The first night’s song consisted of city noises: sirens, jackhammers, the sound of a ball peen striking a chisel, car alarms, audible crosswalks for the visually impaired. It was so loud that I gave up on our bed and spent the night in the study, which has double-paned windows to shut out the noise. On the couch I slept poorly, and I spent the next day running from the printer’s to the library and then back home again trying to finish my endless school projects. It was sweltering outside and the ice caps were melting. The cat litter needed changing. Around our kitchen compost, the fruit flies swarmed. I wanted a shower, but I didn’t have time for it. Dinner was a bag of popcorn and a stale piece of cheese. I stayed up late rewriting a paper, then I fell into bed. My eyeballs hurt.
Last night we slept with the windows wide open: at last, a cool fog had settled in to temper the heat. This time, thank God, the mockingbird’s song mimicked seagulls and terns, loons and sandpipers, and something that might be a bird of prey.
I recently read in a bird book that when the mockingbird finds his mate, he stops singing at night. The semester has almost come to an end. Lately, I’ve been getting into arguments.