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Giving up on my little bird

There’s a certain amount of giving up requisite to keeping your wits about you, certain concessions necessary to remain something in the neighborhood of happy.

Your GPS will heave as it searches for the address, whilst you concede point after point to keep everyone’s smile above half mast. Take the 2nd left, then a sharp right; it’s a one way street–I’m sorry–and snagging a parking spot is damn near impossible. Good luck.

For two summer’s running, a fist-sized bird with a rich burgundy belly and a patch of cheerier red atop its head would routinely dart over to my bathroom window from the white pine that splits into two about seven feet up.

white pine

She’d flap furiously before finding her footing on the dirty off-white ledge and proceed to tap her beak against the glass relentlessly, like a toddler calling out, “Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy”. I never had a clue as to what she wanted.

On some days, the bird would do the job of waking me up: the sun and the rustling of broad leaves and the tabby cat flailing to be closer to the outside world, already having failed to do so.

Sometimes, at midday, I’d see her through the steam of the shower. Tap tap tap. Hey, Kid. Missed you this morning.

She was a tapdancer hitting all her marks with the precision of a Hollywood star.

I think I loved her.

The bird’s arrival seemed to be timed specifically so as to greet me, to say hello – how are you? – do you have anything for me, the very moment my leading foot touched down on the cool tile.

Tap, tap, tap.

I’d talk to her, believing full well such dialogue was the first step to lunacy.

Questions like, where have you been?, what have you seen?, did you happen upon story or two in your travels? I received only more pings upon the window — foggy now, a cloak behind which she hid.

It went on like this for months, for years, until she stopped coming ’round cold turkey.

Thoughts of her, of her belly, of her eyes peering in, and how the sharp sound of a beak no bigger then a thumbnail could resonate warmly throughout a home, fly into my head still, albeit sparingly now.

I’ve given up on hearing her tap on the glass of the bathroom window ever again.

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