers through them. Along the embankment, the Willamette looks slow and serene. The sounds of geese and river water fills the air.
A shirtless man with a nice tan sits on the bench across from me. He’s reading a thick novel. His mountain bike rests against one side of the bench. It looks like it could double as a pet. On the bench behind me, sit two women, both with pony-tails and sun-glasses. They’re silent, staring straight ahead. They seemed hypnotized by the river.
A young couple, with their hair-dyed different colors chase each other down Alton Baker bridge. The girl is in the lead. When they reach the bottom she stops long enough for him to catch up to her. She turns and shouts, “Way to go at hurrying up, bitch!” He laughs. They continue their chase.
A swarthy woman stands near the foot bridge. She poses for a photo with a baby in her arms. The man taking the photo, looks a bit old to be her husband. She then walks the perimeter of the water shed, while holding her baby. The man follows her with the stroller.
A woman rides by on her bike. Her unleashed, brown-spotted dog chases her. Another woman in black leggings jogs past with two pretty black dogs. A clique of female UO students jog past. Finally, a lanky male jogs past. He’s wearing a Wisconsin t-shirt.
Four teenager: Two girls, two guys. They look like, possible, siblings, walk down to the embankment.
Lots of bicyclists pass by.
A runner wearing a two-piece stops dead in her tracks. She looks intense and confused. She must be lost. She turns around and starts to jogs back the way she came.
Four more teenagers: Three girls and one bespectacled guy. They walk towards the foot bridge. One girl asks, “What is the purpose of that big white ball?” [She’s referring tostatue].
A stocky runner with a thick mustache runs by. He’s followed by three gray-haired women, all wearing sun-glasses and wind breakers.
A woman, with a thick striped-yellow and black scarf draped across one shoulder, stops at the footbridge. She peers at the water shed.
A busty runner runs past. “What’s up, babe?” She asks whoever is on the other end of her head set.