March 16th, 2008


Here There May be No There

Happy Ides of March/Palm Sunday. And, of course, a special shout out to Erik Estrada (and all those who worship him as a God) on his birthday.

For me, the day has not been particularly eventful, though it has been marked by an odd convergence of beastly presences— by which I mean that I keep seeing animals. First, a pair of blue jays parked themselves on the stumpy branches of the pollarded fruitless mulberry tree and kept looking in my window. That they remained utterly silent the entire time they were there only added to the oddness of the event.

When the blue jays had departed, a jackrabbit came bounding up the street. This is an extremely rare event here. In twenty some-odd years I've seen jackrabbits on this street maybe a dozen times. This particular rabbit hopped onto the edge of my front lawn and stood there for a minute, then looked directly at me looking at him from my window, and then hopped back down the street the way he'd come.

A bit later I saw one of the striped cats who has been hanging around recently. He was sitting on my back porch and staring in my back window. When he saw me looking back at him he didn't move, but returned my gaze for a while before deciding that his face needed a washing. I went about my business and when I returned to the kitchen a while later I saw that he had gone.

Finally, at dusk, I went out to sniff the air (cool and clear), and to see the waxing moon brightening high in the east (though it had been quite visible in the pale blue sky all the afternoon) and found that several acorn woodpeckers had gathered in the bare branches of the walnut tree and were squawking at one another. I assumed it was some sort of family squabble. I couldn't tell if they were looking into my windows or not.

Even the Internet offered no respite, as while perusing YouTube for a bit of distraction I came across this '80s video of Aussie Band Icehouse's "No Promises", displaying one of the strangest creatures ever seen on earth, Iva Davies' flamboyant mullet.

Now night has fallen, and when I went outside I found myself wondering what might be out there in the darkness, looking at me. Beastly.

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