Thursday, March 24, 2016

Caged Birds

After I filled out the medical forms (five pages) and took them to the front desk, I turned around to take a seat. 

But I didn't move.

Across the room: four finches I hadn't seen.

"I'm not leaving," I said to the woman with my forms; "I'm getting my camera" and headed out to the parking lot.

Back inside, I went straight to the cage: "Do not touch the glass." 

As if I would.

At least not during the day, like this. I might long to return, to remove the birds to a larger space, open to the sky and air in accommodating weather, something more than a hermetically sealed, antiseptic box, but of course I couldn't and wouldn't.

Whose idea was this display anyway with the live birds, tacky plastic flowers, plain background, and pointless blind? One of the doctors, I assume, all dermatologists. The irony didn't escape me: some patients in the room undoubtedly wanted a good face cleaning so they'd look pretty, as pretty -- maybe -- as the trapped finches. 

But as for me, the finches -- though certainly beautiful -- looked dazed, bored, sleepy, and no one else in the large waiting room crowded with patients showed the least bit of interest in the birds.

A remarkable thing -- the cage and its inhabitants, glassed like a painting, and utterly ignored.

The finches deserve better. 

May they continue to ignore all but themselves and each other. Let the rest of us preen.

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