Yellow Blog, Up High in Banana Tree

I love the beautiful world at night.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

In which I do Harvey a favor.

Harvey Keitel is sitting on a short wooden crate, facing me. He's wearing sunglasses, so it's hard to see his eyes, but he appears...embarrassed. His fancy black shoes shuffle in the dust, and he keeps sweeping back his nearly absent hair with his free hand. In his other hand is a cigarette that is long-dead, burnt a little into the filter, even. But he keeps holding it. He sighs, and I wonder how long we've been sitting here.

"So, will you have a look? It's pretty awful in there." He looks at the marks on the ground again after he asks me.

"Sure," I say, "I'll look. Where is it?"

"Behind you, there." Harvey says, "But I'm warning you; it's been a long time before I or anybody have been in there." I turn to see what looks like a little circus tent, colorful but dingy, and stapled shut from the outside.

I walk there, and rip away a corner of the doorflap's bottom. Harvey follows and stands outside, but looks even more like he wishes he were anywhere else.

As I climb under the flap, I'm overcome by the smell of decay and bird shit. I swear several times. My eyes adjust to the low light, and I see that the tent was once an elaborate aviary filled with a variety of finches. Now, most are dead on the floor, apparently eaten by beetles and perhaps even by the remaining birds.

I'm amazed and confounded that any birds live at all! I can hear them calling. True, they are the hardiest species, the society finches, but -- dammit, the water bowls are overflowing with shit! I'm momentarily enraged with Harvey (are you the Wolf, Harvey? or Mr. White?) for neglecting these birds so heinously. At first, I think the aviary should be burned and forgotten. It's probably a health menace, by now.

But then I see...mothers on nests? A single male is singing. One nest certainly has babies.

I call out to Harvey, "You really just left these guys alone? Some of them are fine! Go get me some plastic bags, latex gloves, disinfectant....." I rattle off a long list of clean-up things, as well as water and food. "I can design you a better aviary, too -- if you like."

"Wow," I hear Harvey say brightly, "I'll get right on all that shit. I'm glad you're not too pissed off at me. Be right back." I hear him go away.

I crawl out of the aviary, feeling very good. The air is fresh and sweet. It's a bright day, and the sun seems to be burning through me. I check this by holding up my arm, and confirm that I'm a little transluscent. Those birds will get more sun, I think. I see Harvey coming back already with the stuff. I smile and wave, encouraging him.

4 Comments:

  • At 8:14 AM, Blogger Rob said…

    Wow Kate. You are kind of putting this whole creative-writing-on-drugs thing into prespective for me. I'm not so sure I'll want you to stop drinking that cough syrup now.

     
  • At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the optimism and can-do attitude, even in the face of Harvey Keitel.

     
  • At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oops, that was tina,

     
  • At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    PS, where can I get some of that stuff?

     

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