by Pat A Physics
Not one of my birds was alive when I got home. I threw my hat. Damn!
I kicked the wastebasket. Christ! I turned on the tap water. And the water
was running while I stared through the curtain at the birds outside. They sang
and left the power line one at a time. I filled a glass with the water and sipped
lukewarm water pensively. I was going to throw all my millet seed into my
backyard and just donate the cage after cleaning it out. This wasn’t my fault.
I could beat myself up about it all, but the thought had crossed my mind to
free the finches before I had left the house. Then that had been followed up
with the fact that they wouldn’t have survived in the wild anyway, and that
putting an extra measuring cup of seed would keep them alive, probably. Probably not.
I used my shoe polishing brush to sweep the bird bodies into a shoe box.
Good thing I had already broken up with Daffney. She’d cry and get quiet.
“You irresponsible, son of a bitch!” We had had our fights. I remember when
our chubby baby died. She took it out on me. She knew that he was fifteen
and on his last leg. I buried the birds next to his grave in the garden. The garden
was really bad now. I cleaned out part of a dead tomato plant. What had she
left me for? Someone who gardened better, took care of the cat? That’s right.
Feeling bad is what people do to try and ruin everyone else’s good time. Can’t stay over,
I’ve got to water the lawn, right now. Rain-check? Well, that’s when I have my
yoga class. Yes, Thursday is great, right after I bury some dead birds. See you then.
My friends told me that I didn’t need the birds. I hadn’t listened because I was
too busy to even consider trivial housekeeping. I was so scared of the birds.
It was amazing that I had lasted with them as long as I had. It even amazed me now,
outside with them in the ground. This had all taken place despite my fear of birds.
I had never really addressed my fear. Birds were shrieking in my subconscious.
They sang chaotic songs that irritated my soul and made me uncomfortable always.
I was a bad, stiff bird in my previous life, I was sure. I had pecked out an angelic liver
every time I whistled a string of notes. And after the holy liver grew back,
I’d peck it right out again and make all of heaven hate my screeching even more.