The bird likes me

January 20, 2010 § 5 Comments

This morning I faced a long day at work in heels. Clip-pity clop-pity, there I was, ready to tackle a day full of meetings and checklists. It was rather sunny for a January morning in this city, and I was trying not to be grumpy for no good reason at all. I am going to admit here, I always feel exposed, awkward, and highly unattractive when I wear heels before dusk. I am more of a feet on the ground type of gal. Heels in new daylight feels like I am walking home after a one-night stand.

I decided to treat myself to a large americano from this place slightly off my usual path; caffeine can help inspire energy when presenting to a sea of disinterested professionals. Although I wanted to dodge across the street – I risked being almost late – there is no dodging in a heeled shoe. One must clip and clop along. Seen by everyone, noticed by no one.

When I finally whooshed through the door, I heard a crisp, clear “looking good” whistle. I whipped my head around, not because I’m conceited and thought it was for me, but because it definitely couldn’t be for me and who the hell was this whistler anyway. It was not the man with the bird on his shoulder reading the newspaper; it was the bird on the shoulder of the man reading the newspaper. I have seen this man and bird a few times before. The man reads newspapers while sitting on the stool facing the window and street. The bird sits on the man’s left shoulder and makes white shit stains down his friend’s back. The man behaves as though he does not have a bird on his shoulder. The bird stares out the window at the people going by as though he does not have a man below his feet. The man does not look at anyone. The bird looks at everyone.

I smiled, embarrassed. There is a crimson, royal purple bird whistling at me. No. He’s not really whistling at me. Oh yes, I was right, he is, because now he has turned around on his perch to face me. He regards me with his beady bird eyes and whistles, “woo-a-woo”. What a tricky guy. I order my coffee and then try to ignore him while I pour cream into my perfectly rich drink. I am playing hard to get with a bird.

I saunter out the door, knowing Sassy Bird is watching me as I go. Take that Stupidly Long Day, I say to myself. Nothing could be so bad when a bird thinks you’re hot and his strange, shit-stained shoulder friend doesn’t even know you’re alive.


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§ 5 Responses to The bird likes me

  • Veronica says:

    Love it.
    PS. You’re a real doll, as Grandpa the sailor would say.

  • jen says:

    I liked how you were “trying not to be grumpy for no good reason at all”

    I find myself trying to be grumpy at all times for no good reason at all.

    I love this story…..I can relate to that awkward morning after a one night stand feeling when wearing heals before dusk. Broad daylight…..walking across a busy intersection….all eyes on me….oh ya I shudder at the memory of tripping over my feet which only convinced me more that the people in their cozy cars watching me cross the street thought the same thing I was feeling….

    I’d welcome the bird…..and just be relieved that it wasn’t the shit stained shoulder friend that noticed me instead…

    Love your writings….I’m subscribing to your feed..


  • Stella Trout says:

    Thank you for the comments Jen! I like that you point out how exposed one can feel as a pedestrian compared to the people in their “cozy cars”. When I first moved to this fair city and later sold my car, I remember feeling naked on the streets.
    I wish you could see that bird. He’s pretty great.

  • otter. says:

    that bird made an impression on you.
    its funny to think how many people you walked by in your heels that made your calves look good…
    how many you walked by and didn’t notice, and this bird is the one that got your attention.
    i wonder if the man uses the bird to be his face in the crowd, so that he doesn’t have to engage with the multitude of passersby. i wonder if its some statement to the world about our inability to connect with humans, and that deep place that is so interested in the creatures of the world. i wonder if he has a journal in which he writes down descriptions of all of the people who noticed his pet and not him. or maybe the man just likes birds and doesn’t give a shit about us.

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