You’ve been out all night and it’s time to go back home. The night air is crisp and chilly as you motion for a cab somewhere in the Village. You may be riding with a person you met tonight, you may be alone, but this is certain: you want to be in bed. A cab stops in front of you and you climb in. The door closes with a thud and the driver accelerates into the night. You give the address of your apartment to the sleepy-eyed driver, who nods acceptingly at the destination. The clock reads 3am, but your body tells you it is 5am. Baby, you need to sleep.
The brakes give off a small squeal as the cab comes to a full stop in front of your apartment. Still drunk from the night and happy at the arrival of a welcome location, you pay the cab driver a generous amount and bid him a good night. You give off a big sigh of relief and walk up the two flights to your apartment. You briefly think about the convenience of an elevator followed by things you’d like to do on an elevator but you focus on something else, something more tangible, something that’s actually there: your bed. You can feel its wonderful duck feather pillows and the body contour mattress, the beautiful hospital corners and the wrinkle-free down blanket. All you want to do is sleep. The door is just around the corner. You fish for the keys in your pocket and feel the warm metal touch your fingertips as you face the heavy, steel-plated door. The keys enter the lock effortlessly and you turn the knob. The door closes after you. Your eyes are essentially closed, and you’re soon in your bed, still dressed. You drift away to sleep.
You are asleep for less than an hour when there is a loud noise. You stir, hoping that it was a one-time incident. It happens again. You sit up, holding your upper body up with your hands to the mattress to look around, in a daze, and wonder if your television is on. You hear the same sound again. It is somewhat melodic. Confused, you reluctantly get up from your bed and walk over to the window. Is some asshole playing music at 5 in the morning? You look outside beyond your disheveled reflection in the window to see the sun poking out from the horizon. These are birds singing for the sun to rise. They chirp, merrily, inconsiderate of their neighbors who have had too much to drink the night before, and they sing, oblivious of the time. A sparrow lands on the windowsill and looks at you. It cocks its head to the left and lets out a small peep. More flock to the windowsill and all begin to peep and chirp and tweet a tune that hurt your ears. They now seem to be dancing. You tap the window. They fly away, tweeting and chirping, as if you have disturbed their age-old rituals. You look down at the trees in the miniature square. Birds have gathered on the decade-old branches. They too, are singing songs about the sun. You can hear them mock you as they laugh at your current state of being and their success in foiling your attempts at sleep.
A whistle interrupts the cacophonic scene. You think it’s an asshole joining the songs of the birds. You look around to see the jackass but no, it is a robin, perched contently on the fire escape, its rear facing your window. The sun is now halfway above the ground. You glance into the red-hot sphere. Its rays sear your eyes and you are temporarily blinded. You curse yourself. How could you be so stupid? You are still drunk, you reason. It’s okay. The birds seem to be cheering at your stupidity. They dance and sing and now are holding hands. You open your window. As you do so, the robin flies away, but not before leaving something behind. It is white and viscous and slowly slides off the railing on to the ground two stories below. You clear your throat and let out a brief shout. Everything goes quiet. All heads are turned to you, the jerkoff who wants to join in the festivities. A crow caws in the distance, laughing at your idiocy and with it, the rest of the birds realize the sun is now more than three-quarters of the way off the ground. The sun seems to have revitalized their singing. They are now louder by ten-folds. You seem to have lost your mind, cursing at the birds. There you are standing sleepless and mindless. Fuck birds.