They call me Bird at work. It’s the first nickname I’ve liked in a while. The first was Turbo. I got that in high school. I was shy in school, so all my energy went into church activities. My youth group was my social group. These were those I considered my friends, although they barely offered a smile to me in the hallways.
Turbo was given to me by Landon. He was a big, curly haired boy with lots of charisma. Older. I was good friends with his sisters, he had four, two around my age. They were home schooled.
I spent my 16th birthday with them and our other friends, two sisters, Mallory and Cameron. Both older. They surprised me and presented a cake in a dim room singing. Gave me a wooden jewelry box that I hardly used because I hardly wear jewelry.
“Chirp chirp,” my coworkers greet me instead of hey. I’ve taken to it. I write BIRD on my styrofoam cup instead of my name.
I dance around and sing to myself at work. I practice positivity there and it helps with the boredom. I get high behind the dumpster with the cooks and come inside. “Come on down, now, Bird.” They tell my goofy grin. Birds fly high.
I dropped a six pack of corona in the beer cooler. At least it wasn’t craft beer. The bottom of my worn out soles bear shards.
I’m a fucking space cadet. Head in the clouds. I’m looking for a support but there’s nowhere to land.
I’m writing this in segments throughout the night. Free writing whatever comes into my head. I want to find my Voice. I think I can do that here. I’m ready to take my writing more seriously. I’ve been pursuing relationships. Wasting time. Flying from one fantasy to another but there’s no solid ground to land on.
“You’re like Juliette on the balcony.” I text him. I’m walking down Congress and he comes out for a smoke break and sees me. Looks so happy to see me but never texts back.
I’m in the audience and he’s onstage reading his set he scribbled on the back of his EBT bank renewal. “No antics tonight I’m telling the truth.”
I cringe. His life is on display. Each week his set is his life. I have been there along the way, skipping with the weeks and now,
“Since my divorce I’ve slept with 4 beautiful women. 2 crazy. 1 sweet,” he looks me right in the eye. “And 1 I had feelings for.”
No? You didn’t have feelings for me? Just weeks of waste? Sugar that tasted sweet on your tongue then melted and gone?
So on to the next one?
I’ve been called sweet and innocent by everyone. I don’t think I like that name.
Dragged out on stage? Are you kidding me? Everybody knows. It’s the Dawe Show.
Waiting time, sweetheart.
I don’t want to anymore.
I’m working a wedding. It’s their second time each and they just want to get drunk. I happily facilitate.
This is the first time in my life that I have questioned if I will find love.
And if I find, If I’ll keep it.
Space cadet just may lose it.
She loses everything.
Sipping leftover champagne.
Smoking cigarettes behind dumpsters.
I’m the little sparrow that pokes for substances in the trash.
I text him and asked him for dinner. Why do I do that?
Yes or no.
Either way, I’ll go on my way.
Just need to know.
What’s up with people and wasting my time?
I’m wasting time on the clock. But at least I’m getting paid.
It’s when you clock out. What counts is what you do with your free time.
They’re all drunk now. I’m taking my time on smoke breaks, texting my blog instead of boys. Getting high behind dumpsters then smiling at guests. Come on now, Bird.
You can fly.