- Last Record: 2013-05-19 12:30:25 -1000
- Joined: Feb 05, 2010
With the sun setting on his back, he sat with his bare feet rested on a plastic coffee table, its thin legs buckling beneath the weight. He counted, “1,2,3,4,5,6…..1,2,3,” how long each hummingbird would stay at the feeder before leaving. There’s a whole steam engine in their small, feathered chests, his grandfather used to say. Actual pistons. He said they used to be songbirds, they could hum any tune they caught you singing. This used to drive people mad. The old man saw most his friends committed, they lived in hospitals specifically constructed for individuals unable to remove any melody that caused great distress from their conscious. A collective was formed for the disposal of these birds, grandpa recalled. They used to carry vials of sugar in their suit coats. The men emptied the substance onto their fingers and lined windowsills with it. This caused many of the birds to fly headfirst into windows, their bodies were so quickly disposed of no one outside of the group knew why spring had grown so quiet. Through a strange, unexplained, accelerated form of evolution, all the birds learned to avoid these situations. They were so saddened by the fall of their own they stopped singing the songs of others. They made their appearances more rare. They beat their wings much faster, so fast nothing could touch them.
He wondered if, perhaps, they were only ever songless birds. His grandfather told enough stories. He told stories as much as he sang, the same tune, every morning for 35 years. The old man’s nurse always told him not to mind the stories, he’d already hummed and whistled himself to madness, that same song, always that song. In his rest home, they kept him frequently stimulated, he was given a walkmen, they paid a man to play guitar for the residents every afternoon, hoping something else would stick. The musician was given a list of songs he was not allowed to play.
He watched these birds now, listening to the beat of their wings. He repeated that same buzz with his mouth.