I think about birds alot these days as they mass in huge clumps around my little bungalow.
In fact, I have become obsessed with them as they wage war on my property.
Strangely enough, I had a similar incident happen in my small town to the” falling blackbirds” tale which have dominated the current news cycle. What is going on?
Is it some kind of sign? A stroke of mother nature’s whim?
I do not know. But here’s a little bird story for you. Perhaps not as scary as Hitchcock ‘s ” The Birds” or Edgar Allen Poe but I did my best for you.
The bird theme is a metaphor for a woman’s inner struggle to gain control of her emotional state as she battles the external elements.
Nothing scares him. Not even my gun directed at his eyes. He stares back at me unfazed. I lift up the rifle to shoot. He glares back at me. Taunting me. I should probably shoot him and be done with it. But what if I miss ? What will happen then?
Every morning it’s the same old routine. His pounding. Pecking. The relentless noise of his chin doing endless destruction to my property. I hate him. I hate them all. Why did he choose me? Why won’t he leave me alone. I dream of him at night. The same relentless drone of his voice. The crackle of his laugh. Taunting me. Always the same old smile as he stands there unrepentant balancing so effortlessly as if he’s floating on water. He defies gravity. Nothing stops him. I put up endless obstacles hoping he’ll forget where I live. He leaves for a day and I sigh in relief… Maybe he found some one else to torment— then he will leave me alone once and for all. He moves from one part of the house to the other. I hear him somewhere in the attic. Next he will be in my bedroom. Clawing and pecking. I turn over as if to make myself unavailable to him. I mentally will him to go away.
This was supposed to be our dream house. It was supposed to be our cozy little getaway hundreds of miles from the madness of the city. We were just miles from the river, surrounded by Joshua trees, the tree of life, of new hopes…….
I am lying in the huge four post bed I created so lovingly with Egyptian sheets and a walnut canopy. I am staring out the window at the lush scenery of trees and desert. I am waiting for him to descend upon me. Pecking and clawing his way through the wall with his god awful hammer. I close my eyes and try to sleep.
God, how I hate him. He must be destroyed. The sooner the better. He has taken everything from me, including the dream.
May of last year was the first month without my husband. I knew he wasn’t coming back, I set out to fix the roof. This should have been his job. It was a man’s job. The few neighbors who inhabit this desolate part of the desert drive by the wave. They shout encouragement to me, ” Looking good!” ” Don’t fall off girl!” ” Hey, there! There’s a loose one over to your right…. that’s it.” I nod and pick up the loose roof shingle. I toss it over the side of the house. I dig into the bucket of black tar paste beside me with a stick and slap it over the sheeting. Then I attach a fresh shingle and bang it into place.
I can see the long nosed jerk smiling at me from the neighbor’s yard. He is dangling from a wire.
I mouth the words, ” Make my day” as I attach a new shingle and bang it extra hard as if to show him who’s boss.
He just laughs and continues to smirk at me. He turns to his other colleagues as they stand in a line staring at me with glee.
If I only had a grenade I would fling it at them.
I decided that this is it last week and drove 45 miles to Walmart to buy my gun.
My neighbor sees me in the yard with the gun and says, ” Oh you need that out here. There is no one to defend you. That’s a good thing girl. Learn to defend yourself against them. ” ( He gestures to the trees.)
I laugh and a husky noise emerges from my throat.
I continue loading and firing at the cans.
Meanwhile, the jerk just stands there suspended from across the street, He is working on a telephone pole now. He adjusts his position as if to watch me shoot from a better angle.
I smirk and curse at him.
” This is for you!” I say it with extra scorn.
I aim for the can but miss by about 50 inches.
“This is war!” I mutter under my breath.
He laughs even louder.
When I look back, I don’t see him anymore.
That was last week. Every day I have been practicing and I am ready for him.
I can lift that rifle, look through the lens finder and hit my mark if I am wearing my strongest glasses.
That’s the problem. My bad vision and my long legs will tangle in a heap when I go out to try and do battle with him at the break of dawn. My robe will open and expose my bare midriff. My shoes are never there when I need them. They are hiding under the bed. The thorns and brush attack my naked feet. Normally I just run outside and scream ” Get the hell out before I kill you!”
He is much faster than me . He is lighter. More agile. He has immaculate sight and hearing.
He senses me before I even get there.
Mentally, I plan my strategy on how to defeat him.
I will wait until he is hard at work. Pecking and savoring the wood beneath his nose. While he is in the ecstasy of an orgasmic knocking frenzy I will take him out with a clean shot to the back.
It’s OK to shoot intruders in the back if they have shown malice and the desire to do you harm. Isn’t it?
Hell in Arizona it’s fine to shoot anyone who crosses your property line. Make my day. Clint Eastwood. Western folklore. Shoot before they shoot you.
I hear him outside my window and I decide it’s time.
I have preset my sweatshirt and I am sleeping in my yoga pants.
The gun is by the door cocked and ready. My sneakers are beside it.
I descend quietly with the ease of a Greek goddess.
I am poised and ready. The gun is cocked.
I smile back seductively. Come closer, go ahead. I whisper to myself.
This house will be mine completely and forever.
I am shaking. It explodes.
He falls in a quick heap, his eyes open and still mocking me with that god awful jaw still stiff and proud.
I take the shovel but decide not to bury him.
I will let him lay there for a few hours so the news reaches the other birds along the wire.
This lady has no mercy. A few months in the Western sun bakes away your sympathy.