More of a Bowerbird

More of a Bowerbird

The word “benign” has several meanings. It can mean kindly or harmless. Or gentle – which is nice. I thought it also meant “sitting around doing nothing,” but this incorrect.

If you are busy, it can be irksome to observe others doing nothing. “If you’re not doing anything…” my husband says. I would argue that reading is not “doing nothing;” nor is smoking.

I am of robust health. You may find this offensive, given the above. Perhaps you do not feel robust yourself, or must work at it. If so, you may be glad to know that I will get my comeuppance.

Morris Whipp, Auctioneer

Morris Whipp, Auctioneer

Everything about Morris Whipp was big–big face, big hands, big lips, big waist. He lived next door to us when I was a skinny five-year-old, and he had a boot print that was as long and as deep as my five-year-old chest–I know because my older brother made me lie down beside the print so he could measure. He wore a cowboy hat that was big enough to carry clothes to a clothesline, and he drove a truck with big tires and big letters that announced to the world who he was: “Morris Whipp, Auctioneer.” A cheerful little beagle called Rebel would follow him, bouncing up and down and trying to lick his master’s thick hand. From a distance, Rebel looked like a bobbing black speck beside Morris.

Bird by Desert-Light

Bird by Desert-Light

Creeping home after midnight requires equal amounts of attention to detail and skill. After years of late nights, I know to take my shoes off before walking up to the door, so no heel sound will clatter on the steps. I secure my purse over my shoulder and tuck it under my arm to prevent it from jangling or bumping into door jambs. If I’ve been drinking, I take a couple of cleansing breaths to focus on the task at hand: getting the key into the lock with a minimum of fumbling. Stabbing blindly at the key plate is the sure sign of an amateur.