I've given up on the illusion of sleeping and am downstairs drinking black coffee. It is now 5 a.m., and Mr. Sunshine (aka Ruckus) has eaten his breakfast and is washing noisily in an easy chair. The humming refrigerator is drowning out the sound of the strange bird-frog sound that I've been listening to for the past several hours. It bears some resemblance to a bittern's call [un-ka-chunk, un-ka-chunk] and some resemblance to a bullfrog's belch [brap, brap, brap] and some resemblance to a grouse's drumbeat [visual replication suggestions welcome] but is more timid and delicate, rather like a frail lawnmower engine with rhythmic choke problems.
After spending a few hours listening to the bird-frog, I turned on the light and read the ending of Murder on the Orient Express, which was completely predictable, and thus here I am: writing to you in the dregs of the night. After I pour the rest of this pot of coffee into my digestive system, I believe I will go study some poems . . . a little Rilke, a little Hill. I may as well make use of this ridiculous hour. Later, after the sun rises, I will edit a book about George McGovern and go get my hair cut. Undoubtedly, at some point, I will collapse onto a flat surface in a delayed reaction to my sleepless night. Here's hoping that the bird-frog has moseyed into someone else's yard.