Skip to main content

a mourning dove landed on my head in the garden today

I want to reassure you that I am a material man, that my first impulse is not to think metaphysically about these kinds of things. But dudes I am telling you it was awfully hard to avert my thoughts from the possibility that the universe was trying to tell say something to me here. Or rather shout it.

I kept thinking about the This American Life episode in which Spalding Gray’s widow tells the story of the bird that visited and revisited their family after he disappeared. She refers to an Irish story: “if you find a bird in your house after someone dies and it’s alive, the person’s soul is free. And if you find a dead bird, the person’s soul is restless.”

She didn’t say anything about if a bird lands on your head and then can’t be shooed, but I am inclined to believe it is a good sign.

Also, this business about foo shit.

the seven signs that my platteville WI hotel is maybe a little ghetto

1. The mound view of the Mound View Inn has been obscured by a Wal Mart. mound view inn, platteville

2. Entry to the room is gained via metal key. Not even a big, blocky, old-school-but-still-of-this-generation-albeit-pre-plastic-swipey hotel key, but a regular old toothy key, a just-like-my-house-key key.

3. The dead bolt can’t be turned from the outside. Only just barely from the inside.

4. No little bottle of lotion? C’mon.

5. Flapjack pillows, two per bed, tucked into hunnert-percent polyester sheets and blankets.

6. The tag hanging from the inside doorknob reads: “MAID PLEASE HAVE THIS ROOM MADE UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” I.e., if you want your room cleaned, you have to execute the extra step of laying out the tag – the default is: NO SERVICE. After fortunately noticing this text this mid-afternoon, I put the tag out as I left , only to realize upon my late-night return that it was two-sided. The opposite reads: PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB.

(p.s. how I love the declarative of this sentence: “MAID!” Not an impersonal address to any and/or all maids but an irontight, hands on the back of the neck “HEY YOU! (who happens to be passing by) YEAH YOU! CHOP-CHOP WITH THIS CLEANING!”)

7. The last guest to inhabit my room covered the peephole (a peephole. in a hotel room.) with a corner of ruled eight and a half by eleven. To avoid, I suppose, being peeped from without. Though one can never be sure it wasn’t the without that he was protecting himself from casually or paranoically peeping. Third hand, could have been a she.

platteville, wi
peep me not

All of this I could happily tolerate were it not for the sadness that seeps from the walls of the long narrow unbroken hallway outside my room and pools in the murky green shadows of the compact florescent lights ensconced on the dinghy used-to-be-white walls.. Thanks to the abovementioned seven signs I am now (at last) tuned in to and – as ever – averse to the sadness that I couldn’t at first smell. Mayhaps by next time I will have learnt my lesson and will see (or hear, or smell) that whatever distance between my destination and the nearest five-star is “dudes, totes do-able.”

this about sums up my curmudgeonly attitude toward the internet

In closing, I would like to say that the Internet has become a veritable buzzing, stinging hornet’s nest of pings and pongs and klings and klangs, so please do not e-mail, text-message, instant-message, direct-message, Facebook-message (if you’re still on MySpace or Friendster, that’s just plain creepy), Facebook-chat, iChat, tweet, retweet (don’t even mention Twitter mentions), StumbleUpon, LinkIn with, zoom into, Google Buzz, Plaxify, Jigsaw, Digg, Skype, Spoke, poke, flick, or tag me. Don’t boxball, squareball, jingl, jangl, mingl, mangl, FairShare, Foursquare, twosquare, do-si-do, or swing your laptop round and round. I just want to be left alone.