My mother and I had taken a drive recently. We had no destination, nor did we really end up anywhere except an old bakery in which we ate chocolate mocha cake and talked about the people we truly loved, and listened when my mother spoke of her husband, a man that she claimed she loved but gets a quick flash of joy whenever he announces he is leaving home for a while for work, a man she married thinking she wanted to spend the rest of her life with and now she took long drives hoping to pass the time quickly so she didn’t have to not only live, but live with him anymore. And it grew quiet as we drove back to our home which housed paper plates and plastic forks, which my mother seldom used as she found washing dishes to be a therapeutic hobby. A time where she could think about the dirt that ran down her plate instead of the thoughts that washed over her mind. The skin of her fingertips had become handicapped by the food she had scraped off of dinner plates.
As we drove home, I noticed our neighbors car. A silver subaru that seemed to never leave the spot in front of their house. I never knew if it was meant as a welcoming or a warning. A pigeon, colored black and white but mostly gray, lay underneath the silver car, limping as it tried to drag itself across the street from under the car. And as it tried endlessly to lift a leg, a wing, the less it had been helping itself. My mother had seen the pigeon and she grabbed my hand as we ran inside.
My mother sat with me in the living room as we both silently sulked over that barely living bound to be dead bird. And as my mother began making phone calls to any animal shelter she could find, I ran to the bathroom and sobbed. Honestly, I began to wonder why I had been crying. Was it the bird itself? Was it that life was evil and sad and cruel? Or was it the fact that I knew of the evils in the worlds and had seen it first hand and had done nothing to stop the cycle? I truly didn’t give a shit about the fucking bird and thats what depressed me. I cried silently in the bathroom as I heard my mother on the phone making calls, trying to find an answer. And as I cried and sobbed and poured everything I had for this fucking bird, I swear I heard my mother begin to cry. She matched my sobs with her own symphony and gave my tired eyes meaning and music. I never knew sobbing could be so beautiful. I had finally felt connected. I had finally felt like I was not alone.
As I joined her again, my mother had told me of a bird home that we could take it to. A bird sancutary. Put it in a box, punch a few holes in the lid and drive it to an animal shelter. A place it could be saved and rehabilitated. A place it could be safe. But my mother decided the effort was not worth our time, so we sat on the couch that night eating microwaved macaroni and cheese, watching reality television until we both got too tired or bored or just too fucking depressed to keep awake. And the next day we had found the pigeon ripped to bits, ribs coming out of its torso, feathers spread across the grass of our backyard. My mother would say “I guess this is our karma,” and she would get her gloves as I held a plastic bag open for the disposal of the bird.