Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Everyday Morning Walk to Catch My Ride

Thrown against the curb in a sprawl of gray and white feathers was a seagull. Its head turned toward me as I approached, the eyes like glass, but no, not like glass--alive, but reflecting a mind that was utterly alien. A cat batted the tips of its wings, a small little thing. This was just a prelude. There would be others—the streets swarmed with them--and one would certainly kill it. The bird bore the cat, seemingly indifferent, tilting its head up at me as I passed. There was no sign of blood, or injury, or fear. Its feathers were as white and clean as milk. Its beak curved and yellow and as flawless as newly minted plastic.

The sky was a powdery blue and pink--all the warm luxury of summer mornings here. The man at the cheese shop was sweeping the sidewalk. I nodded as I passed.

There is a rhythm to my walk—this white-frocked owner of this cheese shop, the rhythm swishes of his broom, the fat young man waiting for his service bus, the ruins of the Byzantine tower, the smells of poğaca wafting from the bakery, the blue minibus at the light, the doting mother and her little boy waiting for their own service, who wore jackets no matter how hot the weather, the smoking taxi drivers at the four way.

And today the gull.

Death was settling around that bird like snow. It fell slowly, and covered more with each passing second.  The animal waited with the same momentum that had made it circle our rooftops in search of food and fucking. What the hell is the magic word that animated this thing that soon would be a pile of bloody meat, and then bones, and then nothing?

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