By popular demand (or like 4 people on Facebook) here’s a little something funky that happened to me a couple of mornings ago….
I was awakened really early by a woman’s voice. It was probably the crack of dawn but I was too out of it with the tired to check my clock. I just heard this woman talking. She kind of sounded like one of my roommates. I have two, both female. They have real bedrooms. I have a dining room converted into a bedroom, which means that where a wall and a door should be there is a bookcase and a curtain. I hear everything. It sucks. But don’t cry for me Argentina, because while you’re stuck in Argentina, I live in paradise.
Except paradise comes with a severe cost–one worse than dining-bedroom. That cost? Feral chickens who never know what time it is.
Rrr-r-rrr-r-rrrrrr! at all hours of the day with these friggen roosters. The only time of day they can agree on is crack of dawn. That’s when they’re like, “TIME TO GET UP! HEY, EVERYBODY! TIME TO GET UP! REMEMBER MIDNIGHT? FALSE ALARM! NOW GET UP!”
Many are the mornings when I slog out of bed and chase them out of the yard rattling a rake and cursing these loud, shrill, atonal opera singers. As I type, I hear two of them crooning right now. But distantly. They aren’t in the yard. In fact, they haven’t been in the yard since the morning I heard that woman talking. Now back to that….
The voice is not my roommate’s after all. Is one of ’em watching TV? Are they up this early? What time is it?
I listen closely. Finally, I can make out what she is saying. She’s saying, “Not bad… Not bad…. That’s not bad… Not bad….” over and over. I realize it’s not a roommate, not the TV… holy crap!–Is there someone in the house? Or do we have a ghost?
Now I’m lying there scared listening to this. I’m still half asleep and not attempting to get up. I’m like asleep but paranoid. It’s weird. And then it gets weirder for I hear this woman’s voice saying, “That’s not bad” morph into “Rrr-r-rrr-r-rrrrrr!”
That’s right, I am hallucinating, turning the distant call of a rooster into a woman’s voice. And I realize this at that moment, that very tired-yet-alert-enough-to-be-paranoid moment. And as incongruent as this all is, it gets incongruentier, to… make up a word. I actually find myself saying to the rooster chick, “No, it’s not bad, Pele. But I can still hear them.”
See, even though I know I am hallucinating a woman’s voice over a distant rooster, I am also still in the middle of hallucinating. And so, me, in the middle of hallucinating, believes that the woman is the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele and that Pele took time out of her busy morning to come to my apartment and use her magic to keep the chickens a safe distance from the yard so that I may sleep. And now she’s saying to me, “See? That’s not so bad.” Like, “Look, I’ll make sure the chickens stay away from your window so you can sleep.” And me, always one to look a gift horse in the mouth–I’m whining that it isn’t good enough. But, because it’s Pele and she’s a goddess and I’m living on her turf, I’m whimpering with all due respect.
Anyway, I thought that was interesting, especially given that the chickens really have stayed away from the yard for the last few days. When I’d rattle a rake at them, it just emboldened them. I think they came back in the mornings for their daily chase. Honestly, I think they kinda liked it because they would come right up to the window and Rrr-r-rrr-r-rrrrrr! for as long as it took to respond with a chase. Sometimes I’d wait a half hour, forty-five minutes, just to see if they’d go away. No such luck. Then I’d chase ’em and they’d shut up. So who were they talking to if not me?
Whelp, at least now we’ll have what esteemed doctor Tyler Kokjohn calls “scientific proof” that Pele is real or not. If the chickens stay away, she’s real and I’m turning into Hank Wesselman. If they come back, she’s not and I’m turning into the man who mistook his wife for a hat. Yup, that’s science. Right, Tyler? (Ssshhh… don’t answer. You’re just a humble, small town doctor from a… small town. We know. Or is that someone else I’m thinking of? Only one way to find out: gun show. )
For my own public image of sanity I will not be updating this story if they come back to roost. But I’m still publishing it, so what does that tell you?