I am visited by a crow
I had no intention of writing today. None whatsoever.
The bird on my driveway had other plans.
A crow. Enormous as far as birds go and as black as black gets. Not all of him of course. His beak was simply black and his eyes, even from as far away as I sat, seemed pretty standard in the blackness department. It was his feathers that stood out. They had an oily blackness that jumped out as supernatural. His head seemed to have a shine to it, sort of like all these bald guys who over-wax their heads these days.
He kept looking up at me. There was no mistaking it. He was hopping up and down on the driveway and looking straight up at me as I sat at my computer.
He wanted me to write something.
I would have been happy to oblige, it’s rare that anyone wants me to write anything these days, but I had nothing. He sensed this and began pecking at the ground. He seemed to be eating little bits of the asphalt. Was he trying to tell me I should write about the importance of driveway maintenance? Parts of the left side of my driveway were crumbling a little bit but I’d been putting off repair.
It didn’t seem appropriate that a bird would make such a production to get me to write about driveway maintenance. I’m telling you, the whole thing had an other-worldy feel to it. It was like at any moment I would look down and he would have transformed himself into an American Indian shaman complete with the feathers and beads and necklaces made of teeth and whatnot.
I sprang into action … and went to Youtube and searched Native American shaman music. Perhaps this little encounter needed a soundtrack to move it along. The bird continued to dance impatiently on my driveway.
I still had no ideas so I stared a little more at the crow. He seemed like the kind of bird who would be content eating out of a garbage can but secretly longed to eat other birds. He just had that kind of vibe.
Like seagulls that eat puffins. They snatch them right out of the air and gulp them down. It’s actually quite heartless. It leaves me to wonder how the puffins actually die. Is it asphyxiation? How long does it take?
I can’t imagine a worse way to go.
And yet I bet that if you advertised getting snatched out of the air, swallowed up into total darkness, shoved down a throat with your final destination being the stomach acids of some avian menace and made it into a ride at an amusement park there would be lines around the block.
I became aware of the disconnect between the dull droning of Indian drums in the background and the dull content of my story. Out on the driveway the crow seemed unammused. Perhaps he didn’t like my insinuating that he wanted to eat other birds. Secret longings can be a bitch. Perhaps crows are more thin-skinned that we’ve been led to believe.
Anyway, I’ve never understood why amusement parks don’t just take the paint shakers you see at hardware stores and just blow them up to human size. It would seem like a no-brainer. Just have these morons who love to get their brains scrambled sit in it and then shake the living shit out of them. Maybe even kill them. There would still be people clamoring to get inside.
The drumming on Youtube had become more of a throbbing in my head, no doubt expressing the crow’s disappointment with what I was typing. I can imagine that a crow expects some pretty lofty things if he takes the time to sit on someone’s driveway and make eye contact and threaten to turn into a shaman. Possible topics might have included, but would not have been limited to, reality, perception, the afterlife and/or the mysteries of love. The big stuff. All I could come up with is that a paint shaker would make a great ride.
I looked back down at the driveway and the crow was gone.
I felt like I’d blown it but I tried not to blame myself. The crow must have known who he was visiting. My track record of bad writing speaks for itself. I turned off the drumming.
Maybe he did want me to write about the importance of driveway maintenance after all. Maybe a truck with Crow Paving splashed on the side, an old Indian-looking fella who calls everybody ‘kemosabe’ at the wheel, will drive by later and clear this all up.
Or maybe, just maybe (I’ve used so many maybes in the last few sentences that I either had to use a different word or just go all in with the maybes), you never know why things like that happen.