I woke up one morning and lit a cigarette, leaned against the wall I'd been camping next to for almost a year. It was seven in the morning and the sun had been up for about an hour so it was pleasantly warm. I just lazed and smoked and the smoke curled me into a curious daydream and then a hummingbird glided past. It kind of caught me by surprise but I managed not to move too much and about 30 seconds later the hummingbird hovered back into view, backwards this time, like a miniature Harrier Jet, with traslucent wings. God knows his little heart must have been going like the clanger on a brass alarm clock but that's okay, it was designed to function that way. Hummingbirds, you see, are natures version of an electric motor: fast, silent and economical. And this particular one was no slacker. At the time this took place I was drinking a lot. To tell you the truth I may have broken the silt on my tongue with a liberal application of Taaka vodka that very morning. That would account for my dreamy indolence and the unusually warm, almost sensual sunlight that permeates my memories of that morning and leaves me in a light sweat now, just recalling it. I didn't even blink and he came closer, humming like a Gillette shaver, hovering just a foot from my face. We regarded each other across a void nearly as wide as the one that separates God from man and if he knew, on any level at all, what I was, he didn't show it (there's a great theological truth hidden away inside that observation, I think). Anyway, I've come to the conclusion since that morning that hummingbirds don't think. They can't. If a hummingbird thought for one second about what it was doing it would crash face-first into concrete with the reciprocating madness of it all. I can't even imagine what kind of brain it would take to oversee the activities of a creature capable of performing 90 degree turns, one-after-the-other...through brush, sideways. An alien brain, that's what it would take, or a brain alien to mine at least. (Come to think of it, maybe UFOnauts are genetically linked to hummingbirds, that would explain their ability to withstand all the forces purportedly exerted against their bodies during their incredible flying-saucer maneuvers...has anyone ever reported hummingbirdlike-aliens? Hmm.) It was intensely strange having that little green helicopter thrumming just inches from my face, it was almost unbearable. Never in my life had I thought of hummingbirds as even vaguely dangerous but now, now that one was hanging six inches off the end of my nose, I began to have my doubts What, after-all, did I know of hummingbirds? Nothing. And then something clanked in my memory and one of those pieces of knowledge you think you'll never need came rattling down the drain-pipe into view: The Aztecs worshiped the hummingbird as some kind of a deity and the Aztecs were brutally, gruesomely, revoltingly BLOODTHIRSTY! Bloody hummingbirds darted through my mind, beaks dripping, hearts beating like sacrificial drums... All the more reason not to blink, I reasoned.


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