The Kerouac pigeons

Do you ever have one of those days that is luminous and wonderful one moment and grim (and rather disgusting) the next? Just the other day, I was in North Beach, and I stopped by City Lights books. They had one rather lonely-looking copy of “Cactus,” so I signed it, which was fun, considering that City Lights is the land of Ferlinghetti and The Beats. The City Lights staff was very nice about it. They put it back on the shelf with a little sticker saying “Signed By The Author.’ Moments later, I was walking with Amy down Columbus, and an enormous group of pigeons, straight out of Hitchcock, swooped down and voided themselves all over us — a tidal wave of voiding, and it covered both of us from head to toe. We tried to run but the pigeons closed in on us and kept bombing away. Wham, wham, wham. Passersby stopped and stared. Amy insists that this incident was “good luck” and “a very good sign.” She even joked that it was some kind of ectoplasmic shout-out from beyond the grave by Kerouac himself. I think my dry cleaner will disagree.

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