Dear pigeons who live on my rooftop, directly above where my laundry hangs,
We all know where this is going. Today, I did my first load of laundry here, and it was not long before I made the connection that my balcony happens to be your, er, rest stop between my roof and the one across the street. You’ve left such a wealth of territory-marking evidence behind that I can only conclude that you believe you have rights to this property or, worse, that you are excrementally targeting my domain for your own amusement. Either way, this has got to stop.
I imagine today you flew between city lampposts and watched as I stepped out onto my balcony, intending to string up a laundry line, something I have never had to do before. You probably heckled me from the gutter as I peeked around at my neighbor’s balcony to get an idea of the best way to do it. You see, the owner of my apartment has left me with only one horizontal pole to tie a line to, so I was planning to improvise and tie the other end of the line to the AC unit, until the neighbor leaned around the divider and called over to me. By this point you must have been ROFL-ing (ripping out feathers laughing) as I shrank, afraid she was going to yell at me for peeping at her laundry. As pigeons, you surely know the fear that a yelling Bulgarian woman can strike into a skittish heart.
But you probably don’t know how meaningful it was to me that instead of yelling at me, she called over her English-speaking daughter to offer me help. They had been watching me too as I puzzled over my laundry line, and seconds later the girl’s shirtless father showed up at my door, bringing with him a thick cloud of garlic. He strode through my living room to the balcony to devise the more crafty and neighborly plan of tying my line to the top of our shared balcony divider. Never has a laundry-related task made my heart swell so.
No, I’m sure you have no idea of how meaningful it is to be the recipient of strangers’ random acts of kindness when you’re in a foreign land. You and your crow-nies have probably been terrorizing this bloc since you rebelled your way out of the nest, never allowing yourself to feel vulnerable, escaping to the sky every time someone startled you or invaded your personal comfort bubble. You don’t know how lonely it is, hanging your laundry up in a foreign land, crunching dried pigeon drops beneath your feet every time you turn to grab another pair of socks. No, you just fly overhead without a care in the world.
You may be well aware that nothing would be so disheartening to me as waking up to find my just-washed laundry soiled, and you may be planning your night raids around this very bit of reconnaissance. It’s plain to me that you have the upper hand in this battle. You’re lighter and faster, and there are no threats with which I could realistically follow through to terminate your activities. I could make some quip about pigeon pie, but I would never desecrate my oven with such an ingredient. Therefore I can only appeal to the shreds of goodness that I pray you carry in your tiny pigeon hearts. This is a town of a thousand balconies, many of which are abandoned and come with no angry, fist-shaking renters. I implore you, in the name of my white sheets and grown-up blouses and the kitchen towels I just bought, move your business to those balconies!
Sincerely hoping our paths part here,