Aviomania by Dina Paulson
I swore, I said, nearly crying. It did. It died, I said. The others looked at me.
The one by the door ventured: It is just not possible, though. They have wings-- it-- he corrected, noticing my face twist up. Imagine someone thinking one of something meant every one of that something.
It, he continued, it has wings, so it cannot die. There is no way.
Well, it can die, I shot back, but the conversation had turned (conversations about the potential of things are unruly by their nature).
It can die, I said, if something happens to its wings, for example, or if another bird runs into it. Or by a strong wind.
An unbelievably strong wind, my ex-boyfriend said, snickering.
Why does he still live with us? my girlfriend asked me with her eyes.
I looked at the ground, the tattered rug we all bought. The Die Birds Die concert was on the fridge; someone had stuck it there to play tricks on me. I told everyone I suffered from these nightmares-- aviomania, this disease I have. I have always had it.
Remember what happened to me at the end of ‘Birdman’? I insisted, moving to the center of the room, staring back at all of them.
Remember how she-- I pointed at her-- had to feed me by hand because I kept replaying that end scene? Okay, I am a clinomaniac, too, but I know, no matter what the interviews say-- he was flying above that sexy, starved Emma Stone. He had finally grown real wings.
Unlike the bird I had just seen. It was our second apartment meeting of the day. We wanted to know who had been causing all the unhappiness lately. And then it happened-- the bird came crashing down from our neighbor’s balcony, where it had been sitting, where I had been watching it as this awful conversation lingered and halted, and nobody copped to bad vibes and everybody forgot to treat everybody as he or she wished to be treated themselves.
It made a nosedive, straight to the ground. I know that is not flying. I do not care what anybody says.