Wednesday, January 23, 2008

View From An Emergency Department Waiting Room

It is a dark and dreary day outside.

There is a small, quiet, leafless tree right outside my window. It contains, wedged between it's delicate branches, a tiny nest. What an unhappy little home, probably built over the summer when everything was green and leafy. How was the mama bird to know how bleak and barren her resting place was to become?

Across the highway, upon the telephone lines that tower over the Nick, rest about a hundred black birds. They crowd together, close to the pole. They sit there all day, rain or shine. I often wonder why they don't venture out to perch on the lovely, large trees all around them. I guess that sitting above the constant zooming traffic gives them some enjoyment. It would certainly be some entertainment, watching all of the merging and passing. All of the daring stunts that people pull off these days while driving down the highway.

Turning his wee head towards his companion, Benji Pigeon ruffled his wings, "Hey Harold! Did you see that lady in the SUV? She's amazing! She was talking on her cell phone and putting on lipstick at the same time, all while steering with her left knee. That's so incredible! I wish I had knees."

"And hands, fingers, and a cell phone," grumbled Harold, "so I could call her and tell her that she's about to hit that ugly, bright yellow Crown Victoria...Whoa! Dude. That was a close one."

Harold leaned forward, grimacing. "Why DO they call that 'the bird'? That offends me so much. It doesn't even look like one of our feathered friends. I've seen some kids make some shadow puppets that would be appropriately named that. I love shadow puppets. One time I sat outside of the window at this big house on Highland and..."

"That's so weird." Benji hopped to the side and back again.


"Peeping in on a human kid's playtime."

"It's fun! They can do so many things that we can't do."

"For instance?"

"Well...draw pictures, play scrabble, eat peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off."

"We can eat peanut butter sandwiches, Harold."

"If you want to call that eating. If I had hands, I'd pick up one of those beautiful know I love it when moms cut them in triangles. Cutting sandwiches in half, totally boring."

"I think you think about this too much. Seriously, did you see the way that Grandma I-Forgot-To-Take-My-Meds in that boat of an Oldsmobile pulled out in front of the horse-faced guy in the white BMW? If he hadn't stopped with the hair flipping in the rearview mirror, they might have ended up with a real crunch fest. That was awesome."

"Yes. That WAS awesome," sighed Harold, staring at the tip of his wing. "Peanut butter and jelly."

"Did you say something?" Benji leaned forward.

"No. Nothing."

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