Posts Tagged ‘kookaburra’

To read what I have written lately, you would think that I have not thought about Eva for some time. This isn’t the case – indeed, it’s quite difficult to forget someone you met under such dramatic circumstances so quickly. The reason I haven’t written more about her is that I find it difficult to establish any sort of firm opinion about her.

I mean, I don’t really know what to think. Do I still owe her something, some sort of support or even friendship? Does the knowledge that she has no one, that she’s miserable and wounded, and that I’m the only one who knows, cast upon me the responsibility for her welfare? Well, no, of course not. I barely know her. I’ve barely met her. And yet it would seem particularly callous at this point to leave her to the fates, and not spare her a thought nor a second of my time.

I did leave her my number. She took it. She seemed grateful. Is that enough?

Something is telling me no.

Plagued by indecision, I set out this morning in the direction of the hospital. God, I don’t even know if she’s still there. She could be anywhere, really.

I wandered through the University. As I approached the carpark leading up along the side of the hospital, next to one of the University’s residential colleges, I noticed a kookaburra on a railing, making quite a lot of noise and generally broadcasting his existence to the world.

It’s actually amazing how close he let me get to take the picture – my phone camera does not have zoom. I stood listening to him awhile, pondering how the human brain superimposes human speech onto animal calls. I almost wanted to have a conversation with this bird. In fact, scrap that. I did want to have a conversation with this bird. I suspect birds may be a lot more interesting to talk to than most people.

In my mind, this one was cutting me a deal. “Food,” it said. “Bring me food, and I will make you rich and famous beyond your wildest dreams. You will have anything you want.” Kookaburras are cunning things. Anything to get a free meal. I have vivid memories of visiting an elderly relative as a small child, and leaving out tiny pieces of uncooked steak for the kookaburras. They would swoop down like fighter jets, and the morsel would be gone before you knew it.

“Ah, wily kookaburra,” I told it, “it is not that I do not believe you. But fame and fortune are more than I can handle today. Besides, I have nothing to give you.”

“Fine.” The kookaburra ruffled its wings, looked me sharply in the eye and warned, “You had your chance. I can bring kings to the throne, you know. Maybe I’ll go offer incredible things to some other lowly sap. Some other lowly sap with a pantry.”

“Good luck with that.” I waved to it cheerfully and continued on my way. But by the time I reached the hospital my confidence was gone. She does have my number. If she wanted to see me, she would call. She doesn’t even know me. I’m just some strange guy who found her on the street. And one who is arguably not completely in possession of his senses at present. He’s talking to birds, after all.

I hovered near the entrance, watching the automatic doors open and shut. I couldn’t cross. I went home. Maybe the old man was right – some walls are there for a reason, even if they’re inside your head.


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