Once, when the boys were babies and I lived in a tiny little apartment built in the 1940s, there was a hurt bird in our front yard. I wanted to take it to the local wildlife shelter, but every time I went to pick it up (with a kitchen towel to wrap around it) it would try to fly away and the fluttering of its wings made me panic. I kept trying to get my nerve up, but every single time I would jump back, shaking, my breath stuck in my chest. I knew it needed help, but I also was agonizing over stressing it out in order to get it caught. I think we both had some impressive adrenaline levels going. One of my neighbors got impatient with me, came over, stuck her cigarette firmly in the corner of her mouth and said, Jeezus — gimme that towel, as she snapped it from my fingers, bent over and scooped up the bird in one motion. The boys and I put it in a shoebox, rubberbanded the lid on, and drove it to the wildlife center.
I was thinking about that this morning. About how often the fluttering of stuff keeps me from just doing it. About how I need to just grab the goddamned towel already and get on with it.