After the sun came up, a huge raven somewhere close to my bedroom window started making noise. CAWCAWCAW, groups of three CAWs over and over. I thought, “Wow, that large bird must be really close. Good thing that won’t go on for a long time!” It went on for a long time.
I covered my head with pillow, and it still continued for a bit, then quiet briefly. Then a weird saxophone type sound started. Merrrrp. pause. Meeerrrrrrrp. I tried to ignore it and figured it was the gate moving in the wind or someone’s garage door or I don’t know what but it would probably stop soon because there’s no such thing as perpetual merping. It didn’t stop, and without my admitting it, the day had begun.
Then I heard weird occasional velociraptor grackling noises followed by CAWCAWCAW again and realized there was still a big raven very close to my bedroom making noises. I got up and looked out the window and couldn’t see it but it was clearly within a few feet of the window. I figured maybe I would try to get a pic or two if it was in the right place, but I saw nothing.
I went in and washed my face, and as I reached for a towel, I saw the bird perched on the parapet on the garage just outside the master bathroom. It was huge and impressive. The exact moment I laid eyes on it from inside the dark room and behind bamboo blinds, it instantly flew off like it knew its work was done here. It was so big I could hear the air being pushed by its wings through the closed window.
I pulled a blanket over my head and dogs collapsed comfortably (for them) around me, and then some weird low frequency vibration started. I figured it was some commuter’s big subwoofers, or maybe a big truck driving by, but it kept going and going. Then I realized it was probably the Taos hum, and I’d read that once you start hearing it you’ll hear it from then on until you’re forced to move or go insane. Then I remembered that I’m not actually anywhere near Taos and I tried to remember if I’d ever read of anyone in Santa Fe hearing the Taos hum, but I couldn’t dredge up anything useful. As I woke up a little more, I realized it probably wasn’t the Taos hum, and maybe I don’t even believe that there is one, and also I’m still not in Taos, so I continued to reason out what it might actually be. Maybe they were grading our dirt road today? (Which would be great, because it always rains within a day or two when they grade my street and we could use it.)
So the day had begun. Or not – as I prepared to dig myself out from under the heap of dogs, it suddenly stopped, and I figured I’d take one more shot at trying to go back to sleep.
After what felt like a really long struggle, I finally managed. But probably a few minutes after that, I was jolted out of REM by a phone ringing somewhere, and some part of me decided it was the most important call ever and I couldn’t miss it under any circumstances.
I burst out of bed and stumbled into the hallway to find one of the cordless handsets. I was all sleep-addled and thinking things like “THE ONION TRUCK MUST BE HERE. MAYBE IT’S WORK. DO WE HAVE MILK? YES, PLENTY. DRUM MONKEY. THE SNOW MIGHT BE ON FIRE. WHERE IS THE PANDA MAN?” and just picked it up without even looking at caller ID. It was just the dentist’s office reminding me of the appointment I have tomorrow, which I still remembered even half asleep. I looked at the clock and it was 8:14am and I tried to force my mind not to do the math which revealed how much sleep I was short today because it’s usually better not to dwell on it.
Nervous dogs clicked around on the tile outside my office and gave me suspicious sideways looks as I held my head in my hands and made some kind of sound.
The day had begun. Again.