Despite the dreary day, I was singing to myself as I left the house. What’s a dreary day in the face of good sleep and getting paid today? Nothing, I say.
Anyhow, the day, it was dreary, and I was turning the corner, being Rufus Wainwright under my breath when, quite suddenly, a squirrel comes tumbling down the screen door of the pizza parlor on my corner to land at my feet, a nut secure between it’s jaws.
We exchanged glances.
Not wanting the squirrel to go into a mad panic when he would effectively have to run through me to get away, I continued my musical stroll.
Much to my surprise, the squirrel began to follow me.
Odd, I thought.
Still singing under my breath, I returned my glance from my new companion to the ground in front of me only to noticed a smattering of tiny birds pecking away at the sidewalk. As the squirrel and I approached them, they sedately looked up at us and then took wing – not in a mad escape, but to rest in the limbs of the tree I was about to pass under. And, one of them began chirping a lovely, regular melody, which caused me to pause in my walking (but not my singing).
Yes, in fact, it did sort of work as counterpoint to the Rufus Wainwright song I was singing under my breath.
Rodent sidekick, check. Flock of cooperative melodically gifted winged friends, check. Unassumingly singing a beautiful song, check.
Life was playing some sort of peculiar trick on me, and that I was in the middle of a Disney cartoon musical. A very peculiar, live-action, Disney cartoon musical, with “Gay Messiah” on its soundtrack. So, really, more like Moulin Rouge.
Taken with the whimsy of the moment, I began singing out, and sweeping my overcoat around me, which seemed to fairly alarm my squirrel friend, still with nut in mouth, but he did not flee. As he had yet to be spooked, I went into all-out pirouettes, now singing more or less at the top of my lungs.
It was around then that the construction workers renovating the house on Osage must have noticed me. I felt their dreary-world glares weigh in on my cartoon musical extravaganza like sopping wet cotton blankets. I stopped mid-spin, letting my voice catch in my throat, and looked to my animal backup-singers for some support.
Squirrel had fallen several steps behind me, and was idly munching his nut, paying me no heed. My aviary chorus had ceased their song, and were nowhere to be seen.
The construction workers continued to stare, quite dumbly.
Hands shoved into pockets and intently showgazing I resumed my walk.
I hate musicals.