Before work in the mornings I like to stop into The Grind and get a doughnut and coffee. It’s become part of my morning ritual, which as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more attached to. Call it a lingering aspect or a survival mutation of my adolescent OCD, but when things are not done the way that I am accustomed to, I get angry, grumpy, unlucky, and mad.

My favorite doughnut, and the favorite of those who work there, is the cafe au lait. It’s got light brown frosting and a graham cracker crumble.

I like to take my doughnut and coffee and sit outside, vaping my schmiggie.

One day, as I am performing this ritual, a sparrow comes flying in from across the street and starts flapping its wings in my face. Pulling my doughnut back in terror, I spill crumble crumbs on the sidewalk. The bird swoops down for the crumbs and snatches them up in a hurry, looking back up at me with its beak threateningly open and advancing.

I dust some more crumble crumbs onto the sidewalk.

But the bird wants more. It flies back into my face. I tear a piece of my doughnut and throw it down, but the bird is unsatisfied.

I end up having to swat at it with my hand and make a retreat.

Musette tells me I should have seen it as a sign, but at the time, all I could think was, “Shit, I’ve got to tell JR.”

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