I’m not sure if he’s asking me questions or gossiping or telling me everything will be all right but he speaks with his whole body; his feathers ruffle and settle, ruffle and settle. When he pauses, I mimic his warbles and chirps like I mimicked my infant son’s gurgles and coos. So many years ago.
At first, I thought he was lost. And needed a friend. Of course, I did. My habit of taking care of others is a reflex.
After seven mornings of banter, today I feel the responsibility of his presence and want to abdicate my role to something automatic, with less soul, maybe a finch call recording so that he doesn’t see my grizzled essence. I want him to see me the way my handyman or my landlord see me. Nice. Sweet.
I don’t want to reveal the me writhing on the carpet last night in grief and rage.
Usually, I’m the one to leave him – to fix my tea, load the dishwasher. But this morning, after just one refrain, he wings to the hyacinth.
I imagine that he is kindly calling me out on my usual lazy bullshit dodge from intimacy.
Just like a true friend. Or a good father.