Granola bars cooling, a copy of American Grown by Michelle Obama on my coffee table (only $20 at Barnes & Noble with discounts — and, yes, printed in the U.S. of A.), and a couple of weird off kilter odd hour birds doing the old fashioned kind of tweeting. My dog answers back with barks, and warns off any would-be interlopers or party crashers. I know this bird. I missed him last year, noticed he wasn’t around. Before that, though, he would be up at all kinds of odd hours singing loud, listening to his tune bounce off the row houses and down the street. People on the block knew him. We called him the Crazy Bird. “Did you hear that Crazy Bird at, like, 2 in the morning?” Some people were amused. Others, rubbing their eyes and pushing back their hair, fumbling for their metrocard, not so. Even though he would wake me up inopportunely, something about the persistence was admirable. He’d perch on the ledge of the deck outside my bedroom door, where my jalapenos were happiest last year but the morning glories never grew. Some mornings I would wake up and there he’d be, wrapping up another night of revelry. I don’t know where he went last year but he’s back now. I can’t see him now in the dark of night but I do recognize his voice. It’s unmistakable. And I tip tap away at my keyboard, wishing I could whistle back. (It’s not a talent I possess). I hear another one, though, talking back. Might be telling this one to get some sleep. I’ll take heed. Before I do, I pause because I think I recognize that tune … sounds like happy birthday to me.