Kathy and I are finally living in our place on Mahone Bay, on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. We paid dearly for a fabulous renovation, and in the result it’s the nicest place I’ve ever lived, yet all of the lovely stuff inside pales next to the view out the window. It looks like something Christopher Pratt would have painted – almost eerily so:
Once you attain a dream like this it seems to trigger a reflexive tendency to doubt it, to worry that it won’t last, or isn’t real, or will be spoiled somehow, perhaps taken away. Don’t enjoy this too much, your sub-conscious seems to say. You’ll be destroyed when they make you give it up.
So far, the only objectively real threat to the idyll seems to be this abhorrent motorcycle gang of local pigeons, who like to poo all over my deck. Over the past year they defecated with gay abandon. They pooped and pooped and pooped some more, with apparent gusto, having obviously dined well beforehand. I had to get guys with 3300 PSI power washers to come in and clean it up, and they arrived wearing haz-mat suits.
Well, I’m not going to roll over for a bunch of frickin’ pigeons. I installed spikes in some places. I’m going to rig fishing line to thwart their bathroom breaks on my railings. I bought a pair of ultra-sonic high-tech bird-botherers, which emit a piercing wail at a frequency my wife can just discern when close – I, apparently, am on my way to becoming deaf as a post, among my many degenerative afflictions – and they may actually work. Supposedly, the little flying pigs can’t bear the sound, and indeed so far the pigeons swoop in as if fixing to land on my deck as usual, but then veer off to land on the roof instead.
I derive enormous satisfaction from the idea that I’m annoying the bejeebers out of the pigeons. Ugly little shite machines. I hope my devices drive them to distraction. I hope they turn suicidal.
Not the ducks, though! Perish the thought! They seem to be out of ducky earshot, and paddle about as unperturbed as ever, leaving wakes, when it’s calm, that are so distinct you’d think a task force of frigates and destroyers must have been out on patrol.
Not the gulls either, which admittedly out-poo even the pigeons, but which are so graceful in the sky they earn their excremental disdain for those of us below. And especially not the terns, which are elegant to an extent that almost surpasses one’s capacity for aesthetic appreciation. They come out a dusk, hunting insects, I think, and dipping in to nab small fish, and they pull maneuvers that make an F-16 look sluggish.
If this is really my life now, there is nobody, not a soul anywhere, to envy. That’s a strange and alien thought, which seems almost too risky to entertain. Maybe if I don’t say it out loud…