He sent me out of the office with a script for progesterone to take for 12 days. He said when I stopped taking it, my body would kind of "reset" itself and I'd finally have a period. So I dutifully took the pills, and now... the floodgates have been opened! Let me tell those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing a period after months off just how fun it is! I mean, if you ever wondered what it might feel like for you if someone had made a voodoo doll of you and stabbed it repeatedly in the lady parts with a ginormous sewing needle, just ask me!
So I'm in bed this morning, cursing Eve and womanhood and praying for sweet release by death when Joe comes out of the bathroom. "I think there's a dead bird in our yard," he pronounces, walking over to our bedroom window, peering out the blinds, and then walking back into the bathroom to shower. I don't care. I want to pull his tongue out of his mouth with my teeth for thinking I might even give that a second thought.
But since he said it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Eventually, I peek outside from between the blinds and think what I see looks like it very well could be a bird. So when I head downstairs to consider having some nourishment with my Aleve cocktail, I open the blinds at the kitchen window and look out again. The view really isn't any better from here, directly below our bedroom, but I tell myself it probably is a bird and vow to stay away.
Being the good wife that I am, I decide to take out the garbage and recycling instead of making Joe take it out in the dark when he gets home tonight or letting it pile up for another day or two before I take it out. And while I'm outside, in the backyard, I can't stop staring at the pile of whatever-it-is about five feet away from the back fence. It does look bird-like, but it's kind of big. My curiosity wins out, so I creep toward the pile, my heart threatening to jump out of my chest as I do so.
I think I'm going to have a heart attack or vomit (not from pain but fright) as I get closer to the pile. It's clear now that it's a bird, but I don't want to get too close. Who knows what might be feeding on it, just out of my sight? My imagination takes over and I fear that maybe some wild animal killed it, left it there as bait, and is somehow in my backyard, lurking I-don't-know-where while waiting for a bigger meal to come along. Utterly freaked out, I hurry back inside.
So, of course, I update my Facebook status to let everyone I've ever known in my life share in my horrific experience. I know I won't touch the thing with my bare hands, with gloved hands, with a shovel, or with a 10-foot pole. Instead, I ask what to do about it. My friend Teri posts, and I am inspired by her posting to do an Internet search: what to do with a dead bird Washington state. A couple clicks later, and I find a phone number to the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. I give them a call, silently praying that they'll rush to my house to dispose of the bird and offering money as a reward for calling them like a good petrified citizen.
Ella answers the phone and asks me some questions like, "What color is it?" and "Do you know the difference between hawks and owls?" and "Do you happen to live by a lake or anything?" I inform her that the wingspan is approximately 3 feet and I can't see the bird's head. She asks if there's any way I can take a picture of it and email it to her so she can identify the bird. I agree and slide my feet back into my flip flops, turn off the alarm, and grab my digital camera. As I open the door to head outside, I hear Marie coming down the stairs. I know she's watching my life-and-death adventure and will tell Joe of my untimely demise if necessary.
I creep up to the bird as close as I dare, practically shaking as I zoom in the camera. I take one shot:
Then I see the talons on this thing, peeking out from its tail feathers. Holy crap they're long! I say a silent prayer that the bird is actually dead and not faking its death so it can attack me and claw my eyes out as I inch around to the other side to get another picture showcasing the Talons of Death. I tell myself that if I look through my camera lens only, I will be safer somehow. I see the size of the talons and claws on my camera's screen and swear my mind must be playing tricks on me. So I bravely lower the camera to get a look at it with my naked eye, and they are even bigger. Holy crap! I decide I'm done with the photo shoot and hurry back into the safety of my house.
Marie tells me she observed me from the kitchen window and laughed at my stealthy and terrified gait. She refuses to go outside to get a closer look at the bird, so I show her the pictures as I upload them onto my computer. I email the pictures to Ella, who thinks the bird appears to be a hawk of some sort but says she can't be sure from its back. She reports that she will call a biologist in the area and have them contact me. I'm still waiting for the call. And if they don't contact me by tomorrow, she says I can dispose of it in the garbage, double bagged. If it gets to that point, Joe has the honors. After all, my body is in enough pain right now without possibly having to add "fight the bird flu" to its list of demands.