It’s about to get real. All kinds of real.
Real is uncomfortable. Scary. Ocean size.
But it has traction. You can go places.
Since 2009, I’ve been shedding a lot of bullshit. Occasionally, I pick up a little of it again. But in spite of all my talk, there’s a dump truck of fuck that I’ve held onto with the kung fooiest of grips. It’s my last bastion of bull. I’ve held tight to it despite its retched stank and mind-numbing banality. I swear it is some kind of bogus self-imposed, masochistic karma that I’ve endured only so I could suffer.
Because, god damn. I like to suffer.
I’d love to be more specific, but there are things that have yet to fall into place. I have to paint in vaguish strokes.
My subconscious has been showing me what I’ve done, and what I must do.
I can see a black bird standing motionless in the not-so-far distance. The surroundings are bare, a flat grey-white haze. I have the feeling that I have been staring at it for a long time when I decide that it must be in some strange death pose because no living thing can remain that still for so long. Curious, I start to approach it to get a better look. It’s much larger than it seemed at a distance and it is obvious that the black bird is actually a crow, a very stiff crow.
I reach down to topple it and confirm my conclusions when it suddenly springs to life, hopping and flapping its wings spastically. I jump back, arms held protectively above my head as the crow manages to get airborne. It flaps in tight erratic circles— like a giant gnat buzzing in a death spiral around a porch light. The fury of black feathers crash lands on top of a small table that wasn’t there moments earlier and I realize that I’m now standing in a small room, about the size of a doctor’s examination room. There are no windows— only one closed door, the table, the crow and I.
The crow recovers from it’s rough landing and stands on the table cocking it’s head this way and that, quickly taking in its surroundings. It hops a few times, flapping, and it is clear that the crow is entangled in something. His right wing cannot extend fully, something unseen is trapping it against its body. The crow pecks at the hindered wing, digging and pulling. It looks hopeless, the snare too embedded in the crow’s wing.
Sure that the bird has no chance of freeing itself, I slowly move towards it thinking to catch it before it starts flailing again. It cocks its eye at me, noticing my movement immediately. But instead of flap-hopping away, it begins to peck and dig at its wing again. I’m only feet from the crow yet it stands its ground, pecking, digging, pulling with increasing abandon with every step I advance.
The jet black beak peels through feather and flesh. Blood oozes. I’m almost upon the bird now and it seems to have forgotten about me entirely, all its focus and determination on freeing itself. At the last moment, the crow’s head pulls back hard and its beak parts revealing the lower half lodged under a wrap of filament. The bird pries and pulls, thrashing its head side to side, violently trying to break the snare. I lunge towards it in horror, hoping to stop the crow from inflicting permanent injury and there is an audible “SNAP” as the line breaks. My hands grasp nothing but air as the bird takes flight.
The crow does a couple of tight circles above my head as I cower and then flies directly to the door. Its wings pull up short, still flapping, and it claws at the round door knob. The crow’s talons slip uselessly off the knob over and over as its wings fitfully flap in a semi-hover.
Then I wake up.