Friday afternoon gave us a good glimpse of spring. New leaves were beginning to cover winter-bare branches. I was running errands. The sun was out, car windows were open, the air was spiked with the essence of . . . exhaust. (There was a lot of traffic at that moment.)
While waiting at a red light, I noticed blackbirds dropping from the row of Mimosa Trees in front of me. At first, I thought maybe they’d eaten too many of last year’s fermented berries. But after watching for a moment, I realized they weren’t falling at all. They were dive-bombing speeding cars. On occasion, one would land on the asphalt. Just inches from moving tires it would pick up a little snack and fly home.
Took me back to my days at the accounting firm. After tax season was over and spring arrived, we were all itchin’ to get outside. There was a little store on the next corner and we needed a walk. So . . . a group of us crossed to the Mimosa-lined side of the street and started up the sidewalk toward Slurpee, cigarette heaven. Within seconds, blackbirds were defending their airspace and we were running and screaming like little girls at a Justin Bieber concert (only we weren’t excited, we were freakin’ out.) Not a happy memory.
I looked at the red light and back at those bad-ass little birds. I shuddered with the memory of my first encounter. I didn’t want another. I rolled my window up and turned left–away from the Mimosa Trees–away from the blackbirds. I cranked up my iPod so I could still hear the music just in case I felt the need to scream.