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.