The Way Things Are






2005-06-08, 11:03 a.m.


“Prison would prove tough if Jackson convicted.” (from front page of Yahoo!)

No! Really?


I might be a little obsessive-compulsive.

Well, aren’t we all? But I have lately been completely obsessed over the baby bird that hatched on our balcony at work, and his efforts to leave the balcony and learn to fly. I won’t bore you with all the details, that involve me swiveling my neck around every 30 seconds or so to check on his progress yesterday as he flexed his wings and looked forlornly at the tree across the way from the balcony where all of his bird relatives frolicked and twittered…no, I’ll only bore you with a few of the details.

He was up here on the balcony all day yesterday. Waiting. Flexing. Pooping. Trying out his wings. Preening endlessly to get them all fluffed just right.

This morning, as I drove up, the first thing I did was check on him. There he was with one of his parents next to him, which made me happy because I hope that he is being fed by somebody. Somebody of the white wing dove persuasion.

Then I looked out again, and he was gone. Alas, he was on the ground at the base of the tree, with a parent dove sitting next to him, protecting and encouraging him, I hope.

I’m completely anthropomorphizing these birds, aren’t I?

So he sat on the ground for a while. Then I looked out again, and he was up in the tree, sitting on a limb. Just sitting there right at my eye level on the second floor of this building, wondering what life is all about and who is going to feed him, and why this crazy lady keeps coming out and staring at him…

And just now, I see that he is gone. So one of two things has happened: either he finally figured out how to fly, and has flown the coop, or he fell back down to the ground and some kind of varmint ate him.

A distant third possibility is that the other doves realized he was the weakest link, good-bye, and killed him and did away with his remains while my back was turned. I surely hope not. I want so much for these to be friendly doves.

I have gone back and forth in my feelings about this baby bird. Part of me is completely vested in his survival and ability to thrive. I love him. I want to help him. I want to hold him, and pet him, and teach him to fly, because what better caretaker and teacher for a baby bird than a crazy middle-aged white woman?

The ugly pragmatic part of my brain knows that this town is overrun with white wing doves. I don’t think they have any kind of negative ecological effect or anything, but there’s lots of them, and common sense would tell us that not all of the babies can or will or should survive. In fact, if this was my old backyard, my old dog Billy (may he rest in peace) would have found that bird sitting on the ground, and would have eaten him. I would have gone out there to do poop patrol and would have found a pile of poop full of feathers and feet, and I would have chuckled.

But no! Not this bird! This is my baby bird. He loves me. He was conceived in love, and gestated right outside my office on the balcony.

Or, he’s a small part of the Circle of Life, and one of approximately 11 billion doves living in urban San Antonio.

See how I am? Pragmatic. Sentimental. Pragmatic. Sentimental.

Is it any coincidence that the word sentimental is largely comprised of the word “mental”? I think not.

In other news, I am conducting a Workwear Experiment this week. Whilst perusing my closet Monday morning, I realized that I have precisely one buttload of pants in the color khaki, and another metric buttload of moss-to-lime green colored tops. My challenge to myself this week is to wear only khaki on the bottom, and green on the top. So far, so good.

The second part of this experiment is to see if anybody notices and mentions it to me. I want to see if people catch on, and if they have the guts to say something to me. My money's on Peaches.

Next week: All Pink Shirts, All Black Pants, All The Time.

And to close it out today, my husband, the sweet DishWasher, has been having dreams that involve me being naked in public. He says that last night, he dreamed I was nude sunbathing, and I kept telling him to keep Lil Guy away.

The night before, he dreamed that we were staying somewhere, and there were all these people hanging out in the hallway naked, and I was with them, and we were all out there casually naked. He asked us why we were doing that, and we told him that the air conditioning was broken. He suggested we all get dressed and just go outside, but we explained we were locked in.

I really wonder what all of his dreams concerning me being inappropriately and casually naked in public means. I think it means he fears he’s married to a crazy middle-aged white woman.

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