I have a stalker.
I was happily ensconced in my batcave, working on a copywriting project when I heard a tapping. No, not a tapping so much as a knocking, but, then again, not the “let me in” sort of knocking, rather, more like a coincidental rattling of something loosed, hitting against something solid. I got up from my desk and looked around, the doing of which stopped the sound. I returned to my writing. It started again.
After venturing to the floor above to see if someone there was the cause, I then followed the water pipes. No. Eventually I realized the sound was coming from the casement basement window, outside of which is a semi-circle of metal surround constructed to hold back the yard and allow sunlight to stream into my underground lair. It was a bird.
Now, this house has many windows far more attractive to a bird. There are glass doors and large kitchen and dining room displays of glass. There is no logical – or, even, reasonable reason for this bird to swoop into the culvert dug round my basement window to tap, tap, tap its way to attention.
But it does. Often. But only when I’m writing. And only until I get up from my seat. Almost as if it wants me to stop writing; an excuse for which I hardly need. I procrastinate with the best of them. I get less done than congress.
My new excuse is this bird. This stalker. I don’t want to be responsible for the poor – obviously differently mentally abled – avian to hurt itself trying to reach me and communicate whatever message is so important.
Wouldn’t you know, a few days ago I was up and about, outside for the sunrise and a cigarette, when that bird (don’t ask me how I know it’s the same one, I just do) came swooping down, landed on the side-view mirror on the passenger side of my car, and began pecking away at the window. I was flummoxed. I spoke, quietly.
“I’m barely writing! Isn’t that what you wanted? I’ve hardly composed one decent, insightful sentence in the past few weeks. What I’ve accomplished is drivel, you hear me? Stop this! You’re going to hurt yourself! What is it you want?”
I ventured near and away it flew. I thought that was that. But it’s been back to the basement window every day since, waking me in the morning, visiting periodically through my writing day. This is too weird.
Unlike me, I managed to keep these odd visitations quiet. I hesitated to share the story for fear the listener would think I’d finally slipped over the edge as has been so long predicted (gleefully anticipated, even) by so many.
Until last night. I went to dinner with some dear friends, one of whom manages to listen to me patiently no matter how insane or depressed or delusional I become, and still call me friend, still consider me a reasonably intelligent, worthwhile human being. I might add that this person is “of the cloth” – I’m no fool – only a person with a religious calling could possibly tolerate me for long periods of time; I’m just the sort of person they took vows to serve, the kind of project who guarantees a seat closer to the right hand of the almighty when all is said and done.
I inquired as to whether or not she thought there was some message. She managed not to say, “Yes, seek counseling.” I realized, even as I spoke, that somehow I had betrayed my little winged friend. I had not trusted that this bond – this thing – between us would become clear, would grow into something from which I could learn.
I have trust issues.
This morning, no bird to wake me. I wrote. No window tapping. I felt a bit abandoned, dismissed. I went outside to sit at my little “pretend this is a Parisian cafe” table to sip coffee and have a cigarette and lo and behold, what should I see but there, in the middle of my windshield, a big, angry, “now you’ve done it” deposit of bird-dropping.
Shat upon, once again.