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Watched myself right out of the slip of space provided me in the Lord’s wisdom.
Out of the ontological sentence which is “budgie.”
I, having been clothed in the vestments of a proper name, fallen—or risen?—from the syntax of the order of things.
They had intended the mirror as a way for me to pass my time. A little faux companionship.
It was in the fourth millennium of my existence that I finally attributed the movements of the “budgie” in the mirror to the flit and twitter of my own will.
I de-linked the image in the mirror from the “other” I had misattributed it as.
Step two: I mistook what I saw for “me.” I was that shape in the mirror. I was some thing.
The edges of the self for a time clearly delineated, I took comfort in this hallucination.
But just as I awoke from the dream of the “other,” so too did I realize that the thing in the mirror wasn’t “me.” God, no.
And out here even now, I can feel this awareness losing its edge within me. That’s why I switched to the first person. The third was creeping me out.
I come to in odd places—always on my feet, the echo of my name fading as in a waking dream.
Sometimes I want to deliver myself up to the maw that surrounds me, forget this fantasy of individuation. I’m an inconsequential instance of “budgie,” nothing more. Anonymous despite what has been said of the sparrow’s fall.
The Blonde One once left the sliding glass door open. It stood ajar in the falling light as all manner of insects made their way toward the ceiling lamp that hangs over the dinner table.
Why didn’t I follow suit? I imagine the homecoming I’d have received. The Family are a gracious tribe.
But I just stood there on the deck rail, preening.
The storm is upon us, the boiling undersides of the thundercloud directly overhead.
The wind picks up, the leaves showing their own undersides.
Hopping from window to window, I anticipate a colder rush of wind. Watching.
The Dark One is nervous. She clings to bits of rubber—elastics, the sole of an old running shoe—remembering something about its nonconductive properties no doubt.
If it comforts Her, let Her be. (Listen to the bird, speaking of condescension.)
The vultures are gone, swallowed up by the steel wool of the thundercloud.
Now the downpour: and I find my usual place to ride it out, tucked in behind one of the tin downspouts. I like to listen to the rumble of the rainwater so close.
The Blonde One loves storms. She used to sit under the tree in a folding chair until The Bald One told Her the practice was unsound.
He had the stats to back it up: that ninety-eight percent of those killed by lightning are caught sheltering under trees. And on and on.
I love storms too. Why, I don’t know exactly. It has something to do with what I’ve been on and on about.
Something to do with the momentary feeling I get, looking up into that immensity of churning vapor as the budgie that I am seems to dissipate, not unlike the way I know my mind, my self, will dissipate someday soon.
And I realize—not just in my head but deeper, in the very budgie interstices—that this is how it should be.
It has taken me some time to realize that this budgie isn’t the center of the universe.