Between preparing for Sankanbi and for tomorrow’s classes (I teach six periods out of seven), I was at work until seven o’clock. On my way back, I sort of resigned myself to the idea that there’d probably be at least a little pigeon shit on my balcony – I’d been gone for six hours after lunch instead of the usual four.
So, tired and hungry, I look out on the balcony. Yep, there’s some new ones. I hear rustling from the balcony next door.
“S., is that you?”
“Oh, yeah, Will, I’m just out here doing a wash.”
“Ok, good. ‘Cause I thought it was one of those goddamned pigeons, and if it was I was going to [expletive] the [expletive] [expletive].”
“Yeah… I don’t know why they seem to like your balcony so much.” We went on to talk about getting guns. “It’s a good investment,” he said.
I ducked back inside to get my paper towels and cleaner. When I came out again, I noted that this was the third time I’d seen droppings on the same spot on the ledge just in front of the washing machine. A folded-up deck chair was leaning against the wall between them – it was there when I’d moved in, and I hadn’t disturbed it since.
“I don’t know why they seem to like your balcony so much.” And why were there little twigs and sticks on – oh, no.
I moved the chair. Under the divider between our balconies lay a brooding pigeon on a crude nest and a little white egg.
We took flash photos.
“S., it’s laid an egg!”
“Well, there’s a moral dilemma for you, Will,” he said cheerfully.
Augh. This couldn’t be happening. Could the nest somehow be moved? No. How long was nesting season? Two or three weeks. Gah. I called the office.
After ten rings someone answered.
“<something curt and short>”
I thought maybe it was an affirmative, but after a second of silence I heard the sound of the woman on the other end clunking down the receiver, followed by a dial tone.
Ah, geez… well maybe S. and I scared it off – nope, it’s still there.
I decided to ask D. since I couldn’t get a hold of Mk. I knocked on his door, and no one answered. Then K. opened her door (the very next one) and was startled to see someone standing nonchalantly so nearby.
We talked about the pigeons. She revealed that she and F. also have nesting pigeons, and her own had laid two eggs. Aiyiyi. We talked about maybe asking Mk. to talk to the superintendent, since this was happening to so many people at once.
K. had it worse. Last week, the pigeons got into her apartment and tried to establish a nest under her bed. She had to get D. to come by to help her get rid of them. And of course pigeons are about as sharp as cotton, and as they tried to chase them out the birds just kept going back and forth between the air conditioner and the closet, the air conditioner, the closet, the air conditioner, the closet, the air conditioner…
Anyway, in the <cough> dovetailing interests of conscience and taking the easy way out, I’ve decided to allow the flying rat to stay where it is, and I’ll be mentally prepared to clean up turds every six-to-eight hours for the next few weeks. Argh, what am I saying? Well, at least I’m glad I bought lots of paper towels the other night.