I feel terminally empty. I wish, for once, that I wasn’t who I was right now. I look around and their are others like me, some are different colors, others a different size - but none of them are alone. I don’t feel that fluttering inside me anymore. I never thought I’d be so bonded to her. She could be messy and careless at times - but I loved her so very much. There had been others before her; in fact sometimes there was more than just one. I didn’t like having two - but sometimes it ended up that way and I didn’t have the ability to fuss about it. This one was always happy, she had a presence about her that was irresistible – even to small children. Colorful was a word I often heard people say when describing her - and she liked that description. At night, under the covers - we would talk about where we came from and how we hoped to be together forever. She was a rare bird this one - she’d came over to the United States from some village in Venezuela. I felt pretty smug when we ended up together. She was restless in the beginning and it was incredibly annoying. I just wanted her to settle down and relax. Later, I realized that the restlessness was really restlessness - but rather --this was who she was and as tiny as she was - she filled me up so completely. Others would complain that I made them feel caged in and oppressed – but not her - she just chirped of how lucky she was to be with me, how safe she felt; and how, other than that small village in Venezuela, my core was the only place where she felt like home. I never tried to make those others feel caged. They could never see the big picture - they could never see that I couldn’t change - I felt I was doing the job I was born to do. When the others left - I felt relieved; and sometimes it would take me a mere minutes to forget I was alone - I’d find solace and comfort in the silence. No more hen-pecking about what I was doing or how smothering I could be. Then there was this one - the one that is gone now. She always told me that others wouldn’t be as charmed by her as I was - that I saw a different side of her - that others didn’t see at first glance. I don’t think this was exactly true - when others would come around - she’d really show her colors. Oftentimes she would act as if she wasn’t trying to be so show-y. I guess she didn’t want me to know that she longed to get out. I knew she deserved better than me - she had a future outside this place - she was the kind that you’d find in the home of some rich, well to do fella. Even if he wasn’t rich - he would have to be an entertainer - someone who could show her off and say the things that I couldn’t say, take her to the placed I never could. But now she is gone and all I have is this silence. There is no space as empty as the space in the center of whom I am and what I use to be. I’d cry if I could, I’d break down right now if I had the heart that she had - but I don’t and, instead, I just keep hanging around this place where it seems I never leave. She knows I won’t come for her - she knows that isn’t something I”m going to do. So I grieve for her often - waiting for her to come back when I know she will not. At night, under a white sheet, my heart flutters when I remember her chirpy voice and her beautiful wings and I imagine that we are together again - perhaps in some heavenly place where I’m not who I am and she is still who she is - we will be together - me and my Venezuelan bird.
[creative writing exercise wherein you are writing from a bird's point of view - like a bird in a cage that has lost your mate]
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