Doctor Harold Majolica and the Little Car

August 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm (Doctor Majolica) (, , , , )

There are worse things a bird could come to specialise in. I used to know a magpie who was hired by a fortune teller to stand in front of her stall and mutter ‘one for sorrow’ in the hope of attracting superstitious clients.  Ravens are continually rented for gothic weddings, its hard work perching on a woman’s shoulder for hours on end, especially if the dress is silk, which it almost always will be. The whole practise is ostentatious if you ask me; and discriminatory, they would never hire a crow like me. Don’t get me started on canaries, they have a rough deal. The fight is mostly over for the poor fellows now, but it still happens; the cages, the smoke. But that is not to say that things are all bad for us, I knew a white rook who got a major role in a BBC miniseries. Major for a bird, anyway

It could be much worse, but even so, my current job is demeaning. I’m a freelance Constricted Object Retrieval Specialist. It pays alright when there’s work, but it is hard to attract clients when you’re barely ten inches off the ground. What my job boils down to is retrieving objects from nooks and crannies which most human hands are unable to reach. It’s a hard service to pitch, especially when you’re an odd looking bird like me. Not many people are willing to part with their hard earned cash to retrieve debit cards and key rings from the grills along the pavement. And if they are interested, a few of them are put off by the sight of the long, skinny, bluish hands attached to the end of my wings. Sometimes it can work out; I’ve earned plenty before just by hanging around one drain. You only need a few clients to drop their keys and that’s you set for a couple of days. The only problem is that the client will sometimes realise that he or she is seven or eight times my size and can easily stride away while I’m trying to fly after them. I haven’t been able to fly more than a few feet at a time since I had the hands grafted, they weigh the wings down considerably, being made of dense, human bone; on top of that they severely alter the wing’s aerodynamics. It’s humiliating leaping and flapping along like a chicken, I usually just let them get away.

A little boy in dungarees approaches me one afternoon. He’s dropped his toy car down the drain in the park and he only has ten pence on him. I do it for free; I can’t take a kid’s money. I sort of want to, but I can’t. The drain in the playground was filthy, I hardly had to reach down, the car was elevated rotting leaves, animals and worse. There was a cluster of dead slugs almost touching the front wheels; I nearly shed a tear for that. I hand the boy his car and he toddles off shouting “Thanks Handy-bird”. I don’t know whether it’s the informality of his address or the cluster of little slugs, but I feel sentimental. I feel a great longing to return to my nest in Furrington wood, it was my practice, my study. I don’t think that I’ll be able to return for a long while yet. But that’s a story for another time.

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Let the Caged Bird Sing

March 11, 2010 at 12:10 am (Bodies, Halves, Observations, Rooms) (, , )

And he says something like, “Don’t touch me, we shouldn’t be two people.” leaving me to this back broked soggy mess of flesh that is what I am now. I think body is here, I think butterfly and flying fish are dead in this air because you spoke, and made my body

Then scoop up the wormy innards from my lap and put them back, because I don’t really want to be anything at all, you know? Every titchy pinchy action and slip of my fingers makes me flinch and clinch, cause I think these stupid coils will feel pain and that’s stupid because they go beneath the nerves

and I hate those fucking nerves. There is sometimes this whole halo of bit that is just air really, or maybe real thin. Skinny nought. Then there is a wall or a spoon or a woman and they break it and it’s, Eurgh, opaque.
So then he mutters a thing to me, and it doesn’t seem like a word or anything at all, just all grunty hurt beast noise, like boar.

Remember we rode boar backs in the forest and we were two people then cause all the hooves and thumping on the shitstink ground were from these two different piggies and all their horns and biting happened in different places to eachother, and the creatures they ate went only to their own bellies.

Don’t want to live here anymore, it is scum. It is skin and scum and nooks in the wall, you hate it too.

My eyes are numb, no feeling to where they look now, just lots of different seeings of the room. It is the innards, they full. The shock of them against the nerves has hurt my head and it will pass.

Why is he looking at the vermin in the corner? Not even an insect, no wiggly, stalky bits. All gross fur. Now I do not want to go back because his eyes are feeling all the lice and grease, his eyes are licking lice and grease, might make us ill.

Put it in a draw, put it in a desk draw, old bamboo heavy draw where it won’t ever be out of chinese darkwood dark. And I would not have done it if I had been in air, so!

So I win. Fishies and butterflies are deadened at your knees, and I have a vermin in a draw in a desk in a room full of walls and skin. So this is the place I made where I go back, back, back, back, back.

Bye bye, him. Bye, you. You will be all floaty skinny soon. It was disgusting that we met at all really, but I resent nothing. It was natural that there was a whole bough of it all, and it was only normal for it to be in the different bits that made it a thing at all. Bye bye.

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