of chickens, pigeons, fear of flight.

a couple of days ago, i came home to a flutter of raven wings when i opened my curtains. much to my surprise (and to lupe’s delight), we had a winged squatter that decided to enter the cabaña via the chimney (or so we think).

i proceeded to have the biggest girl moment of my life: i screamed rather high-pitchly and called the landlord.

he came and helped me corral the pigeon into my kitchen. this was a feat of epic proportions, because every time the pigeon flew toward me, instead of waving my arms to guide it back into the kitchen, i screamed and ducked. not conducive to the goal of confinement of avian beings.

finally, after much broom swatting by my landlord, the pigeon found his way out through my kitchen window, lupe stopped freaking out in that “lemme at ‘im, boss” manner that only furry carnivores possess, and the landlord was out the door. and with the landlord out, we two ladies proceeded to put our apartment back together.

and that’s when i found him lying prostrate on the kitchen floor:

this is my chicken. he is little and red and sits atop my door. and despite his small stature, he is so much more than just my chicken.

i got him from my dad at a market when i was visiting the homeland. see, the thing is, my dad never has a clue about what i like or what i am like. or about my life in general half the time. but one time, when we were walking around in the market, i looked at this chicken lovingly, played with its little chicken feet, gave it back to the vendor and didn’t say a word.  and my dad got me the chicken. made me feel like he was paying attention. and we had a nice day, walking around in the market, talking news and politics, looking at a million snow globes, lighters with marzipan, giant t shirts with frogs on them, keychains of chanclas…and he asked about my life, my work, my then-boyfriend.

back then i was dating someone i thought i would someday marry. at least at the beginning. and my dad listened, and simply said, “i want whatever makes you happy, but it seems to me like you’re way more chispa than he is.” chispa. light, spark, friction. seems like a simple statement, but coming from my dad, it was the closest to a connection. he was saying that he thought i deserved better. he was saying i deserved more spark. and i understood, and felt loved, and started feeling more confident when he bought me that chicken.

the chicken was the only thing i thought of on the flight back to puebla york. and this is big because i am terrified on planes. i pray like five million padres nuestros and beg in english, spanish and spanglish for a safe, smooth landing. but for some reason, i didn’t freak out as much. the whole time i was thinking that i wanted this chicken to come home with me in one piece; it was like if the chicken came back shattered, then that moment with my dad would have been shattered too.

three years later and a couple of days ago, after the stowaway pigeon left my apartment in a flurry of feathers and probably disease,  i saw my chicken sprawled on the floor. the pigeon must have knocked it out in its frenzy. and for a second, i had the same fear: the fear of the shattered chicken.

but in the end, the chicken, like my heart, ended up being ok.

turns out it takes more than a fall to break hearts, memories, and chickens.

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~ by nadstina on March 11, 2011.

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