The after-dinner nap was going well. I was deeply into it on a very cozy couch. One pillow was under my head and the other was over my head, dampening any sound that might keep me awake. In my dreams I saw whales, dressed patriotically in Evil Knievel bike kits, jumping in and out of a little aluminum trailer. The trailer was behind a 90-foot motor home with a sign on the front that said “formerly owned and well used by the band ALABAMA.”
The whales had changed back into their black and white bikinis when I sat up, awake or so I thought. What was that sound? I was standing smack in the middle of the movie THE BIRDS! These were not the average sparrows flying outside the window. I saw hundreds, maybe thousands of seagulls had taken to the sky in frenzied flight. One of the white and grey seabirds had the audacity to fly directly to the railing of the balcony, not three feet from me, for a stare down.
The sound of that many seagulls together deafened even the roar of the waves. They landed on the rocks at the edge ocean cliffs, now about a hundred yards from me. I relaxed with their distance. PHEW, glad that is over, I thought. But no, it wasn’t over. They got all wired up on secret sea air and I witnessed a replay. The squawking began and hundreds of seagulls made the loop and landed. But there didn’t seem to be as many perched on those precarious rocks. I turned to get my camera and off they went.
One of the larger ones, probably the one that came before and stared at me, headed straight for the open screen door. That would have been an interesting call to the front desk, “Uh, Hello. I have a giant seagull in my room can you send someone up?” The seagull veered of to the top of the roof so the call wasn’t necessary.
The frenzied seagull ritual continued. Every 15 minutes of so, off they would go.
The number that landed on the cliff in front of the condos kept diminishing, I decided that this must be their bedtime ritual. In the early rounds, I observed fewer of the younger seagulls returning. They had been dropped off at home, brushed their teeth, put on the pj’s, had a story read to them and gone to sleep like good little seagulls. The adults then returned to the party rocks outside my window for more fun.
Oh, my goodness this had been going on for 5 hours! Around 10 pm, the final sunlight had faded into the horizon. The birds gave it one more rally. Those die hard party seagulls gave a tired squawk and rested their weary bodies on the rocks. There were maybe ten left. If this was their home they had one heck of a mess to clean up in the morning. Apparently, Seagulls don’t leave around beer bottles and cigarette butts after parties like humans. They leave feathers, crab shells and bird poop. Inches and inches of bird poop covered the rocks. I was going to suggest they could borrow a carpet cleaner from the condo maintenance crew, but I thought that might cause problems with their bosses, as there was a lot of bird poop at the condos to be cleaned up also. Maybe the gulls could rent some cleaning supplies at ACE Hardware.
Time passed. noticed all was silent on the seagull front and I dozed on the couch. I hardly closed my eyes when at 11 pm I was startled by a very loud squawk, too close to my open screen door for comfort. Several other voices joined in and the remaining seagulls packed together in a mob and headed for the open screen door. I grabbed a pillow in defense and hoped to beat the birds to close the door, stopping short where the biggest bird was perched on a chair. I started beating it with my pillow, it did not budge so I hit it harder and harder. I heard “CAROL STOP IT. What are you doing?” Charlie took the pillow out of my hands and wrapped his arms around me.
The sun was streaming in the window and a sandwich was scattered across the floor.
This fictitious story was brought to you by REM sleep disorder. Rapid Eye Movement is a stage of sleep when the body is paralyzed, and the person cannot move to act out their dreams. Some people with Parkinson experience a disordered sleep cycle where they act out their dreams, mostly in a violent way. For some folks, this behavior lead to their diagnosis.