A CELEBRATED BOYCOTT

WHAT IT IS

A tranquil day, sitting on a branch listening to insect insinuation, frog dialogue, leaf laughter, chipmunk chatter and a world heavy with commuting flyers, cumbersome crawlers and creatures too numerous to catalogue or contemplate was the considerable consideration on the mind of this small bird as she rested near Plot 82. It has been said that order exists where havoc, imposed by stalwarts of religion or state or commerce, rules in the absence of community or a single mindedness and it doles out a type of uniform all are willing to wear and all are anxious to see how it looks on the other. The uniform, in of itself, need not be boycotted or celebrated because as symbols go, it is the conveyor who decided how the nuance will look. Although the breezes of convention dominate the storms of protest, these universal uniforms of stagnation do inch in a civil direction. If we had a time-lapse of this, we’d have some proof to hold up to generations that all was not lost and with patience and determination a puzzle-piece future may be avoided. We rise and fall on outcomes outside our earthly grasp, and the frustration of a fist pounding the air can be too loud to bare as the shockwaves of the smug recoil around us. There is more at stake here than a songbird’s evening scrutiny, but some simple attention paid to simple truths might allow the uniforms to fit everyone.

WHAT IT IS NOT

He was no ambulance chaser, nor did he possess the gene that dictates the necessity to stop at a house inferno to impede fire fighters or gawk across yellow police tape during takedowns, but Mutt felt certain the emergency crew just off I-44 needed some assistance. Mutt parked the big rig a month ago and set out on a road trip in the general direction of Missouri and found himself near the Mark Twain National Forest trying to calm down the translucent man, miserable at the sight of a songbird he believed ill.

The songbird was just fine, it was the translucent man’s years of living in a portrait of an unwise design, framed with predictable inclination and displayed in a gallery of sloth on a street where those who came either left quickly or stayed too long, as if lost, but still possessing the dream they’d find the way out. Mutt knew of the translucent man, the tortured path, the unending despair, the glimpse of euphoria, as we all know translucent men, bent over and twisted with the blank stare to conjure up sufficient guilt in the intended and create crazy thoughts and deeds of redemption, forgiveness and enormous acts of generosity to keep the slate, if not even, at least less skewed. The guilt only flows one way, and this is as it should be, and while the guilt is directionless and most likely meaningless, it serves as a thin patch of gauze from the medicine cabinet ready to make us all fell better. The translucent man was attended to, preached to, and gently scolded by paramedics, passersby, and Little Mr. Deakins but in the end he rose to his feet and sampled a small piece of the euphoria. Mutt offered him a ride to wherever but today the translucent heard what he wanted to hear, so, he assembled the small horse, the duck, a few stragglers gathered along the way and the trek to Plot 82 continued.  

THE WARBLER DID IT.

WHAT IT IS

Ted had an uneasy feeling that he might not make it to the end of the night shift and when Graham showed up thrusting his three digit fist in the air and generously showered him with expletives, Ted knew his time as an INSECT technician was over. Ted’s explanation of events fell on deaf ears with Graham parading around INSECT’s temporary compound ridiculing his story that a knight showed up at midnight and with a fiery sword in hand, liquified the locks on the cages and released all the songbirds INSECT was using in their experiments. Security escorted Ted into the damp Missouri morning with not so much as a bus ticket to get him home.

The flight of the songbirds is a poet’s dreamy vision of unknown sensations and wide eyed bemusements of what a life, lived well and free, must be like when the shackles of tiny tyrannies chained to distressed lives are raised up to something resembling a heaven. Is it the soaring to grand heights or the desire of the adventure? For the pedestrian, it may be neither, just a frantic grasp for a glimpse inside another’s world…to feel the feather and live on the wing. The flight of the songbird is more about hope then depression, they will go where we can not or will not and although we resign ourselves to the terrestrial, most will not condemn them because condemnation will magnify our exposure in this sordid affair and peel back the layers of detachment from nightingales to night hawks. We have done our best to discourage these adventures with roadblocks, chemicals, particulates and interferences only human ingenuity could manage but still they fly to great heights and hidden destinations.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Little Mr. Deakins was upset! He spread his wings far apart in an effort to intimidate and he scored the gravel with his feet, sending small plumes of dust in the air, just as Feather, No. 1 and a small warbler dismounted from their horse. Little Mr. Deakins was not a fan of change, he had a small group of companions and that was enough for him. Point out the fact that just a few months ago he disliked Jackson, loathed the duck, thought the horse too slow, the translucent man too weird and now all these assertions met with a rooster’s shrug. Through some pain, Little Mr. Deakins shattered the bonds of solitude that he and Jared carefully assembled in their minute community of us versus them. With each broken bond, a vulnerability altered a state and shone a light on an entrenched place, but not necessarily a dark place. This irritated Little Mr. Deakins, but slowly he came around, grudgingly at first, accepting and then a final embrace.

Feather was not here to befriend a rooster, so she ignored the bird and walked straight toward the translucent man being soothed by Mrs. B. The presentation of the songbird as a gift, fleeting and unpossessable, hot wired the all but seized innards of the translucent man and as he considered all that this bird encompassed, he summoned up the images that linger outside of the self and decided that his mission must continue.