I’m not what you would refer to as the kind of person that really identifies with the concept of air as an element. I’m not saying that I particularly believe in all that New Age alchemical bullshit, but I’m the kind of guy that identifies more with being down-to-earth than anything else. Hell, even my birth sign is an earth sign, not that I particularly ascribe to the Zodiac as some kind of authority, but for some reason I’ve got this thing with birds.
No, I’m not going to stand here and tell you that I’ve got some fucking spirit animal, that it came to me in my vision quest while I was tripping balls on NyQuil and aftershave and taught me how to speak Sanskrit or something. If I’ve got a spirit animal, it’s probably a goddamn cat, considering how I’ve got the furry little shit machines coming out of my ears.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of animals in general. My family always had pets as I was growing up, whether it be a succession of dogs, or hamsters, or rabbits, or whatever the fuck I convinced my poor parents to take home from the animal shelter. It’s not even the whole fuzzy-cute thing that gets me, either, since I’m not creeped out by rats, reptiles, snakes, or any of the more common icky-poo beasties that get people climbing on top of dining room chairs and shrieking like a cheerleader. Well, except bugs and spiders and shit. Fuck them. Nasty multi-legged little fuckers.
I don’t know what it is – I just have this weird-ass affinity for birds. I could just sit and watch those little motherfuckers for hours. Big, small, ugly, pretty, it really doesn’t matter; I’m simply entranced by them, and they’re always pulling weird shit around me. Not a week goes by that I get at least one or two weirdos doing something odd, which usually consists of flying up to my window, perching on one of the munions, and flapping their wings against the windowpane until I go “what the fuck do you want?” They then fly off, apparently satisfied. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a hummingbird instead, and it just hovers there, eyeballing me, perhaps wondering if it could kill me and hollow out my corpse to use as a birdhouse or something.
And then there’s Goliath, the blue and gold macaw that lives in the local pet store. I swear he’s got something to tell me. Every time I go in there, he sticks his beak through the bars of his cage and insists in picking my hat off my head. I’ve had a thing for macaws since I was a kid, and my grandfather had a detailed stuffed animal hanging from his ceiling from an eye-hook on a perch. I used to be fascinated with it, staring up at it for minutes at a time. Well, it was either that, or stare at his gun collection; he was the town of Ocean Ridge’s public safety chief for something like 25 years, so he had the kind of arsenal you only collect after you’ve been a cop for the most of your natural life.
I think my weirdest encounter – aside from an insane suicide bird trying to kill itself by dive-bombing my car while in flight yesterday – was when I was living up in New Paltz during my first year of grad school. It was a spring day, and I had opened the windows in my room to get some air, when some bird just flapped in the open window and perched on a nearby chair. I think it was a starling or something, I can’t really remember too clearly, but I do remember it just sort of cocked its head at me and blinked expectantly. I half expected it to open its mouth and start spouting Edgar Allan Poe, but instead it went batshit and started flapping around my room, despite the fact that there was a wide-open window right behind it.
I finally managed to get my hands on it, holding it carefully so I didn’t hurt it, and I brought it over to the open window. I stopped for a minute, just kind of looking down at it and wondering what the hell its problem was, before I just gently opened my palms and let it flit off. I still don’t know what the hell that was about, but it’s weird shit like that I like to think about in the dead of night while I write these blogs.
That and I’m still pissed at that bird that nearly killed itself with my car yesterday. What the hell, man – don’t I go through enough as it is with that goddamn thing?