It felt like someone had chucked a marble, hitting me in the shoulder. It stung. But it also stunk because it wasn’t a marble; it was bird shit.
Now I’m no expert in physics, but given the velocity of the bird poop, the bird must’ve been somewhere in the stratosphere, which starts at 33,000′.
I was hobbling down Main Street from my breakfast date at the Downtown Farm Stand with Annie after our morning CrossFit work out. Since I’ve been traveling for my latest book, it has essentially been a month since I did a workout of much significance, hence the hobbling. It doesn’t hurt to sit or lie in one place and not move. But if Rick Grimes saw me walking down the street, he’d probably mistake me for a zombie and put his ax in my head.
At first, I wrongly assumed that I could wipe off the poop with a napkin. There was too much. I’ve read that when bombers drop their payloads, the lightening of their load causes them to rapidly gain altitude. The heavier the load, the greater the ascent. If that’s the case for birds, this particular bird, must be orbiting Earth by now.
So, I was the shirtless guy in downtown Muncie, and, yes, the top button of my shorts was unbuttoned. (I ate well in Burma, Cambodia, and India, and avoided all stomach bugs and I didn’t work out for a month.)
For a brief moment I put on my stinky, sweaty workout shirt, but then I realized I had a bag in my trunk that has been on its way to Goodwill for two years. There was an I “heart” Ferguson shirt in the bag that I bought in Ferguson, Missouri, when I went with my Facing Project co-founder J.R. to talk to folks about leading a project. We bought the shirt for our friend Ashley Ford who was instrumental in raising $450K for the Ferguson Library. Later we learned that the I “heart” Ferguson movement was basically a movement led by white business owners, and had a bit of a political agenda beyond love.
If I hadn’t traveled for the last month, I would’ve been walking faster and I may not have even been on a breakfast date with Annie, and I may have avoided the indignity of some space bird pooping on me. If I hand’t founded a nonprofit storytelling project, I wouldn’t have had a spare purple shirt with an agenda in my trunk.
All this to say…
Our entire lives lead us into each moment and sometimes in that moment a bird shits on you from 33,000′.
Hope your moments today are a bit more pleasant.