This story originally appeared on The Insatiable Traveler.
Every day for the past two years, Gary drives to a parking lot on the east side of San Francisco Bay, near Berkeley, next to the Albany waterfront. He can't be late, his friends are waiting and they're hungry.
When he arrives, hundreds of seagulls that were standing patiently on the asphalt take flight, reminding me of a scene from Hitchcock's The Birds. The sound of their flapping wings and high-pitched caws is deafening.
He parks his truck and the seagulls go crazy, circling the vehicle like a tornado. Gary gets out and, impossibly, the caws get louder, their behavior more frantic.
He grabs a multi-colored bucket and walks a few feet from the truck, the tornado follows him, and he pulls out slices of pizza. He rips them up, folds them, and then raises his hand. The seagulls dive in and then hover like giant hummingbirds, taking the food straight from his hand.