It’s important to be apprised of these five facts:
That nearing the hour of his death, Charlemagne ruefully observed that one of his great regrets was that he had never had sport with the dog headed men of the east, the Cynocephali, the kin of St. Christopher.
That the stewards of the Tower of London once let the polar bear kept in the menagerie, swim in the Thames, from one end of a long and heavy chain.
That suicides diminished by a wide statistical percentage when manufacturers of sleeping pills began to package them in blister wrapping, for the work of pushing all of them out of the little pockets turned out to be too demanding a task for the morbidly depressed.
That the other day, my elderly neighbor gave volumes II, IV, and V of The Pictorial History of WWII. She said her favorite pictures were in the fifth volume and flipped past the photographs of the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of the concentration camps, the Soviet flag over the Reichstag to find her very favorite full page spread. She found it and her eyes wrinkled up devilishly and held the spine of the book akimbo to show me the image of Mussolini and his mistress hanging upside down dead in a Milan garage.
That underneath the bushes of St. Paul’s and all down 5th Avenue toward the Cathedral of Learning, there are speakers that play the sounds of birds of prey all day and night to keep pigeons from nesting in window sills. You can be walking home before dawn in the morning and listen to the sound of an electronic eagle echoing down the empty streets.