Skip to main content

The Birds are Crazy

A short story for Michela,

She had told me about the birds, the fucking birds. I’d discounted her talk, citing the usual reasons – the vulgarities of youthful excess, and a possible drug problem. So now, as I sit in my car, alone, with a kamikaze goose wrapped around my axle, I find myself trapped on a county road where people are afraid to stop to help a complicated stranger.

She said that they had approached her from the west -- two of them creating a diversion near a trashcan, while others were driving off customers with dive-bombing poop attacks on crowded tables, until she was isolated and alone. She felt a tug on her jeans, then, as she looked down, felt a sharply blunted peck to the back of her head. When she woke up, hours later, both her food and wallet were gone, and an irate waiter was waving a check at her while yelling obscenities in a language she didn’t understand.

I’m all for a little crazy, seeing it as a form of social lubrication for the inept, but the bird thing seemed to me to be too organized, unless it was just something randomly bouncing in her head – it was too anthropomorphic, man made, for my tastes – like something a schizophrenic, bored with the laws of Deuteronomy, would come up with as a reason to explain why their shoes were dirty and they had no teeth.

But I started paying attention after that. I noticed that the seagulls had, or at least appeared to have, a franchise at all of the McDonald’s trash areas, and the crows surrounded Burger King’s parking area like a ring of rent-a-cops.

I began to see patterns. Pigeons on the roofs of hospitals that followed doctors to their cars -- outdoor parakeets that danced just below my line of sight -- just yellow flashes that I caught out of the corner of my eye when looking away at something else.

It got weird, and I know weird.

I tried to call her, but the cell phones were dead, or at least mine was. My land line might have worked, but I’d used the batteries in my remote control a long time ago, and since then I’d cancelled my land line as well. I turned on the radio station and listened, again for the patterns and the rhythm of the thing I was sensing. It was Rush Limbagh, so useless for any purpose.

I decided to drive to her -- to set the record straight and to give us both a second chance. No one was out and it was spooky dark. I took the back road to her place to save some time. Unseen things bounced off my car with a pounding that matched my heartbeat. I think I hit something with a big long neck. It was still thumping with its wings and stuck under my car as I pulled over. 

Now I’m sitting on the side of the road, waiting.


Popular posts from this blog

Explain nothing, except your self

Explain nothing, except your self. I feel like the last of a tribe struggling to keep my identity a secret from the mob, one step ahead at best, reduced to hiding in bushes from the monsters waiting to snag and devour me. Sort of a delicacy and a poison – a non-specific drug that exudes memes instead of hormones and physical highs – subconscious, primitive analog get-off-ness apparently responsible for some weird competitive advantage consolidating over geological time out of our mixed genus ancestors, or maybe Texans. At the same time, I feel like spasmed dots from gods own printer cartridge ejaculated onto the canvas of a great emptiness, the thought of which is expressed in the three-dimensional representation of the position I’m braced into while doing the splatting -- all hologram like but only juicier and used -- like an in and out burger wrapper chewed on by a trashcan opossum. Or better, a goat in a pickup heading for a quinceanera debating Schrödinger with the

Free Willy

“…Some say it's just a part of it We've got to fulfill the book.” B. Marley Before I completely run away from the point, the subject of this essay is free will, or, more accurately, the illusion of free will. It will be interesting to see if free will even comes up laterally over the next few hundred words now that I’ve set it up as a specific goal.  The imp of the perverse makes it a sure thing that I won’t – but that surety might also double back and force  me to stay on point. There are no dogs to pick  in this fight and it’s not a fight,  and if I’m right, none of this is anything but documentation for a litigious god that will never see it. Like quantum mechanics, life is about either time or place, never both, and how we choose to pretty up our choices is neither the point, or even a choice – it’s after the fact punctuation we use to justify and make sense of our ontological messiness.  (Science has proven that we decide things with our body before the brain