A little story about my morning.
Wednesday morning and I woke early for therapy. It was the first time in 4 years I decided to go, not because I haven’t needed therapy for 4 years but because I can never scrape together the 50 bucks for intake. I always need therapy, given I am comprised of equal parts panic, anxiety, low self-esteem, hypomania and Budweiser. I hopped on the ‘F’ and it was a hot, sweaty mess *not* in a good way. Panic seemed imminent, but I pressed on, hoping to get to 57th Street without a freak-out. I stood. I sat. I tried to read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. Couldn’t focus so I stood back up, sat back down, wash, rinse, repeat. At 42nd Street, propelled by a little voice inside my head that said, “Get the fuck off the train NOW,” I did just that. I would be late, but hell – it’s therapy! Seems like the one thing it’s okay to be a little late for.
I walked up Broadway in the sunshine past the hordes of tourists and businesspeople in suits and I noticed these other people noticing something. “Aww,” I heard a few say. They then made sad faces and moved on. I looked down.
In the middle of the sidewalk on Broadway between 42nd and 43rd, there were two birds. One was lying on its back seemingly injured. It looked like it was dying but there was no blood. It was twitching around like it had a wing injury and it opened and closed it’s beak letting out barely audible noises. The other was hovering over it, wanting to help but seeing as how it didn’t have any opposable thumbs, there was shit all it could do. It just watched helplessly as its friend struggled. They were plump little birds. They almost looked like titmice though I don’t know if there are titmice in Times Square. They looked young like they’d just shed their “baby bird down” for real feathers. Maybe they’d just left the nest and made their first outing into the “real world” only to discover that the world is dangerous and full of uncaring assholes.
I considered moving on too. Again, I was late for therapy! But how much therapy would I need if I did walk on? I would TRY to do something. Better to try and fail than not try at all! One of my many favorite mottos and one of the reasons I fail constantly.
Remembering I had a towel I’d stolen from the YMCA in my bag, I knelt down. The other bird flew away, knowing I had thumbs and knowing I would do something. Using the stolen towel I gently cupped the bird’s tiny possibly titmouse adolescent body in my hands. All the people who were previously rushing by began to pause and watch what was happening. As carefully as humanly possible, I turned the bird over and placed it on its feet. I expected the worst – that it would keel over and die. Instead, it took a second to muster some strength then triumphantly flew away, high above the Great White Way and over the heads of all the people who’d just walked on by. Hopefully it went to meet its friend. Maybe they went off to Rudy’s for a pint. Maybe I would join them later. Maybe, even though I am comprised of panic, anxiety, low self-esteem, hypomania and Budweiser, I am not that fucked up. Maybe I just want the world to be gentler than it really is.
I put the stolen towel back in my bag and stood up. A weathered old truck driver who’d been watching the whole thing from his truck gave me a thumbs up. It felt good and I considered blowing off therapy, but pressed on with everyone else, because like that bird, I just need someone to help me get on my feet.