The grayness of the day was making me moody. There’s nothing in particular to be depressed about, life is generally good, but you know how it is…the gray…the dank…the dark…you get that kind of hollow knot under your sternum and find yourself drinking tea by the gallon and trying to find something good to brood about.* Living in Arizona sort of broke my light meter, I think.

I stood looking out the back window, feeling vaguely sad. Then a female cardinal landed in a nearby tree, fluffed herself up, and began preening extravagantly. I watched until she flew away, and just as I was about to descend into a Robert-Frost-esque moment of melancholy introspection about the healing power of nature, balm to the rueful human soul, etc, one of the squirrels came up, plopped his butt down on the railing about two feet from me, and began cleaning his ass with the sort of dedicated enthusiasm generally reserved for a certain class of Mapplethorpe photos.

Robert Frost would not have approved, but hell, you gotta laugh.

*How many times a day you have to go to the bathroom because of all that friggin’ tea is not a good subject for brooding, but if you’re desperate…

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