Night Bird |
So I'm sitting here at 2 o'clock in the morning pounding Arthur's keyboard. I don't bother to introduce light into the room, as the monitor sheds enough--along with the contributions of the lamppost right outside my window.
Besides--I like it this way; makes me feel part of the night.
Strikes me peculiar that there's this little bird out there running back and forth like he's looking for something. Aren't birds supposed to be asleep at this hour?
What's he doing all alone like that?
Is this the "early bird?"
The security vehicle halts under the street lamp. Must be someone new to the night shift, as most of them have seen me and Arthur before through the uncovered windows. I wave in an attempt to reassure the watcher there's nothing funny going on. We live on the grounds of a nut house, which is why, day and night, we are observed by discreet but alert officers of order riding around the lanes of the staff-residential area. There are no walls to this psychiatric facility, and occasionally the patient-residents roam. Apparently the wave worked and the vehicle creeps out of view.
I search for the bird but he's now gone.
I sit back in the chair and direct my gaze toward what I know to be Route 30 something lying out there in the darkness. Not much on the road at this hour. Reach for a "hot ball." Can't get them down here in Florida, so have to rely on daughter who gets them up north for me. You might know them as "fire balls." Whatever. If they're done right, they scorch the roof of your mouth and dye your tongue red. I once went for a physical and the doctor appeared impressed by the redness of my tongue. She said I reminded her of her kids. I suppose I should have felt embarrassed about my habit but I didn't .
I'm too old to be doing this stuff, but I figure there really will come a time when I'm ready to put away the hot balls, and then I will. My father used to be nuts about baked beans Boston style with fatty pieces of salt pork. Somewhere in his 88th year, he lost his taste for them. He's sorry about that; not so much missing the beans as missing the appreciation of them. We all wear out eventually. I accept that; but I'd like not to wear down. There's a difference.