Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dead Bird Window

I think it was a shopping mall of unforgiving angles surrounded on all sides by parking garages. Or was it downtown in the financial district? Was it San Diego or San Francisco? The windows were scrubbed and windexed daily. Everyone peeked at their reflection as they strolled by. It was cold and sunny.
The birds kept coming. After the third dead bird, someone laughed. There were more. The continuing onslaught of birds expiring against the window was gluttonous. It was darkly celebratory. Too much thought ruined it.
The sound of their bodies breaking on the glass made some think of the French fries upstairs or the hot dog on a stick. I thought of the terrible dead baby jokes a classmate insisted on telling me.
Was it the mothers and fathers upstairs away from their children for the lengthy workday that made me think this was remarkable? No, I never think of that when I’m eating a hot dog. Was I eating a hot dog? Did I wonder how they would taste? These sparrows, these swallows, these birds nesting in an underpass?
It happens. It’s a great tragedy of architecture. We forgot to take this into account: living in a glass house kills unsuspecting birds that just want to fly there. It’s some fucked-up juxtaposition that makes some think of suicide and others of the foolishness of governments. Its not quite like lemmings, though. It’s an aerial fish-in-a-barrel scenario. For the birds, it’s a narcissus moment. For the birds. I am certain I was one of those birds. I am certain I am “for the birds”. In an election, I would be for the birds, or even Senator Byrd.
Do they live for a few short seasons and then perish ridiculously? Do they come back and crush their skulls against it in yet another meaningful life?

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