Words By: Jonathon Davidson
It is truly by necessity of our own compositional being that we all ask, in some phase of our life – if not regularly throughout it, wondering with the frustrated tickling of a foul mental vertigo – what strange manner of stage is this upon which we dance along the lengths of our mortal coil, bird?
Why is it that for centuries and eras left as nothing but strange projections of shadow cast on oceans of sand this question has not changed? Who controls the lighting? Is it you, up there in your tree, demonic in the suburban heavens like a beaked antichrist? Are we all at the whim of your internal war? Are we all just responding to a series of evolving gnostic stage directions which originate from somewhere deep within your breast?
Are you unhappy? Are you frenetic and worried, like I often am, wondering from whenceforth comes the next wave of creeping danger? Maybe not.
Perhaps you are a calm bird. Perhaps your actions are calculated. Malicious.
Planned. For you have commenced, without fail, warbling your demented sing songs of treachery at roughly the strike of midnight for an endless stream of nights.
On the first night, I suffered. I wrapped my pillow around my head, I digested all strange manner of oriental potions and herbs, imperial elixirs and resins, in the attempt to induce slumber. Nothing worked, as your wretched falsetto pierced the night well until the amber haze broke and rolled in across the horizon.
You are relentless.
You do not stop.
On the second night, I plotted. I attempted to devise a kind of slingshot device but I failed, driven to snap my pride betwix the weight of my humiliation under your mad moonlit cackling sick with the frenzy of rape and your beady, jet black eyes, their gaze lacerating into the street with your perpetually rabid vulgarity, while screaming your bird slurs into the night.
I hate you so much, bird. For you, I wish those were my only words.
The penultimate catalyst of my failure within the slingshot fiasco was a regrettable lack of true enthusiasm in the face of the cold winter nights – a weakness upon which I am sure you prey – and, in retrospect, my inability to identify the appropriate hardwoods for the construction of such a weapon.
The tree in which you reside is on my neighbour’s property, and it is for this reason I am unable, due largely to lack of appropriate stealth training but additionally to a complex spectrum of trespassing laws – to scale the full height of the gum tree upon which you perch and, sans detection, pluck you from your perverted branch of obese grace.
That second night, driven increasingly mad under the hex of your avian propaganda, I fell asleep against your maddened lullabies, only due to the physical inability of my body to continue on without rest. I awoke the next morning, shaken by a vivid dream in which myself and a group of explorers carelessly desecrated the final resting place of twoscore bodies.
They had been executed. We found the dead men and women in the top storey of a bare and abandoned double decker bus. They were slouched against the walls on either side in columns facing one another, their corpses pale and flecked with dirt around the faces. All rested there like patient passengers with notes written in Japanese attached to their chests with cruel pins. Each and every one had written apologies for what they had done, and they each had painted the backs of unique guitars with their artistic expressions of sorrow.
But myself and the explorers, my dream no doubt influenced by your festering messages of hatred cradled gently into my subconscious; we tore their notes apart, and as we trampled into the bus to inspect the dead we broke their guitars under our boots, we smashed their art and left the bus, back into a city over which hung a low, dark gray sky, and we cut out into the streets without obscene celebration over what we had done; with no particular aim or intention in mind.
And then there was night three.
On night three you took everything away. Unable to take it anymore, having been left to stew in the sweat and grime of that day’s stagnant sun, naked radiation without cloud coverage, doubly with that night’s commencement of the warbling – oh, the warbling – my spirit finally broke and I made my way to the petrol station to purchase fifteen dollars worth of unleaded petroleum.
In retrospect I wish I could have taken more time to truly predict how little time it would take for an old, fat and spindly gumtree to go up in flames with the conservative application of roughly four litres of fuel.
I wonder now if you had chosen that tree deliberately, infected with the termites at the base and hollowed out.
I wonder if you chose that tree deliberately, knowing that I would be driven to arson by your vile bullying of mind, knowing that at the peak heat of the flames it would twist, warp and snap; descending as if in slow motion onto the house, which in hot summer days would bask in its shade; slamming through the arteries of my neighbour’s home as white plastic tubing broke forth from the brick and spat septic tank waste over the infant’s toys in the front yard, over the flames; as the fire swept into the ceiling space opened up by the tree like a skull bashed in with a metal bat, the insulation consumed by the ravenous pitbull of heat and light; the fire seeping further into the house, the roof collapsing, the tree descending further through broken architecture; the ruptured beams; the dislodged supports, the snapped wires, the torn cables, the dusted mortar, the cracked tile; and the leaves, leaves falling around the sky, back up as the tree landed and back down like flecks in a snow globe, crackling into ember and into dust in the air around the screams and smoke and the cries of the house dying; disappearing into air as they rose over the flames which consumed the calcium of my neighbour’s bones, the metal of their car, the polystyrene of their possessions; the unsaddled destruction of which went on well into the early morning as the firetrucks came to douse the chaos, as the police came to establish order, as the ambulance came to save lives and eventually sadly carry away the dead in self defeat, and as the arson unit came to arrest me: what I remember most is, as I was pushed into the back of the car, there you sat – perched atop the hood of my car, warbling still – calling into the night, turning your head to watch me go as I was trawled down the street in the back of the containing cell, wrists trapped in handcuffs behind and underneath me, reverberating against my vicious screams shaken with the taste of blood, causing fleshy nodes to rise in the back of my throat, heard only by the ears of myself and the blank white walls which enclosed me in the first of what would be a ceaseless, ongoing parade of cages designed to hold a man ever since night three.
It is now night seven hundred and twenty two.
I still hear you calling.