“Oh, hey,” he says to me. “Do you live in the house with the dead bird hanging from the wire? It’s been there for a week.”
In my job, I hear all kinds of things. I thought I had heard it all. Then, this man sat with me that, turns out, lives a few houses down from me.
When I saw his address, I debated for a few moments whether I should reveal that I was, in fact, his neighbor. This isn’t a very close or open sort of neighborhood, I imagine it’s because it’s mostly rental houses and people tend to come and go quite often. So, I took the leap and said I lived down the street from him. I never would have imagined he’d say there was a dead bird hanging from the wires in my front yard!
“What are you talking about, a dead bird!” How could I not know this? It’s been there for over a week, he said, and I didn’t know about a dead bird hanging?
“Here, see? I took a photo of it.” Out comes his cell phone with a photo of, you guessed it, a dead bird hanging from a wire. He had zoomed in, so there was nothing in the photo that anchored that dead bird hanging from a wire to my neighborhood.
“I never look up when I walk out my front door. I look down to walk down my steps from the porch to the car.”
What else could I say? I really don’t look up when I’m walking, especially when I have somewhere to go. I wonder how much I miss?
That conversation took place soon after lunch, so I had a few hours to stew about a dead bird hanging from a wire, possible right in front of my house. It unnerved me. My mind took off with the thought that became more and more horrible as the hours passed.
How could a bird, a dead bird, get hung up on a wire? Did somebody do that to a poor, helpless bird? Did somebody do it on purpose? What if it’s an omen. Or worse, what if it’s somebody’s sick way of trying to scare the bejeezus out of me? Well, that would do it! Does this dead bird hanging from a wire mean I’m marked?
Trust me, when it came time to blow that popsicle stand, I flew out the door and out of the parking lot. I broke a few speed limits too on my short drive home from work. Peering up, hunched over the steering wheel, I scanned those wires and almost missed the driveway.
At first, nothing. I looked really close at the wires overhead that cross my front lawn. A wave of relief washed over me. No dead bird on a wire in front of my house! Yes! I looked at all the many wires that criss-cross overhead and, at first, saw nothing. Well, if there was a dead bird hanging from a wire, it’s gone now.
And then I saw it. He said it looked like it was hanging with fishing wire, and I saw what he meant right then. I hadn’t thought to look for a dead bird hanging quite a ways down from the wires hanging overhead. Still, even though I found the dead bird in question, I was relieved. You see, that dead bird is hanging from a wire in front of my neighbor’s house, not mine.
Off the hook, I grabbed my camera and found I couldn’t get much better a photo than that guy’s smartphone took, but I did get a photo. I had to zoom way in, and since the bird was swinging in the faint breeze, the camera couldn’t lock a focus. But, there it is. A dead bird hanging from a wire in front of my neighbor’s house. See it?
Trust me, I am relieved. I am relieved beyond words. I don’t have to figure out how to get a dead bird hanging from a wire down. I don’t have to worry about hexes or jinxes or being marked in any way, shape or form. I am relieved!
I wonder if my neighbor knows about that dead bird hanging from a wire in front of his house? I don’t think, if I introduced myself to him now to tell him about it, that I would be very well received. Do you?