Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sometimes At Night I Imagine The Parrot Is Talking To Me. (250=1)

In 250=1, I write a story that is exactly 250 words long, including the title.
Today's was inspired by an actual object I was given for Father's Day. Can you guess what it is?

Sometimes At Night I Imagine The Parrot Is Talking To Me.

The parrot that sits on its metal stand, metal feet attached to the metal tree, metal feathers-that-aren’t buttoned down nicely, metal eye cocked quizzically at me.

Can’t sleep, eh?” the parrot says, and it is not a frightening thought, for me, to imagine it might really be, really is, talking.

So many things to frighten one in the night, a metal parrot that can talk is nothing to worry about.

“No, I can’t,” I will say back to the parrot. It doesn’t matter if this is, or is not, a dream. Dreams are just another form of reality. I remember every dream I ever had, remember them better than I remember fourth grade. I long ago stopped worrying about whether dreams were real or reality was a dream.

Want to talk about it?” the parrot might say. I don’t, not really.  We watch TV together in silence, for a while, the late late news rerunning the 10 o’clock show.

Outside, a rustling sound.

Inside, my kids are asleep down the hall.

Downstairs, I have left the pizza in the box on the counter, not even bothering to put it away in the ‘fridge for the night. I’ll eat it before the kids get up, they’ll never know.

“Ever wish you were alive?” one of us asks the other.

I look at the parrot.

It looks at me.

We are both wondering whether it really matters who asked that question.


Want to read more 250=1 stories? YES YOU DO YOU LIAR.  Why do you make our relationship about everything but the truth? Click here for a complete index to them.  There's, like 27 or something. 


Andrew Leon said...

What a disturbing question.

Briane P said...

And yet, I didn't think the story was disturbing when I wrote it.

Sometimes, I like to think of comedies without laughter -- if you watch a comedy but imagine everyone saying every line SAD, they're the saddest movies.

I think of this story as the opposite: taken literally, it would be disturbing and sad, but taken as the potentially dreamlike state it is, I find it uplifting.

Andrew Leon said...

Well, I can see that, but the whole which of us is alive... I mean, which of -us- is alive?

The answer is obviously me, because I'm too tired, right now, not to be alive.

Briane P said...

AH: Objective proof of existence. Then by the bags under my eyes, I'm VERY alive.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Ha, I love that ending, but then again, I'm a sucker for a dark punchline.

Nothing says happy father's day quite like a metal parrot. Still, beats a tie, right?

Briane P said...


EVERYTHING beats a tie. Unless the tie is a "Darth Maul" tie your kids give you when "Phantom Menace" comes out, and 15 years later when you wear it your secretary says "Is that a devil?"


I am wearing a DEVIL tie. It's a unique choice, I know, as not many professionals opt for the Satanic look, but I thought "You only go around once on this big spinning planet of love."

That's a Brian Setzer quote. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.

I don't know what I'm saying anymore.

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