Yesterday I woke up, as usual, feeling unattractive. I sat at my computer for a bit, checking email and updating links to the Blackstone IPO (if you were considering: don't buy this one). I changed a diaper, I found clothes that almost fit me. I put cash in my pocket, and headed off to the coffee shop for my fix.
As I turned the corner onto Gladstone, a short block from the coffeeshop, a crow began cawing loudly above me, then swept down a few feet above my head, landing ahead of me on the power line. Then again, cawing ominously, swooping close, too close, I yelped. I even considered going into the 'Wise Buy' (which I think of as the 'frighteningly foolish buy'), a few feet away, to take shelter. But I couldn't, and took the chance on continuing to the coffee shop. The crow cawed loudly, angrily, again, fluttering up to the lintel above the coffee shop door.
I rushed in the door, asking if this was an ominous sign? After all, I was flirting with labor and everything seems significant. Not to mention how affected I was by reading "The Birds" in junior high. I still can't see a wildly cawing bunch of crows without wondering if they might, driven mad enough, attack me. (Remind me never to let Everett read "The Birds.") The barista didn't think so, and I laughed it off.
When I left the coffee shop, I looked around nervously. No crow. But as I readied to cross the street to my long block, there on top of a huge pine was the crow. He swooped down, again, this time extremely close to my head. I really freaked out, and though I was huge and awkward and wearing flip-flops, I started running, covering my head, splashing my coffee. He buzzed me another few times, not coming quite so close to me, before I finally made it home.
Later, Jonathan saw that crow, or one like him, buzzing another passer-by, and still today, every time we go outside we hear several crows cawing loudly, angrily. His grandma, who lives about a mile away, reported that finches in her yard were likewise acting strangely.
Having spent a good bit of the last few months outside in my backyard, getting attuned to the neighborhood fauna -- the squirrels that run along the fence and bicker in the trees, the robins who've nested in our plum tree and on our front porch, the blue jay who shrieks at everyone, the cats and chickens and how they've learned to co-exist, the giant raccoon who lumbers around our house at night -- somehow, this disruption shatters my calm.
Jonathan wonders if this portends an earthquake; both of us remember the afternoon three days ago, when we heard a few bursts of chainsaw cutting a tree branch, then a raucous chorus of caws, so many crows flying wildly around a stand of trees a few houses away. I wish there was something I could do to quiet them and restore my hormonal relationship with the world around me.