Tag Archives: mockingbirds

The God of the Mockingbirds

17 Jun

In February the mockingbird had to start singing. He woke up the whole neighborhood.

When the sunlight was long enough a part of his brain grew. It made him listen to other birds’ songs around him. He’d memorize them. Then perch up as high as he could go. Yell them as loudly as he could. He wanted to do this like he wanted to breathe. There were about five kinds of birds that sang in the neighborhood. Sparrows. He’d sing their five songs over and over. Continue reading

How Was Your Day

23 Oct

I was awake.  There was a bird outside my window performing a miracle. He had memorized the calls of dozens of other birds after hearing them just a few times and was performing them flawlessly.  Some of this bird’s brain cells die in winter and grow back in spring in time for him to learn new songs.  Discovering this fact led scientists to conclude they had been wrong when they’d said your brain is just slowly dying.  In fact it can build new skills and learn new ways of being for your whole life.  It was revolutionary.  There is hope for us all. I was annoyed at the bird for waking me up.

Cigarette. Honey Nut™ Cheerios®.  Coffee.  Read things on the internet.  Take a shit.  Always a good one; I haven’t had a bad shit in years.  Hot shower.  Another miracle worn into banality by enjoying it every day. The hiss of warm water, the warmth like the womb.  Safe and private.  I washed my ass at least seven times.  Car.  Radio, NPR.  Old people talking about old time musicians no one gives a fuck about.  Or no– about people who were once in those dead old time musicians’ orbit. How on Earth does anyone give one single fuck about the guy who served as the archivist for Ira Gershwin, brought to you by Mercedes Benz of Southern California.  The only way this could be less interesting is if they interviewed the archivist for the archivist of Ira Gershwin. “The Dow” is up seventeen points.  Again, who gives a fuck.  That tells me absolutely nothing. Continue reading

I Shot a Mockingbird

14 Feb

I think I killed him but I don’t know.  It was five in the morning.  He’d been sitting right outside my window every night for months, singing.  Like one of those car alarms that switches up every 5 seconds.   Different songs.  Not nightingale songs, either, but rather our abrasive local birds.  Jays and tits. Grackles. I would turn on all the fans in my house to drown him out but that treble cuts right though.  I put earplugs in but you roll around on your pillow and they either jam painfully into your eardrum or, if they’re the silicone kind, they roll out and get stuck in your hair.

I had almost made my peace with him, but then yesterday I got chewed out hard at work and had to wake up early to work on this big pain-in-the-ass project, and I was just stressed out, spending the whole night just barely on the verge of sleep.  And every time I was just about to get there, here comes the fucking mockingbird.  I have this BB gun, a big rifle with a scope on it leaning against the wall in the closet and the fucking thing was just crying out to me.  Use me.  Use me to kill this bird.  This is what I am for. Continue reading