Once every twelve to sixteen months I go into my bedroom and take a nap. This is a rarity in my life, not because of an extraordinarily busy schedule (though it seems like I have more of those days than less recently) but rather because I’m not a good napper. I calculate sleep on bare minimums for necessity reasons only and I tend to panic when I’m not doing something. Anything. At all. But this morning at around 8, having only been up for 3 hours, I suddenly felt the urge to take a nap. So Barnabás and I fled into the bedroom, closed the blinds, and sank into the peaceful.
About 35 minutes later I heard the first sound. Something with the ting-tone of a wine glass or tea cup jiggling around in the kitchen. Since I have a weakness in overreacting to the possibility of HOME INVADERS! in the middle of the night, which is merely a combination of a tired mind and tendency toward irrational scenario speculations, I put my head back onto the pillow and disregarded any noise as someone upstairs or next door, putting away dishes.
Another ten minutes went by and I heard the sound again. The nap wasn’t working anyway, so I slowly got up from the bed and walked out into the kitchen.
Suddenly from my left, all I could see was a blur of feathers whipping past my face. I looked down at Barnabás, who also turned his head with the passing feathers and wings. I called out to him, trying to grab him by his little goat legs and take him back into the bedroom. I did this because I grew up with bird dogs, huntin’ dogs, so my instinct was in assuming that he would go after the renegade pigeon and maybe even try to kill it. Once, when we lived at the house on Misty Lane, our Golden Retriever, Madeline jumped up and caught a bird in her mouth, mid-air. To this day I think my brother insists it is still the most amazing thing he has ever witnessed.
But Barnabás just turned around and walked toward his food bowl. It wasn’t symbolic. It was 9:15 and feeding time.
It wasn’t all that traumatizing to have a bird in the apartment, as I thought it might be. I imagined myself, half-lunatic, screaming and chasing the bird (since we don’t have a broom) with my mini American flag or a dumpling ladle. And I always assumed it would happen one day or another. For one thing, the rooftop across from our building is basically a pigeon porn den, where dozens of birds are mating and nesting all year long. For another, I leave the balcony door wide open during the day, preferring the sounds of the city to the crazy lady on the 7th floor who plays Alicia Keys’ “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” on her organ all afternoon.
I didn’t see much of our mystery guest, supersonic cloud, gray dust devil as she tore out of the room, the opened door, and back to the thirteenth district air. But she didn’t leave without a departing gift:
She pooped out a blueberry onto my couch. Where I sit. And usually write these posts.