January 21, 2013

A Fan's Lament

I burned off some nervous energy during the second half of the 49ers/Falcons game yesterday by swabbing down the kitchen, dining room and entryway floors. I settled a generous mist of Clorox Cleanup all over the place and then had at it. It's not a palace we're talking about here, it's easy enough to take a step or two one way or the other and see what's happening on the TV over in the far corner of the carpeted room where it lives, and it only takes ten or fifteen minutes to do, with the setting up the bucket with hot water and the bringing the mop back to it occasionally for a rinse, and the bucket's water geting grayer and grayer with progress through the kitchen, then over to the entryway and back through the dining room adjoining the kitchen and done. The longest part of the job, really, is the waiting for the floors to dry. Yesterday's weather was mild. I opened up the kitchen window and the front door and the sliding glass door in the room where the television lives that leads out into the backyard. To air it out, you see. Promote the process. I neglected to close the screen.

And then a hummingbird flew in and up and under the skylight. It was beyond the powers of the beast to resolve the conflict between what was perceptible and what was attainable, and it kept trying to reach the sky by darting up towards what the double glass of the skylight refused it. Trying to shoo it gently with a broom didn't work: I held the broom up very still, and it hopped on board, but went back to flying up against the glass when I tried to lower it down towards the sliding glass door. I suppose if it had been a blackbird I would have smacked away at it, but, hummingbird.

Meanwhile, 49ers/Falcons, fourth quarter. I sat back down across from the television, and looked up uncomfortably now and then as the hummingird flew up, over and over again, near-invisible wings bumping softly against the glass.

The 49ers won, and I put back the chairs around the dining room table and closed the kitchen window and closed the front door and left the house to pick up my wife at the Coconut Grove, and told her about the hummingbird on the way back.

It was still there, still flying, still flummoxed.

Sometime during the Ravens/Patriots game the hummingbird flew furiously against the ceiling, and settled slowly to the floor. I picked it up. I don't know if it was alive, stunned by exhaustion and what must have been despair. I took it outside and put it down on some soft soil in a big pot of succulents. It didn't move. When I went back out to look a few hours later, it was gone.

Hummingbird Trapped In Skylight

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