We were in the middle of a prolonged heat wave, with high temperatures each day ranging between 95 and 102.  In order to beat the heat, I was out the door at a little after 6:00 am that Sunday on one of my thrice weekly, 40-mile bike rides.  Not one car had passed me in over 5 miles, and I was about to crest Collins Mountain, which isn’t really much of a mountain, but being as it’s the highest ground for some miles around they named it that and at some point plunked three gigantic antennae among the loblollies.

Due to the lack of traffic, I was just pumping hard, and not really tuned in to what was going on around me.  So I was startled a bit when out of the corner of my eye I saw a large bird fly up on the right side of the road.  Probably 99 times out of 100 that bird will be a buzzard that’d been scared off of a carcass of some sort, but I could see that this bird wasn’t black as it crossed in front of me and landed on a low branch of a small tree.  After it lit in the tree, I saw that it was quite a large owl, and that there, sitting on other branches were two more owls, probably a family, as owls are fiercely territorial.  Just as sure as I was that I’d never seen three owls in one tree before and never would again, I was equally sure at that moment that what I’d seen was some sort of a “sign.”

Fast forward now a few days.  Again, I’m out early, this time heading in the other direction, north.  I was on Dairyland Road just a quarter mile from the dairy store when I saw something that at first looked like a dead cat in the middle of the road.  As I got closer though the undeniable smell of skunk hit me.  I quickly came up on the body and amazingly, it turned out to be an albino skunk!  Now surely that has to be a sign.

The thing about signs like these is that you don’t know what they portend.  Making it worse you don’t even know the time frame.  So all you’ve really got is a notion that something pretty special (could be bad, could be good) is going to happen sometime, probably sooner (but not necessarily) rather than later.  Essentially, you’ve got nothin’, but still…those were signs.

Actually, I take back part of what I said there.  I do know one thing that will happen for sure because of those signs.  I’m going to lose the three dollars (two more than usual) that I spent on (I mean invested in) lottery tickets this weekend.  Crap!

Speaking of signs, I was walking on campus last week, and as I passed by The Ackland Museum (UNC’s art museum) I saw a big banner plastered across the front of the building.  Here’s a photo.

Version 2

Holy cow, I thought, those are my initials.  Someone there must have read my last post and recognized my prodigious talent as an artist.  Here’s the photo of my art work from the last post.

Version 2

I got pretty excited thinking, my god, they’re mounting an exhibition of my tractor-related art.  Then I read the fine print and saw that their BRB simply means “Be Right Back.”  You know, not in my 68 years have I seen BRB used in that manner.  I’m guessing this new usage was driven by the pervasive need for brevity that today’s social media demands.  So, bottom line, the internet has co-opted my initials, and I don’t get my one-man show.  Double crap.

I guess one good thing has been confirmed.  I’m clairvoyant.  I just confirmed by checking the internet that I accurately predicted my loss of three dollars this weekend.  Woo hooooo!

And to sign off now in addition to thanking you for reading, I’ll add BRB.


One response to “Signs

  1. Mark Borkovec

    Hey my friend, great post! Received the Jam!


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