It was still morning, a fact hidden by the overcast skies, and my mood was overcast as well. I'd just emerged from the auto parts store without finding what I sought, though I can't recall now what that might have been. My mind was still mulling over the fact that a few hours earlier, on a previous visit to that store, I returned to my car parked in the rear lot to find that someone had spray painted a blotch across the front fender. With rising anger I scanned the lot, knowing that this act of vandalism had just been perpetrated. There was no one about. I checked to see if other cars had been damaged but found none. My anger grew. Clearly, some some youths had specifically targeted my car, so they must have watched me drive up and it must have bothered them to see me driving such a nice car. It wasn't a new car, but it was new to me and it was a top-of-the-line model. So I concluded that it had been done out of envy.
If only they had approached me in the first place, I reasoned, I could have told them how hard I worked to save enough to buy it and that I even went across the country to find the best price. But they were cowards, probably still watching me from some hiding place, laughing at their victim and enjoying their senseless act.
I drove home and used rubbing compound and some wax to remove the still fresh paint. Now I was back, not so much because I needed to buy something else, but because I wanted another chance to catch them and confront them. As I again headed back along the alley that led to the parking lot, all my senses were on full alert, on edge, fed by a rising heart beat. Suddenly something buzzed past my head and hit the ground with a loud plop, like a newspaper falling hard upon a porch. I stopped. It was a dead seagull, already stiff with rigor mortis. I spun around to see who had thrown it at me but found no one, so I immediately turned my gaze up to the rooftops. There was no one visible there either, so I listened carefully, hoping to hear footsteps atop one building or another so that I could run to block their exit. My anger was rising again. Just then, I caught sight of a large brown hawk flying away from me. Its feathers were all ruffled with annoyance, to such an extent that I could almost hear it say: "Damn! I dropped it!"
I returned to my undamaged car and drove off, no longer angry but amused by the fact that my own feathers had been ruffled. Life, someone once said, may be punctuated by cataclysmic events, but it is held together by moments of seeming insignificance.
Causes Frank Pineiro Supports