This first month of the new decade is going to be an exercise in disarray. I say this with confidence. Moving out of the house where you've lived for years is a big deal, it means organizing and compartmentalizing the wide range of items that have collected in the corners, in the closet and under the bed. Lots of things to purge, while the priceless value of others will be renewed. For all I know there may be folks who enjoy this activity. In my mind it's strictly for the birds.
Curious phrase and apropos, That's shit for birds is old army slang. Somebody in 1944 observed birds pecking at horse droppings, road apples if you will, and saw how it represented all that's meaningless and irrelevant in the world. I can get behind that, not only in the symbolic sense but literally as well. Look at some of the crap that has ended up in my possession over the last six years and it might well have come from a horse's ass.
The pile of old shirts, for instance, growing in the dusty corner of my closet for who knows how long. The very definition of irrelevant. Yesterday's fashion whim is tomorrow's landfill.
I like birds. I felt bad last week when that flock of blackbirds fell dead from the Arkansas sky. One thousand of them, perished in an instant, plummeting to the ground like the world's biggest, blackest feather pillow. Explanations as to why so dramatic a synchronized death plunge took place on new year's eve will never satisfy the awestruck among us. If Voldemort suddenly appeared and felled them with a blast of Hogwartian halitosis, that might come close to making us feel like it really happened. Reality, however, is not quite so, shall we say, stimulating.
Splashed by lightning or felled by a fusillade of hail, theories abound as to what croaked the sorry flock. The leading theory is that being too close to fireworks startled the blackbirds to their mortal demise. Takes the fun out of the whole idea, doesn't it? Explosions in the sky have never been more deadly.
It isn't my intent to keel over on account of fireworks. To the contrary, that's what I'm migrating toward. It's the time of year to head for spring climates. I'm like the cat in the window. For those who missed my post, Petula Clark sings poignantly of the cat in the window with a tear in its eye. The poor kitty is birdwatching and sad it can't fly. I know how it feels. Then again, it doesn't have to move out in a few weeks. Chin up, tabby: sitting in the window is a luxury.
The move comes at a time when I've spent too much time gazing out the window. I'm looking to have a more complete, more fully rounded experience. Living at Zoo Station has been fine. I'll remember it as the house where I worked harder at writing than anywhere else I've ever lived. That's a decent springboard for vaulting into the next phase. Just as the smoky peat of single malt whiskey doesn't come to life in the senses with quite as fulfilling a round wholeness as it does when accented by pipe tobacco or a Dunhill Red, this house has delivered a fair share of flavor but without total fulfillment. I can't very well spend the rest of my days at the window with a tear in my eye, can I?
As if I had anything to cry about. Consecutive to the aviary apocalypse, I was at home recalling the happy old year. It was a Friday night and the imminent new decade hours away hastened my sentimental thoughts. Fireworks over the city punctuated good memories, simultaneously obliterating them and clearing the sky for new ones.