A hairy woodpecker making solitary whoopee on my roof woke me brutally before dawn. It was difficult to see with my eyes swollen like stuffed bags of soiled laundry. The moon must have been out there somewhere, though, because I could sense it gloating. I figured it was not going to be my day. No surprise there. Yesterday wasn’t all that terrific, either. Then the tawny owl wanted to hear some traveling music before he flew off. He was planning to venture beyond his normal range to attend an annual conclave on the top of Mt. Whitney, the highest point in California. Only the best of the higher flyers would be there, eagles, falcons, and hawks mostly, along with a few top level owls. This was the second year in a row the tawny owl been invited. Absolutely no carrion eating scum were allowed.
I muttered something that made no sense to anyone. Then I cleared my throat before spitting. Still, it remained dark.
Then, I said to the tawny owl, “I didn’t know you were leaving so soon.”
He said, “Uh huh.”
I put on Junior Walker and the All-Stars for his listening pleasure. Otherwise, I was objectively disengaged. It was too early for that. Junior Walker was a roadrunner like no other, and he began honking, “Catch me if you can.” I knew even with my eyes open I was not the man for that job, not any job. It was too late for that.
The tawny owl, though, was already rolling and tumbling. His volcanic hips were cutting loose like diamonds in an avalanche.
Early the previous evening the tawny owl had gashed the head of the pampered white cat who hunts behind a computerized fence equipped with nets and pulleys that is operated by the techno-yuppies next door. A suitable uproar ensued. The tawny owl has a pair of razor sharp claws at his disposal and he knows like nobody’s business how to shake that thang. There was a fair to middling amount of blood that spilled. The wife from the techno-yuppie family ran frantically across her artificial lawn to cradle the wounded white cat as she keened like a modern refugee. It was the first time I had ever seen her when she was not driving a car. She housed three pinkish passenger cars in her mammoth garage, an SUV, a minivan, and a luxury sedan, along with a bunch of kids. The kids were white, too. And pinkish as well. The techno-yuppie husband only had one car, although at times he drove all of hers. She did not have to step outdoors to enter any of her cars, so she never did. I did not know that she was so tall. She was squealing like a full bellied porker as she fondled her murderous white cat. The tawny owl was laughing his fucking ass off in the redwood tree above. She wrapped the white cat in a white blanket and drove off in her pale mauve Jaguar without pausing to look right or left. The car was painted a custom color that she forced the factory to reproduce from a delicate petal she provided at considerable cost. The techno-yuppie husband was none too happy about it, although from what I have observed from his disjointed body language, he rarely is, or could be. I had never previously spoken to the wife face to face but before she drove off, albeit from a distance, I called out, “You’re dripping blood.” I learned later the white cat underwent successful cosmetic surgery.
Triumphantly, he tawny owl said, “No sleepy bird has to worry about that white cat tonight. Next time, I’ma cut him better.”
On his way out of town, after listening to a few more pristine tracks from Junior Walker, the tawny owl dropped a big shit bomb on the black Porsche owned and operated by the techno-yuppie husband who routinely drove off to his job in Silicon Valley before dawn. Owl shit really stands out on a shiny black car when the sun rises. He dropped another juicy one that was aimed to send a smeared message on the windshield but miscalculated the southwestern swell in an adjacent galaxy. It landed on a statue in Santa Clara instead.
Much after the fact, I said, “In Santa Clara, it was probably a religious figure.”
“No biggie,” he said. “Plenty more where that came from.”
I said, “Do you mean shit?”
By that time, though, the tawny owl was gone again. There is no end to his comings and goings. He tells me no beginnings either but I don’t know about that. The real shit did not hit until he came back from the mountain. But, that’s a whole other story. So far, I have not been able to figure out exactly what’s what.