It’s almost five in the afternoon and I’m on my dinner break. I forgot my “dinner” at home and it’s too early to eat anyway, so I stay at the apartments to smoke on the break-room patio and bask in the few remaining minutes of sunlight.
There’s a cold wind blowing through town, but it’s not stopping spring in its tracks. The flowers are still blooming and the town smells better than usual. Directly across from the break-room patio is a pool with several tables. On one particular table, I’m watching a battle for supremacy.
There are three sparrows on the table, two males and one female. The males are fighting over the female, squawking and flapping their wings at each other. Every so often, one of the males will get an advantage and peck at the other bird’s neck or chest. The losing bird will flap off for a few minutes, giving the winning bird a moment or two to take his prize.
Shortly thereafter, the losing bird returns and the struggle continues anew.
This continues for a good 20 minutes and I watch, smoking and feeling numb. Drawing a parallel to my life is far too easy. And far too banal. So, I just observe. I never act. I just observe. Eventually the birds are chased off by a larger bird, a raven checking in to see if the sparrows had found something interesting.
Again, the parallels are far too easy.
This week has been painful enough to get over certain things in my life. Which, admittedly, is a good thing for all parties involved. But those kinds of realizations are usually enough to send me into a cold, miserable state.
In a few days, or weeks, or whatever, I’ll emerge better for it. And I’m sure I’ll find all sorts of new things to make me miserable. But at least I won’t be miserable over these particular people or situations. It’s a bit like freeing yourself from a trap and then looking back at it and wondering, “Now, what the hell did I do that for?”