Tales from Six Feet Apart

Page 164

Imagine How I Feel O.H. Greenwood

There are some things that are too poetic to write poems about. Like staring at the neighbor’s caged bird while in quarantine. It’s too much, I know. Just imagine how I feel, sitting, watching the little parrot, waiting for the unemployment office to call. The bird was there before all this started, of course. It used to inspire in me a vague feeling of disapproval towards my neighbor, but now the cage in its blue cardboard tray makes me shudder. It has a perch on which the bird swings back and forth with a certain gusto. Pedro Sánchez flickers on the television behind it, announcing an extension to the lockdown. The bird hops down for a drink of water. It thinks it’s getting out one day. There are some things that are too poetic to write poems about, like how we stand at our windows and applaud at 8 PM every night. The owner of the bird shuts his curtains at this hour, but a woman next door to him opens the sliding door to her balcony, holding her tiny daughter by the hand. “It’s ridiculous,” says A. as applause erupts in her section of the city a minute after it does in mine. I can hear it through my bluetooth headphones as I open my window. “I find the clapping ridiculous.” Then she says, “Dude. The guy next door just came out. He’s pretty hot, actually.” I’m playing peekaboo with the toddler across the narrow street. She crouches behind a potted geranium, thinking I can’t see her. When she pops up, I duck behind my green shutters. For a second, she thinks I’ve disappeared forever. But I’m still here, being ridiculous.

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