Category Archives: relationship

Pigeons

The old lady came to the park every day to feed the pigeons. She would bring whatever leftover bread she had in her possession, she’d sit on the same bench, and she would slowly reach into the bread bag and toss small crumbs onto the ground. She’d move through the tossing motions methodically while facing the morning sun, the rays of sunlight illuminating her weathered face. The whirlwind of pigeons that surround her swirled and ran and flew as if they were one organism. She was a conductor under the spotlight leading her own orchestra.

Park services were unhappy. There were signs in the park that specifically said Do Not Feed The Birds. They warned her many times before that her actions were frowned upon. They complained to her that – by feeding the pigeons – it made their work harder as they had to spend extra time scrubbing pigeon shit off the bench and surrounding sidewalk. Despite the warnings, the lady came every day. The park service employees and volunteers felt that they could not take any action against the old lady because of her frailty and age, so they begrudgingly spent extra time scrubbing the sidewalk and bench at the end of almost every day.

One day a female park worker was near the bench in late morning when the old lady came in her purple overcoat and ugly floral dress. The lady sat on the bench and slowly opened her bread bag and within seconds she was surrounded by many pigeons. The worker had been picking up garbage in the grass but decided to take it upon herself to confront the old woman.

The worker said, “You know you can’t do that.”

The old lady slowly looked up at her with a frail voice and said, “I know damn well I can’t.”

The attendant crossed her arms, “Then why are you doing it?”

The old lady replied, “Because the pigeons are reliable.”

Confused, the attendant asked, “What do you mean?”

The lady slowly responded with, “It means that these damn pigeons are the only thing I can be sure of. They are here every day. They always show up.”

“Well, can’t you rely on the pigeons somewhere else?”

The old lady suddenly became cross, “Only if you carry me there, dumb ass. You think this old body of mine could walk far enough to go somewhere else? I live just over there.” The old lady pointed indistinctly to the left of her.

“It’s been very annoying having to clean up all the bird…” the worker caught herself from cussing, “… poop.”

“I’m sorry you have to put in the extra time,” the old lady was frustrated, having had this argument with many other park workers in the past, “but this is the highlight of my whole day, so if you don’t mind leaving me alone that would be great.”

“Well I hope you understand that you just waste our valuable time when we have to clean up the mess you make here.” The attendant snapped back, unable to control herself.

“As sure as I am that the pigeons will return here every day, you can be sure to clean up after them.” The old lady hissed.

The park employee retorted, “As sure as I am that the pigeons will come when you’re here, they won’t return when you’re gone.”

The old woman looked up at the attendant with a pained expression. The expression slowly turned to anger, and then it softened, and with great purpose she said, “I am sure that you are wrong.” Then she turned away from the attendant and continued her slow, repeating rhythm of tossing the bread onto the ground.

Weeks passed before the female park worker and the old lady saw each other again.

The female worker was passing by the old lady on the bench when the old lady hissed, “You missed a spot.” She motioned towards all the pieces of shit on the ground.

The attendant stopped and looked at her with great malice and said, “One day soon there will be no spots to miss.”

The old lady pondered carefully what to say next, and with great conviction she said, “Only the selfish say that the value of life is ease.”

The worker retorted, “Only the selfish make things harder for others.”

The old lady laughed, “Well then, honey, you’ve never been in love.” She looked back towards the pigeons and tossed them more bread.

The park worker turned and walked away, silently mumbling a curse under her breath.

It was over six months later before they spoke to each other again. The female worker tried to pass the old lady without her noticing, but the old lady looked up at her with surprise and said, “You’re pregnant.”

The worker stopped, straightened up and rubbed her protruding stomach, “I am pregnant, yes.” She said with no tone of friendliness towards the old lady.

“Not that I care too much,” the old lady stated, “but congratulations. Obviously I was mistaken when I said you’ve never been in love.”

The female worker looked down, “No, this wasn’t from love.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” The old lady bowed her head.

The two women were silent while the pigeons stirred at their feet and flew around their heads. The worker watched the pigeons look at the old lady in anticipation as the old lady tossed another handful of crumbs onto the ground. The pigeons went wild, scrambling to be the first to gobble up the broken bread. In that moment the pigeons seemed ferocious.

The worker looked back up at the old lady and asked, “Do you have kids?”

The old lady tossed another handful of bread on the ground before answering, “Yes. I had two.”

The worker leaned closer to the lady, “Is it easy?” She asked, “Raising children, I mean.”

The old lady smiled, “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

The park employee was stuck in thought before asking, “Do they visit you often?”

The old lady stiffened and tossed another handful of bread. Her voice was strained, “Just leave me be, please. I like being undisturbed when I feed the birds. Good luck with your child. Bye now.”

A couple months passed and the female worker’s stomach grew larger. She worked in the park until the final days of her pregnancy, and then she gave birth to a little baby girl. She couldn’t afford to take much time off work so two short weeks after giving birth she returned to the park, leaving the baby in her sister’s care during the day.

“Good news,” a male coworker said on her first day back, “The old lady hasn’t been in the park for two days. The first time in years!”

“Oh really?” The female questioned, “That’s very strange.”

“Maybe the old crone finally croaked.” The male laughed.

There was palpable silence.

The female asked, “Do the pigeons still come around?”

The male replied —

The End.

Advertisements

Cody’s Guide On How To Be Single

People ask me all the time, “Cody, why on earth are you still single?” They don’t actually ask me that but I’d like to think that they do inside their head. I feel like it counteracts the many times they’ve said to me, “Cody, you’re such a mess,” or “Cody, please stop doing that.”

My close friend’s are able to see through my messy exterior and see that there is a pretty-alright-if-you-look-hard-enough guy inside. Although I’ve never technically ‘dated’ anyone, I’ve had my fair share of successfully unsuccessful relationships.

Take for instance my first of these relationships: He was a hot sparky from Calgary. He was muscular, ginger, and now that I look back he was pretty boring. I was madly infatuated with him and he decided to end it with me and run away with a porn star from Vegas. Yikes. That relationship only lasted a month.

Then my next relationship came along. He was a man working in the oil fields. He wasn’t as good looking as the previous relationship but sometimes I feel charitable (Just kidding, I’m sure I was the charity). We saw each other on and off for six months. He tried to teach me to drive manual in his truck once – and once was enough for him after we slid backwards down a dirt hill with me screaming, “WHY!?” It came to light that he had major anger issues when he took a baseball bat to his classic mustang one night. He also had night terrors and scared the shit out of me when he told me he saw a gang hanging outside the house. I also accidentally punched him in the nose when we were making out and he bled all over my face. We would sleep on an air mattress on the floor because why get a bed when an air mattress is fine? In the sixth months I was with him we never had sex. I ended the relationship with him and he went to Mexico to ‘sort his life out’.

I am no good at flirting either. I had a guy come up to me in the gay club in my hometown and say, “You’re the hottest guy here.” I responded with, “Oh wow you must be blind.” and then I sank into the crowd, never to be seen by him again.

I’ve also tried my hand at flirting by saying to a guy once, “I would love to go home with you but I haven’t showered in three days.” He didn’t even end up giving me his number.

Another time I was drunk and I refused to go home with a guy because he didn’t have any alcohol in his house.

Next of my failed relationships was with this big, muscular sporty guy. We saw each other on and off for over a year and he was too embarrassed by me to even introduce me to his friends. I was so infatuated I didn’t care and it ended up being really toxic for me. I understand why, in hindsight, because I was in the messiest time in my life and the poor guy had to buy all my meals because I was so insanely poor. But he was incredibly hot and his calf muscles were as big as my head so it was a confidence booster that he wanted to be with me. It was the first time I’ve ever felt good looking, which for a kid that grew up incredibly ugly it was quite an astounding revelation. I drooled on his chest once and I was like, “Oh god I’m so sorry.” and he replied with, “It’s ok you do it almost every night.” Fuck. My. Life.

Another relationship I ended up in was pretty tragic. We bonded over crystal meth and it caused my relapse. We were both quite psychotic due to the drugs and I’m quite happy it’s all over. I’ve been meth free for a year and a half now. Out of respect I won’t say more than that because, even though he acted batshit crazy, I really can’t judge. It was bad. It was weird. I can’t stress enough that I wish him all the best.

I do find that I am quite lonely sometimes. Sometimes I wish I had someone to cuddle, to talk too. But then I remember I’m only 23 and I laugh at myself for being so stupid. Don’t get me wrong, if a relationship happens then it happens – But I’m happily single and don’t mind staying this way. I love myself a lot – it’s not a bad thing either. I think in life, loving yourself is the most important. It may sound conceited or selfish, but I think it’s pretty fundamental. I feel whole in myself that I don’t feel like I need someone to complete me. Lot’s of guys think I’m weird, but I love that. I love openly and am myself, and that is what’s important to me. If someone comes along that can fit in to that then I can make it work.

So I guess what I’m saying is; in Cody’s Guide On How To Be Single, you should just embrace it. Don’t care about it. Don’t think too much about it. Life’s too short to rely on someone so rely on yourself. The rest will fall into place. You can learn a lot about yourself from dating, but you’ll learn more from being single.