Bird – an experience

Perhaps my jaw looks dangerous to this little budgie, like a looming mountain cliff jutting out above him. His weight barely affects the shape of my knit turtleneck. Meanwhile, my fleshy, jaw-flapping, 10-pound head swivels above his be-feathered, barely-there body.

It’s wild. He’s wild, in a way, though surprisingly tame. But what’s wild is that my body’s less solid than I thought.

He hops around, scurrying left and right around the edge of my tall collar, trying, perhaps, to find a skin tag or flaw to pick at as love-birds do. “I think he likes your hair” says his Mamma, my neighbor, from the sofa.

I lower the chin-length half of my hair where Freddie can reach it, seems to nibble it, but leaves it undamaged, not even kinked. I am wild, in that I’m expecting there to be a sad or painful ramification for our meeting – I feel strange and on-edge.  Is that wild… or estranged?

My jaw feels strange—non-existent, in a sense. I am trying to see through my own face to be able to look down at Freddie, but that’s not why.  It’s a nerve-ending thing. I think I can map out exactly where each tooth, molar, and muscle’s nerves run. It’s as if that’s all that’s real about me – they’re all tingly and sensitive. Flesh like space between feathers.

I feel nervous – but magical – around Fred.

Have you had transformative experiences
thanks to a neighbor-pet?


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