I don’t like when she leaves. She closes the door and we stay inside all day long. He never opens the door. He does not care. You don’t care either. You never cared. You never get out, it is true. You can not fly, that’s also true. But do you know?... You could have some ethics, just a little sense of rebellion.
This morning was so wonderful. The sun was coming in thought the window, filtered by the terrace plants, and the kitchen was full of an intense soft light, like only the morning light can be intense and soft at same time. She appeared early and opened our door. I went out and sang for her, standing on the edge of the door. She offered me her hand and I jumped on it. The flight on the lift of her arm, across the void of the kitchen, I love it and she knows. From there I can see everything. I can feel the air current from the window to the door. I have a huge view: the floor, down there, the stove on my left, with the rest of their last dinner (soft smell of popcorn and eggs), the sink at my right and our house next to it and you inside, looking at me with your big eyes that I know so well and I still always have to make a big effort to read.
I like the feeling of her arm, the soft carpet of her skin and the way I can feel her structure under it… where I can sit and look at our world as a king contemplates his kingdom from his chair. I like her voice, a high tuned, nasal voice, always inflected with that incomprehensible tenderness, since we where children. Then the warm feeling of her breath when she kisses me on the back before she leaves me on the door. When she leaves, her smell reminds around us for a while… She smells good in the mornings.
Today she left the house… I was singing out of the cage, sitting on top of it and she left. I saw she was leaving. I was wondering if she would come to close the door but she did not. She looked at the corridor, said something to him –from the other side of the corridor a lazy voice answered, probably wishing her a nice day, I could feel it in the melody- and she left. All that time I continued singing so as to not call attention to myself. She is afraid of our silence. She is so used to our singing that we certainly have learnt to communicate with silence. So I was on top of the cage, camouflaged by my song when the door closed and the house took on a brand new silence, soft and brilliant in the morning light.
Five minutes later he appeared. He said good morning to us with his good morning melody and started making his breakfast while singing. This guy is always so happy in mornings. He is a stranger, I know, but I have started to like him, and I know you have too… It is funny to see him when he thinks that nobody can see him. It’s funny how he tries to talk with us, with the melody of questions and doubts, while he takes a coffee. To tell you the truth, I like the way he does not talk to us with that old fashioned tenderness that she does. No, he considers us equal, adults, experienced in life. Yeah, we sing… and he waits for our silence before he talks. I think he sees some kind of intelligence, of course, I mean, some kind of maturity in our control of music, a proof of experience in life, of having learned something about life. It’s the only way I can explain it.
This morning when he appeared he saw the door open and he stopped in front of the cage, stunned. I was at the top, you where at the door… he looked at us in silence, then he sang something in a melody of resignation. He smiled and he went to the fridge to start cooking his breakfast like he does every morning. He kept talking to us. Sometimes he came close to me, he looked at me carefully, made sure I was listening. I sang something and he smiled… He was also listening. At the beginning for him we were nothing but two strange objects singing in a cage. Now I can see he see somebody in us. And like her, he is also starting to become afraid of our silence.
After his breakfast he went back to his room. When he disappeared in the corridor, I felt again this freedom. I observed, with a wild feeling of happiness, the kitchen full of light and loneliness. She is not here. And he, he is like one of us, I mean, he does not have her power, her authority. He is not linked to this door. It’s open and there is nothing he can do. He does not decide of our freedom. For first in our lives, we were free in the house.
I was tempted to fly around, but I didn’t want to. Knowing that I can fly, already makes me free enough. And you… did you remember that I can fly?. If I fly, you will be the one that does not fly and I don’t like that difference between us. Kind of a poetical justice, or maybe I am in love, or maybe it is kind of an absurd team spirit, or is it that I am just used to it? With you I learnt to climb, I learnt to fall, to jump, to experience gravity… you taught me our life on earth and I stopped needing to fly.
This morning I was curious about something next to the cage and I fell on the floor. I opened the wings on my way down, I saw my reflection, then my shadow. It is always strange the sound of my body when I touch that surface, flat and brightening, violently clear, where you can not make any hole or look for worms.
I soon got bored and a little frightened. So I did what I normally do. I started singing as loudly as I could to call human attention, help, inter-species charity. It did not work. I only made you shut up. I saw your worried expression, up there, looking at me from the cage door. So I thought: this is it. And I shutted up too. Bingo. Five seconds later I could hear his footsteps in the corridor, and his voice singing, with a melody of worry, in mayor tones.
He arrived in the kitchen and looked at me. The melody changed into softer minor tones, mixed with both a kind sympathy and some friendly angriness. I sang for him, a melody of doubt and energy. We stayed like this. Me, down here, in the immensity of the floor, terribly flat and brilliant solid territory. Everything around me looked so big, so distant. I’ve never liked this perspective. The perspective of a fallen king.
I thought about jumping on his feet, and climbing up his trousers… He ducked nearer and looked at me. His breath was warm and his voice deeper. I looked at him, then around me, then again at him, listening to his slow, kind worry song.
His hand approached me slowly. It was trembling. I got afraid and I tried to bite him… he recovered very fast, so afraid, and I felt so so guilty. I got assaulted by a big feeling sympathy, a kind of respect for his presence in front of me. Suddenly he seemed to be so small.
He looked at me in silence. This time I maintained his gaze. I was tempted to fly, but I did not. I did not want him to discover it. It is better to keep this secret. You never know how people will react when they discover that you can fly.
Okay, here he comes again. His fingers touched the floor in front of me and I jumped into the hand. It was trembling under my feet. I had to open the wings once in a while. He tried to move slowly and smiled singing softly, maybe praying for my concentration or maybe for his own. When his hand arrived at the door I jumped onto the railing. I turned to him and we remained face to face, very close.
He said something with a melody of calm friendly neutrality. I did the same. You were singing loudly behind us, but we did not pay attention. You sing too much, I think so, and I understood that he thinks the same. He repeated one more measure with that warm voice. I answered again. We kept quiet for some seconds and then we simply separated.
There we were, not so different…. Just like any simple guy trying to live and understand the millions of details around, making himself a place that he can recognize like his own cage, a refuge, to climb on top of, to admire a whole universe to explore. I know because sometimes I feel lost too. But you don’t understand. You don’t care. You never care… but do you know? It’s just a little sense of rebellion.
In memory of my little noisy colorful flat-mate and friend... "Pájaro" (Sometime in 2008- November 2009)
who now will be probably flying with his brand new wings, next to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Henry Lees little bird
-lalalalalá, lalalalalí- and all other anonymous guardians of the air and the unquiet silence of the world.