I can’t explain this very well but my friend who is a free wild bird chose this time of relational austerity to start standing on my head. Once he’s up there he walks around a little and runs his beak through my hair. I used to hang out with his (presumed) father and that relationship was strictly hands-off. We only touched once, when we each misjudged the trajectory of the other. I accept this development with my friend, though I wouldn’t have chosen it for myself and don’t know if it’s technically okay. I hope I don’t appear to be an expert in anything but obsession and hanging out with my eyes open. He feels like one of those wire head massagers, light and jittery, except he’s pointy. The only person I get to touch anymore is Peter, and even him I feel weird about touching at certain angles because I go out to do our strange new grocery shopping or to pick up something at the drug store (i.e. to buy more Easter candy by way of also buying something we might need in case things get worse) so I am a potential vector. I don’t like to hug new people like some Californians do but I miss my friends and being embraced by them and occasionally receiving cheek kisses. I’m glad that we’re all taking this time indoors to think about how to relate to each other and what we owe each other and who we are allied with. I am on the side of this bird who walks all over me, and if you are reading this I’m on your side too.
Images from Mammals of Eastern United States: An Account of Recent Land Mammals Occurring East of the Mississippi by William J. Hamilton, Jr., 1943, courtesy of the Prelinger Library.