A black squirrel scratched its way up the window screen. Its belly, gray and fat with dumpster trash, pressed against it, bowing it slightly. I lay mostly unclothed on the bed beside the window, clutching a miniature baseball bat (not a euphemism) and hoping it wouldn't find the squirrel-sized hole (not a euphemism) in the screen just a foot to its left. If it jumped through the hole onto the bed, I would club it to death like the sexy-tailed rat it is.
The breeze felt cool. The squirrel climbed left and poked its head though the hole. Its jaws worked as if chewing. I looked into its black eyes and cocked the bat.
"Gheee-ta-ta-ta-ta," it said, producing a seed pod from somewhere and dropping it on the windowsill.
Was this the same squirrel I braked for this morning? There aren't a whole lot of black squirrels in the city, at least not on the North Side. But squirrels don't remember. They certainly don't know where I live.
"Reee-ta-ta-ta," it said.
"Thank you?" I replied.
It dashed down the screen to the ledge, then onto the tree, and it was gone. I picked up the pod and took a bite. Tasty, nutty. Maybe I should have said "you're welcome." It certainly is welcome.