I have not been having a banner week. I’ve overslept every day. I keep missing my regular train coming into the office. I’ve been arriving later than usual. Once at the grind I’ve been fact checking and proofreading a 365 page tome about tile that I fully expect I will encounter again should Hell exist and I become a resident. Completely exhausted half a page into my punishing assignment, I remove my glasses, rub my eyes, and when I put my glasses back on, what do I see but this puffy pigeon perched on the ledge outside my window.
I ask my colleague, Ling:
Me: Do you think this pigeon’s sick or sleeping?
Ling gets up and looks at the bird.
Ling: It’s not asleep. Its eyes are open.
She returns to her desk and the pigeon closes its eyes.
Me: Hey, I think it’s asleep now.
Ling gets up to look at it again. The pigeon opens its eyes.
Me: Wait, forget it. Its eyes aren’t closed.
Ling sits back down.
Ling: You should quit looking at it.
Me: You’re right.
I take out my camera and start photographing it. Ling flashes the I-cannot-believe-this-stupidity-of-yours look but holds her tongue, her way of ignoring the situation and probably hoping the culprit will go away — the pigeon or me.
I hear Elsbeth, our boss, stirring. She has just printed something and is approaching the copier directly across from my desk. I resume proofreading. Elsbeth returns to her office. I resume my pigeon-watching and ask Ling:
Me: What if it dies? What do I do then? This pigeon is directly in my sightline. Am I going to be stuck staring at a pigeon corpse rotting on my sill for weeks? I dread that!
Ling: Call Jose and he’ll deal with it.
Jose is our go-to building services guy. He’s always been someone I can count on. I take a closer look at the Urban Wildlife on the Sill.
Me: First, the economy tanks, and now this. Does the suffering ever end?
Ling: It’s a pigeon.
Me: I know that, but I hate to see a creature* suffer.
*If it was a rat scurrying on my windowsill, I am certain that my compassion would shoot straight out that window.
Ling: Seriously, quit looking at it.
I take Ling’s advice and resume proofreading for a ten count. Then, I sneak another peek at the feral avian. All that I can see is a tail feather. It’s now moved to the corner where it’s nestled against the brick wall. Since I have transformed myself into an Animal Planet reporter I provide Ling with an unsolicited update about the pigeon’s progress. She distinctly looks like someone that would prefer to change the channel possibly to the Shut the Hell Up Network. I return to my desk and proofread another half-sentence but since I can only glimpse that tail feather, I’m quickly back on my feet. Ling looks at me. She screams inside her head:
Ling: SIT DOWN AND QUIT THE BIRD WATCHING!!!!!!!!!!
Then, a miracle happens.
It flies away. I am elated. I focus on proofreading for the remainder of the day but craving squab. I suffer fresh guilt.
Glad to know all is well on the windowsill. Maybe you should install a webcam should said pigeon return. I’m sure Ling would object, but to hell with her hard-ass, anti-avian stance.
Ling’s soft spot is for dogs. Rats with wings aren’t her thing. Thanks for the webcam idea. That should surely send me straight to the Elsbeth firing squad!
Next time take a picture of Ling giving you the hairy eyeball!
And black eye, here I come! (Ling’s had an even rougher week than me thus far.)
Resurrected and refreshed? How can you tell? All pigeons look alike!
Not to me. I’m a pigeon whisperer.
Next time you see the pigeon just grab him and stuff him in your purse. I’ll make you squab empanadas.
What a woman, Minx!
Maybe it was a Norwegian Blue and he was just pining for the fjords.
Wow, that never occurred to me possibly because “fjords” has just entered my 300, or should I now say, 301 word vocabulary. Thanks Teach!
Now, for extra credit, please watch “The Dead Parrot Sketch” from Monty Python. 🙂
This sketch is something I know well — and love! Thanks for posting it on LA!