Babies and Sparrows (copyright 2011)

I dream of babies the guy says, all scruffy and gangly. Other people dream of other things, dreary things, spiders for instance or roaches, mayhem, seduction, nonsense. I dream of babies, hundreds at a time, they’re up on stage careening around like a bunch of ants on a small tile tottering and careening, murmuring, but they never bump each other, like New York City sidewalk traffic they manage to seamlessly weave themselves past and around each other muttering away and using their arms and legs robotically to balance themselves and that’s all they do, and they look brighteyed and confused and they all kind of look alike except for their colors, and then he went on . . .

there’s this sparrow and it’s amazing, I don’t know if it’s a male or female sparrow but whatever, it’s perched on this smooth thigh on the porch next door bobbing its head and pecking at thistle seeds or something, cracked hearts of sunflower seeds, who knows, and it’s making me dizzy with all its head movements between pecks, I try to imitate it and literally get disoriented, not as pleasant as good dope gets me but nonetheless, I’d sure like to be pecking at thistle seeds or whatever on that thigh . . .

Babies sparrows thighs, all this he tells me in the car on a twolane highway through the woods upnorth, I stop the car on the shoulder and in no time he feels the gnashing of my teeth, I’m all over him, what are you telling me this stuff for I yellat him, I don’t need to hear that shit, you’re hitchhiking at dawn I pick you up and you start laying this shit all over me, okay okay drive on he says I won’t talk about babies and birdies anymore, I’ll get out at M23 and you can forget about me.

I glare at him then move over and start driving again turn and glance at him for a moment, he’s staring straight ahead, I’ve wounded him but I don’t care, I hate these shorts I’m wearing they’re suddenly too short, I’d throw him out but I’ve been driving all fucking night and when I saw him I thought some company might be good, I’d take him a lot farther than M23 if I could, I’d take him all the way to northern Alberta with me, he’s nicelooking, harmless, I could put up with that, but the babies and birdie shit no way. It’s quiet for exactly one minute and then like a preset alarmclock he starts in again, he goes I was sitting on my porch reading I look up and there’s this hummingbird hovering over me just beyond reach, it’s just hovering and looking at me I can’t even see it’s wings moving, at one point it turns its head and studies something for about five seconds then returns to me for another twenty seconds before it zooms away and I’m mesmerized, it flies in wonderful broad loopy arcs through my backyard lighting up trees and bushes and the whitedotted blue sky with a neon glow . . .

Birdies again! I heave out this guttural snarl and pull over again thumping over a roadkill corpse, I almost lose control, Whoa he says, a car passes in the other direction my car fishtails and finally I get it to stop and flash my teeth my fangs at him I tear at his skinny throat, the whole fucking world’s falling apart it’s crashing it’s fucking blowing up and you’re sitting here blahblahblaahing about cutesy little fairyland birdie bullshit? get the fuck out of here now. He looks at me, he closes the gash on his neck with a gentle finger massage like hes mocking me, long skinny fingers and thumb sliding toward each other, separating, sliding again, I’m spitting all over him, I’ve had it with the vulnerablelittleboy routine and the cutesylittledruggiewonderlandfucking stories I scream, they’re all the same all you want to do is manipulate that’s all, that’s fucking all, now get out of here. He widens his eyes screws up his mouth opens the door and exits, he leaves the door for me to reach over and close, and by the time I take off he’s got his thumb out for the next pigeon.

I’m driving along still really pissed, the woods are streaming by, a car starts to pass and there he is in the passenger seat, he looks over at me. When I recognize him I speed up, there’s nothing coming toward us and there he is blahblahblaahing away, spewing his birdieandbaby shit at some other female sucker and I start screaming at her Don’t listen to that shit, don’t let him pollute your mind too so when the world starts breaking up you’ll just seep into its cracks like sludge, don’t let him do that, stay strong, he’s still looking at me and blabbing away and I slam on my brakes and I’m fishtailing all over the road and finally I come to a stop on the shoulder and scream. It doesn’t go away it doesn’t go away.

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2 responses to “Babies and Sparrows (copyright 2011)

  1. The driver is not coping already when he ( she ) picks up this ” company “.
    To pick up an unknown — could be anyone, Jesus returned, the Archangel
    Gabriel, an escaped criminal . The driver was not making a sound judgement as his passenger’s wordiness hammers his mind into violence,
    a neck attack ! The story is already in a weird realm and gets more so.
    We want to know how the driver fares as he angrily drives on, still pushed to suicidal violence driving like …..well, a madman. Is he mad ?

  2. True about the driver not coping before picking up the hitchhiker,probably that’s why the driver’s heading to northern Alberta — for escape. I tried to hint that the driver is a female by a) her selfconsciousness about her too-short shorts after his reference to a thigh and b) her reference to “some other female sucker” in the last paragraph. The neck attack, the gnashing teeth, and some other violent allusions I intended as sort of surreal outbursts of a mind in dissolution. The world is falling apart for her and she strikes out against the innocent musings of a gentle soul. Sort of like the current conservative viciousness and vehemence that’s stamped out the visionary principles of the hippie movement.

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