It’s my own damn fault. I shouldn’t have started feeding the damn things but now I can’t stop. It begun a year or two back, and now I spend as much on food for the wild ones that yell into my window for breakfast as I do for my exotic green and orange companion. Yup, the crows are firmly in control. After feeding what I suspect a mom and dad and their young fledgling (who, started hanging out on my window ledge and talking with Tiki who picked up some crow sounds – not cool) I now have a core five crows but any given day up to ten. It’s a slippery slope.
If on any day I get up early and head to the gym without a tithe to my feathered friends, I get followed down the street by a cloud of black. If I wake up late one morning, a representative is sent to my window to sit on the ledge and remind me that morning meals are overdue. I have no doubt where my place is in this relationship, and it’s firmly in the role of servant. I don’t mind, as it seems to be serving me well.
I’m an only child. I was a social pariah growing up. So my constant companions were always pets and animals. I recall being nine and having cultivated a collection of slugs from the garden that I fed, picked up and handled and watched. Much to my mother’s chagrin who was trying to keep a garden at that time. My favourite of these was a huge orange thing, speckled with black that put me in mind of a pretty halloween variant. I also had a rat, fish, cats, horses, raccoons, birds and sometimes whales or seals that I had the chance to interact with and get to know. My animal companions never judged me for being a weirdo and were happy for the humble gifts of food, petting, or chance to interact with a strange hairless monkey.
When I was attempting to be a ‘normal’ human being and give up being an artist (didn’t last long, trust me) I went into animal medicine. I thought if I had to make it in the ‘real’ world, I’d be around as many as my inhuman compatriots as possible. As it turned out, it was a bad idea because it made me more intolerant of people than of animals, watching people in expensive SUVs balk at paying for their pets healthcare. I finished my schooling, my practicum, got my certification and never worked in the field again. Instead I did what made much more sense to me: packed up and joined a touring band as a burlesque dancer. The roadshow gave me a better education than my old texts ever did, but I still to this day prefer the company of animals to most people.
Last Friday I did something I’ve not done for a human audience in a long time. I got onstage and sang. With bands. And backup singers. And Cherry playing a tambourine. While three poets did boylesque. I stripped and also got covered in blood, but while being naked and dripping in the red and sticky is nothing new, the experience left me weak. It was something that, while I didn’t admit it to C.R. or any of the Sweet Soul ladies, had me shaking on the inside. I loved it, but it’s been many days since LFAS choir. It was a good reminder that no matter what natural ability you possess, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your skill set and practice your instrument.
Sunday saw the double bill of Devil’s Carnival and Repo! The Genetic Opera at the Rio. I had forgotten my musical theatre roots (once a drama nerd, always a drama nerd) but it made the seed that had been planted on Friday grow. Song, music, and practice. I may or may not sing and siren it up for a human audience again, but in the case that drunken karaoke might occur, then I’d like to be better equipped in the case that they can’t put reverb on my microphone.
So I am going to sing to the crows, my parrot and snake. They don’t judge, and I can let loose without fear of sliding off of my notes. Tiki is happy for any and all attention. Nacho idly wonders when next I’m going to feed her and holds my gaze with her unblinking serpent’s eyes. The crows learn that there is no such thing as a free meal. My mistakes will be tolerated, my learning curve will not offer any judgement of my peers, and I can revel in all my guilty pleasure torch songs as much as I like. I’m sure as long as the seed keeps coming the crows won’t care about hearing ‘Why Don’t You Do Right’ for the 100, 000th time.
Hugs and hisses,
Little Miss Risk