BIG HUGE BIRDS
People think I'm crazy because I sleep on benches and eat what
they throw away, but I know I'm not crazy. I'm INVISIBLE. I talk to
people and they go right on past me, don't even turn their heads or
smile or anything. Sometimes, when they got a kid with them, then
the kid can see me. And they smile, mostly, until the parents catch
them looking at me and then they pull their arms half out of joint
and tell them I'm not there and the kids look at me and they see me
but they get scared because they're not supposed to be able to, so
they hide behind the parents until they get past then they look back
at me and smile and the folks catch them and WHAM they pull those
arms to remind the kids that I'm invisible.
And when they get a little older the kids scream at me and
throw rocks at me cause they've been conditioned to be afraid of me.
And then they make me invisible and they knock me down by mistake
cause they can't see me and they're all grown up and they're just
like the parents. And I look at them and say HEY! REMEMBER ME? and
they don't even hear. They don't look at me. They just walk on by.
Just walk on by on by on by on swinging those purses and briefcases
and they can't see me and they can't hear me cause I'm invisible.
And the birds attack me. Big huge birds with leather wings and
metal claws, they swoop down and try to take my food away from me or
they try to take ME right off the street so they can carry me up to
their nests on top of the warehouses. The birds hate me cause I get
to the food before they do. They'll be pretty fast, what with the
big wings and everything, but I'm too quick for them. See, I've got
something better than wings. I got brains and there ain't isn't not
a bird ever lived can outthink me. Birds aren't smart enough to work
a circuit. Least not to figure one out. I know where to look when
I'm hungry, and I know when the Crystal Burger puts out the trash
every day by the way say and where the good dumpsters are. Sometimes
the birds get jealous cause I got so much food and they they they
used to take it away from me but now I share with them cause I don't
want them to get mean nosiree.
Lately I've been talking to them, and they been listening to
me, the birds. They circle over my bench, fixing those big purple
eyeballs on me and making noises like a squeaky tombstone. Big green
veins in their eyes and banana nana colored stripes running down
their sides. Me and the birds been watching the kids and we got a
plan, uh huh. I figure that I'll find a couple of young ones, young
enough so they still see me and aren't afraid of me and they've got
to be cute ones, too, no runny noses cause I want them to be
healthy. I'm going to get the birds to snatch a couple of kids like
that up from the parents and carry these kids - maybe five of them -
up to the warehouse roof - perfect place - where I'll raise them
like they were my very own and I'll love them and wipe their noses
and rub the tops of their heads and tell them stories and make sure
they can see me. And me and the birds will go down and find food for
them and I'll keep them there until I can teach them how to find
their own food and then maybe we'll move down to the street again,
maybe not, depends how much I like living in heavens. And when they
grow up they'll be able to see me and everything. And they'll teach
other kids how to see.
I worry about the birds, though. Don't know exactly what their
intentions are. Sure, they like the idea, but what's in it for them?
I figure they might try to eat a couple of kids, and that wouldn't
leave enough for me, but that's why I'm getting maybe five of them.
I know I'm going to have to keep a close watch on those birds and
not let the kids out of my sight, cause they're all I've got.
And I worry about the kids being invisible and getting knocked
down and never having any friends but I remember that that's why I'm
getting more than one kid, so he'll never be lonely. I'm proud that
I worked out this plan so foolproof that it can't miss. My father
used to say that. Just can't miss.
Copyright (C) 1988 by Burk Murray
Where applicable, address comments to PROMETHEUS REEBOK