Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I hardly think a few birds are going to bring about the end of the world

I woke with a persistent headache this morning, like someone had fixed a metal ring to the inner circumference of my skull and kept turning screws making it expand ever so slowly.

Thick fog shrouded the world outside, and I couldn't even see the school below our apartment building from our kitchen window.

Stevie Wayne: Well, my gauges must be wrong. I've got a wind blowing due east. Now what kind of a fog blows against the wind?
Dan O'Bannon: You got me.
Stevie Wayne: I'm not so sure I want you.

Walking outside felt like a dream. Sounds were muted, colors bleached of intensity. Whoever was inside my skull kept turning those screws, slowly, gleefully.

At the train station, hundreds if not thousands of jackdaws perched everywhere. On pylons, on power lines, along the outlines of the station house. Their eyes seemed to follow me. Some of them moved from pylon to pylon in sync with my steps. Music by Bernard Herrmann should have been playing in the background. I looked for masses of seagulls, but saw none. Exhaled.

No birds awaited me as I got off the train. Exhaled again.

Over the course of the day, I've managed to if not destroy, then at least distract the bastards playing with the screws. Ibuprofen, a big club sandwich and solitary confinement in a conference room so I can actually get some stuff done has helped.

Believe me when I say I will be on the lookout for flocks of birds on the way home...

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