Call me woo-woo, but intuition and synchronistic occurrences pave the way for me through the combat of political rhetoric and past cunning abusers posing as martyred heroes for a higher cause (insert sob here). It is not like I didn’t expect closed confidential birth records to be magically unsealed with a sweeping open sesame command by Governor Chris Christie. It’s that when it happened, I pictured hundreds of little song birds being felled by a hefty guy dressed in camouflage swilling cheap beer, firing rounds out of a shotgun he scored in a shady deal with a character named Bubba. I myself don’t drink beer; however that occasion called for it. I resisted and instead took to staring out the window wishing I had my own sorcerer’s sword—never mind what I’d do with it. That’s when I saw the bird. A dazzling bird to be specific. A rose-breasted grosbeak to be even more specific.
It’s been years since a rose-breasted grosbeak showed up in our yard. But on the day I heard about all the women on Governor Christie’s hit list, there it was, splashing in our small garden waterfall as if the spring morning had dawned and warmed the water simply for its pleasure. I was properly dazzled. All life’s pleasures wrapped up in one little bird dancing in the sunlight. A smile-worthy scene if ever there was one. Later in the day, a photo of a rose-breasted grosbeak “coincidently” showed up in our email. Synchronicity at its finest. The little bird was zooming in from mysterious sacred realms bearing a message of good tidings. I was sure of it. Certainly Governor Christie would feel the sorrowful beat of his own heart and realize he’d been spoon-fed Kool-Aid by cunning abusers bearing a suspicious resemblance to overgrown infants throwing temper tantrums. Whereby the governor would wield his sorcerer’s sword three times backwards reversing his open sesame command while chanting, the stalking of old women by overgrown infants throwing temper tantrums is a crime. And the dazzling rose-breasted grosbeak would continue to dazzle and all the little song birds would be spared.
A week later the rose-breasted grosbeak was dead. Synchronicity at its worst.
That dazzling bird and its unfortunate header into plate glass started me reflecting on my mother, The Little Bird. That’s what I called her in the last years of her life, The Little Bird. One glimpse told the tale. Tiny. Broken. Confused. Songless. Dying. Like that rose-breasted grosbeak. The dazzle extinguished. What a woo-woo parallel, I thought—two little birds: tiny, broken, confused, songless, dying—lying as defenseless prey for any skulking predator looking to cop lunch. And guess what arrived to devour both carcasses. That’s right. Predators.
After her brain was sufficiently befuddled and her little bird body was sufficiently broken down so as to guarantee no resistance, two cunning abusers showed up on The Little Bird’s doorstep. The Little Bird was oblivious. How would she know that she was being tricked and dragged off to serve as the “fading star” in a scheme connived by the two overgrown infants? That she was no more than a cartoon character used to fulfill their sentimental fantasies? Of course, she wouldn’t know, but the predators knew.
One cunning abuser, her adopted brother--Bill from Ohio, as my mother would sneer when referring to him—exhibited surprising perception. My mother’s loathing of him was the stuff of legends. Smart of Bill from Ohio to wait until her brain was adequately wasted and her speech totally muddled. Because before she became The Little Bird, my mother would’ve gone for his jugular, Ninja style. The second cunning abuser was a thumb-sucking stranger in the throes of a temper tantrum demanding her turn at The Little Bird’s carcass. The stranger posed The Little Bird for a few sappy photos, perfect for Facebook boasting. And with a few full-blown embellishments of the delusional variety, the cunning stranger invented herself a dying “grandma.” Really? (Insert sob here.) Please, don’t hold back the sentimental tears.
My mother did not do sentimental. My mother did ornery. Before Parkinson’s ate her brain, Pat would just as soon slap you as greet you. What she liked was cigarettes. And coffee. She couldn’t stand people, kids, animals, or whiners. If you fit into one of those categories, well, it sucks to be you. Once she slapped my brother on his dangling, broken foot insisting, “It’s not broken. Get up and walk on it.” Nobody got away with thumb sucking around my mother. Maybe it was the waitress training. Send Pat the Waitress running back to the kitchen enough times with complaints about your food, and she’d serve you all right—and it wasn’t just steak on your plate. You never should have been fooled by Pat the Waitress. Not by her silence. And certainly not by her innocent smile. That was her power. And the arrogant customer’s undoing. No kidding…sucked to be him or her…seriously…ewww…
So for the benefit of Governor Chris Christie and all the overgrown infants he is about to unleash to prey on the little birds the governor felled with that magic sword of his, I think I will channel Pat the Waitress. Pat the Waitress dealt with her share of bullies in her time and she’d like to have a few words.
You can knock me down but you BETTER NOT be around when I get up.
I’m gonna’ smack them so hard, they’ll be holdin’ their teeth in their hands.
You think I was born yesterday?
They think I’m takin’ their shit, they got another think comin’.
I don’t believe a word comin’ out of his mouth.
I’m not giving them nothin’.
Don’t come around here cryin’.
You’re gonna’ get what you’re asking for all right.
Keep it up and I’ll give you something to cry for.
Ugly horse face.
(Reserved for the ugliest of the ugly.)
I can smell him comin’ a mile away.
(She liked saying that about Bill from Ohio.)
Somebody should’a beat the shit out of that kid.
(She liked saying that about Bill from Ohio, too.)
Nothin’ but a bunch of spoiled, rotten brats.
(That covered everybody looking for pity or a handout, including Bill from Ohio.)
Here’s the thing about woo-woo. It shows you stuff you normally wouldn’t notice. I loved seeing that dazzling little bird splashing away in the waterfall. And was so sad that it ended up dead in the grass. Yet amazed by its woo-woo message. I’d mostly forgotten about when my mother was Pat the Waitress, before The Little Bird took over. Thanks to that rose-breasted grosbeak, I saw my mother sitting at the kitchen table drinking her sixth cup of coffee and working through her second pack of Raleigh’s. I heard her low, smoky growl accusing those two ugly horse faces of kidnapping her, treating her like she was stupid. And I knew that on the day those cunning abusers spirited her away that there was still some Pat the Waitress dazzle alive in The Little Bird. I heard her saying, I didn’t give them nothin’. And she didn’t.
So to all you beautiful little song birds out there frightened by the power of Governor Chris Christie and his sorcerer’s sword and open sesame command, and terrified of the overgrown infants salivating over your carcass, Pat the Waitress has a few more words:
Tell them to suck your nose and to go to Hell.
I told you she was ornery. You go, dazzling Little Bird!