Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Birds

We found this empty little bird's nest tucked into one of the topiaries on our front porch. As you know, Nature generally makes me...what's a good word?...uncomfortable, and I have a hard time even imagining how an animal without hands or thumbs could create such an intricately constructed home. Look how the straw and animal hair winds round so perfectly. Anyways, it's been a few days now, so I think it's safe to assume the nest has been abandoned; I think I'll just leave it where it is, buy one of these singing birds designed by Tsutomu Suzuki, and think of it as the Official Nesting Ground Mascot.

This is bringing to mind a disturbing memory, most of which is probably just my imagination (it may also be a Nesting Ground Re-Run. If so, I apologize in advance and will use the oppresive heat as an excuse). So Delfinos, if you remember this at all, do comment with your recollections.

Here's what I recall: a curious-looking Filipino man wearing a khaki leisure suit and driving a white VW Bug arrived at my Lolo and Lola's house one day circa 1973. He asked to store a number of boxes in their garage, and they agreed. He was not a stranger to my grandparents, but I have never understood the actual point of intersection between the three of them. We kids spent a fair amount of time in that garage. There was a bedroom down there, several storage cubbies and, if I remember correctly, the only entrance to the garden. The thought of the curious man returning to discover that we'd rummaged through his boxes kept us away from them at first, but after several months it became clear that he wasn't returning at all.

We opened one of the boxes.

It was filled with birds. They were piled neatly on top of each other, their beady black eyes staring up at us. Much screaming ensued. After we had calmed down, we came to the conclusion that they were, of course, fake birds. To be used for what, we couldn't imagine. A play? A store window? But closer inspection by an adult revealed that the birds were real. Stuffed, but real. Every box—how many?—contained the same thing.

The man never came back, and I believe the boxes remained in the garage when the house was sold after Lola died. I wonder what the new inhabitants thought?


thelastnoel said...

I found this recollection strange and captivating. Where did those birds come from? The possibilities are endless.

kuya said...

I certainly remember the birds... but the man in the khaki leisure suit driving a white vw bug??? I have no memory of that. I also have no memory of actually opening the boxes. It seemed like the birds were always just, um... THERE.
I remember a neighborhood cat getting into the boxes once and ripping up a couple of the birds.
As far as I was concerned, it was just another creepy little corner of Lola's house.

weez said...

Okay. That IS creepy.

ver said...

Hi Noel! This is definitely good story fodder.

Kuya, I have no memory of the bird thing! I'm sure I blocked it out due to extreme grossness. Okay, so the leisure suit guy doesn't exist for you. Where, then, do you think the birds originated?

Hi Weez! I know. Very creepy. Just stopped by your blog and am now inspired to blow up a little wading pool for the girls...

Kuya said...

so you made that whole story up? geez. you writer-types are so sneaky.
I dunno where the creepy birds came from... probably one of the thousands of filipino immigrants that came wandering through lola's house. That place was like the Ellis Island of Daly City for any recently landed Filipino.