Wednesday, February 16, 2011
So I'm sitting in my living room with the door open to the world. And believe me, I've had to hustle and pull a few strings. I searched long and hard for my little secluded apartment backed up against the woods and the creek. God knows the crap I've taken from my totally inept landlord.
But I like nature. This I tell myself. I think of my little secret woodsy neighborhood right smack-dab in the middle of Charlotte with smug glee.
Yet now the mockingbird right outside sets out to entertain me with his song. We are looking right into each others' eyes. He's singing to me. At least, that's what I anthropomorphise its intentions to mean. But slowly the horror grows as I realize the mockingbird's song consists of imitations of car alarms, cell phone ring tones, the walkie-talkie beeps the construction people use, and the curious sounds of brakes and tires squealing and motors growling or purring from a distance. I realize this is now what he knows.
Today it's just this one odd bird. But more birds will soon fly into my yard, and repeat the sounds of the city to me; the sounds I have tried so hard to arrange not to hear.
"Listen!" this one says: "This is my song for you!"
Written by me, Jumper. First appeared in QZ magazine, June 2005, in slightly different form, under the byline of Paavo.