24 Jun 2005

Night Song - I

A new singer (screecher ?) had moved into my flat yesterday, unnoticed and uninvited.
It’s not often that i have guests coming to stay at home, and uninvited, never. But here was the singer and his music for free - already in my flat. Must have moved in when i was not around and now i could do precious little to change the situation.


It would have taken him quite an effort to reach my flat. i live a bit up in the sky. Or did he just hitch a free ride in the lift ? A stowaway, maybe ? Snuggling in the inviting comfort of the hay packing, in a crate of ripe and juicy mangoes ? A successful purchase by our fifth-floor resident from his friendly fruit-seller.

And when the lights went out at night, he would have crawled out of his cozy corner, onto the slippery ceramic tiles of the kitchen floor - exploring inquisitively, hungrily. Tentative initially and later, boldly. Attracted by the strip of fluoroscent landing light shining through the bottom of the door, he would have crawled out, right on to the landing. He would probably have tripped over the edge and dropped down the first stair, taken by surprise. A few more tumbles and his primordial brain would have slowly adapted to this new method of locomotion - twenty-three steps followed by a leap, down to the next stair.

Traversing a long flight of stairs, he reached another strip of floor, blazing with light but which appearing flat all around – no more tumbles. Still exploring, he crawled straight into the inviting darkness under my neighbour's, on the fourth floor. An intruder was noiselessly breaching locked doors that night, while the residents lived their beautiful dreams !
He would have crept into a cool corner. Behind a shoe rack ?  
And then, the genetic programming of a million years taking over, he would have started his rasping call. Not the low mating song, but his signature tune - announcing his arrival into the flat and the world at large. His shrill call pierced the silence of the night. Through the haze of deep sleep it was distant and disturbing in the beginning, but steadily became proximal, persistent and irritating. A rude awakening for the little kid and his parents.

They would have come out of bed in their crumpled night-dresses, irritated. Armed with a flashlight and brooms, the entire family would have initiated a “seek and evict” mission, searching all the dark recesses of the flat. Millions of years of medullar evolution and the coordination of three human brains would have quickly located him behind the shoe rack. He would have felt the vibrations come nearer, and stopped his call in alarm. But by then, it would have been too late. He would have cowered in his corner under this sudden spot of bright light, exposed and frightened.

A quick swish of the broom would have sent him sliding, rolling helplessly across the smooth floor and under the door, crashing headlong onto the wall of the landing. He lay there for moments, hurt and dazed. He eventually rolled upright, stretched his wings and legs, brushed his antennae and wiped his eyes - confirming that he had come through yet another encounter, still in one piece !

To be concluded...

1 comment:

runawaysun said...

Wonderful. Nice to see that your Muse is still with you.