I was staying busy according to a strict schedule that ruled my thoughts as I awaited the return of the tawny owl. There were lots of forms and boxes to color, secretive codes, points to sharpen. Plenty of useless information to receive, transfer, discard, and shred. I was looking forward to the continuation of my studies in lubrication and aerodynamics. I was pretty sure I had performed my first truly fluid figure eight and I wanted to show off my liquid chops to the tawny owl. All wayward thoughts that did not meet standards were squashed like mealy bugs.
I was listening to Prince and the polychromatic purple gang describe how fine it would be to go crazy with the windows opened wide on a warm evening. In his enlightened opinion, it was easy. I concurred. We were joined by three wild turkeys who are always attracted to Prince, a pair of chubby swallows, and the teeny yellow warbler who had been hanging out to sing soft and low and drop shit bombs on my deck.
The turkeys were bounding about like lunks, flying ten feet or less, circling back, and farting a lot. Nasty little dribbles of shit sputtered out, too. That constituted maximum approval. All of the birds were disappointed when they found out it was only me and not the lovely wife of the tawny owl, Thee Mrs., providing the rollicking rhythms but they stuck around anyway. I don’t know if the bees were listening as they sucked up the last drops of wacko nectar before closing time because they don’t usually care much for any competition.
Then a big black car pulled slowly into my driveway. Another dark car followed right behind. It was close enough to dusk that I could not see clearly. Were they coming to get me? For what? So far, I was only thinking, not doing.
The chubby swallows split instantly for a higher altitude, and the teeny warbler fled to blend invisibly into a dappled camphor tree, but the turkeys stayed put. They looked pissed off, too. It’s never a good idea to stand between Prince going crazy and a wild turkey. Three wild turkeys can do a lot of damage.
Then I saw it was only the professional bro’s. One doctor, two lawyers. What are they doing here? Is this my night to pretend I’m down with the professional bro’s? No, that can’t be it. That was years ago. Then I thought, wait until the wild turkeys spritz a few loads on one or more of those big cars. The lawyer I can tolerate the least, which is both, will maintain it was my responsibility to provide him with a detailed warning in advance.
I said, “Sup.”
The most successfully pro of the bro’s held up a plain paper bag. He was grinning as if he had just fleeced a hapless victim who paid full price to take it up the ol’ wazoo. He was the doctor in the crowd. He seemed to believe the bag spoke eloquently for him.
Then one of the lawyers stood tall with his feet at an impressively obtuse angle and said, “Look what we brought you. We posted it on Facebook.”
I did not understand how he could maintain his upright posture with his feet sticking out like that. I expected to see him topple over like a felled spruce tree. I kept my thoughts to myself, though.
I said, “I don’t do Facebook.”
He said, “Sure you do. Everybody does.”
“Besides,’ the doctor added, as he lifted and continued to shake the bag enticingly. He looked like he was approximating an arctic hula. I was glad I could not see with x-ray vision what was inside the bag. I was worried the doctor might shoot his wad too far in advance.
Deciphering the hidden meaning, I asked, “Does this mean there will be more bro’s showing up?”
“I sure hope so.”
“We brought more food.”
“This is our idea of an intervention.”
“More bro’s are bringing more.”
“All of the bro’s think you need a break before you get too carried away and crack up.”
“Can you dig it? This must be where it’s all happening.”
Sadly, like the zoo, it was. I had no fair chance to escape. I made my choices poorly. I got what was coming to me. There was significant meat hefted in all directions. Gluttonous plops unloaded, and fizzed. Sad begot more sad, as it does. Much of it was recorded on electronic devices. I don’t know why such implements of destruction were ever invented. I think by the end bribes were being taken. When the deputy sheriff arrived, he turned out to be just another bro. It was sad enough to make even a bro cry.
When I awoke the following day, I was not as naked as usual, which is never a good sign, and felt acutely as if my evolutionary metamorphosis had become retarded. The unguarded windows had been left open, and though I think the shivering helped to loosen me up, I’m certain that many of the standard thoughts escaped and left no trace behind. That left me alone with my wayward thoughts, which is hardly ever a good idea. Sometimes they carry me off into the throes of conundrums where no standard man was meant to go.
That’s when I remembered where it started. Prince was going crazy. I was merely tagging along. The bro’s called it an intervention. Had the bro’s uncovered the secret of my traitorous mission? Were the bro’s really secret protectors of the murderous white cats that preyed on beautiful, singing birds? Or worse, their human enablers?
When one of the bro’s called me later, not one of the doctors or lawyers, but a shrimpy architect who plodded dirt sites wearing high heeled boots with added custom lifts, and merely to see how I was faring he claimed, I played it cool.
“Every Wednesday we all get together.”
“I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.”
“It might do you some good.”
“I might develop ague instead.”
“It’s a good way to make contacts.”
“I believe you.”
“Then I’ll see you next time.”
That settled it. Were they coming after me? Well, yeah, like…duh.
But, what was I supposed to do when even shit bombs from wild turkeys were unable to hold back the oblivious swarm of bro’s? Shriek at the swollen tide like a loon, regurgitate like the sharp and wise tawny owl, scoop another measure of whitening detergent into the top loader, stew in my putrid juices like a rank side of beef?
Or simply take it like it’s been taken so many times before, to hold it in, and on, and close at hand, and squeeze so very tight, and try so very hard, not like a stellar bro exactly, but exactly like a standard man. And never let it go.
Until you do. And it does. All over.
And then duck.