Close Encounters

When I woke up this morning and opened the door of my bedroom, my kittens weren’t waiting right there at my feet, which they usually are doing. Yeah, they’re that cute. I stood there, worrying for a moment that something had happened to them, but in the next moment a very frightened bird soared down the hallway, passed me standing in the doorway, and smashed itself against the leaded glass windows at the end of the hall. The kittens then came barreling down the hall in chase. Ah, I thought, well that’s one mystery solved. Now I didn’t have to worry about them, but this bird, which was flapping around on the landing of the stairway now, between the first and second floors. I went down the stairs as it flew down to the first floor, opened the front door for it, but it got scared and flew back up to the second floor. The kittens ran up the stairs after. They were running on pure instinct and that thing we all love–the energy that comes from life being disturbed by something different happening. I went upstairs again, where the bird was perched on the edge of the painting of the buddha I bought on Khao Sahn Road in Bangkok, opened a window at the end of the hall, put on a pair of gloves, and hoped that the thing would let me guide it to the window. What I discovered is that it let me put my hands around its little body and pick it up altogether. It was scared, I could tell, breathing heavy, cocking its head back to look at me and hoping that I wouldn’t destroy it. It dug its talons into the gloves, but not deeply, only to get something to push off from if it had to do that. I carried it down the hall and to the open window, where I sat it down on the brick ledge outside, where it sat, and looked back at me for a long while, and I kept looking at it too. I kept waiting for it to take off, to get the hell out of Dodge, but it was calm now, out in the air, and just wanted to look back at where it had come out of and at me. I went to get my camera, wanting to capture the moment, because it felt like that–that we’d “had a moment” as they say, me and this bird–but when I came back, it was gone, just like these things always happen in a story. And I still don’t know how it found its way inside to liven up my morning. And now the kittens are moping.







3 responses to “Close Encounters”

  1. fivehusbands Avatar


  2. Joyce Avatar

    Wow, sounds like a story line to me! Your grandma Sophia would have some thoughts on this story. Certainly amazing way to start your day, no longer a bird with you, but those cute little kittens to continue to keep you on your guard. Love ya, Mom

  3. Tyler Avatar

    I’m left wondering if things like this only happen to writers, or are they merely the only ones who capture it so memorably? Thanks for sharing!

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