Saturday, July 12, 2008


Me and The Bird
acrylic on canvas
18" x 18"

There are certain lessons one can learn when living with a big window that has an electric pole right in front it; and that is never to leave rice grains on the windowsill and leaving the windows open at night. Unfortunately, I had to learn it the old-fashioned way.

The electric pole right in front of my window is a favorite perch of those brown little birds I would see flying from the tall acacia tree at Villanueva Street. Every morning, like clockwork they’ll be twittering and shaking their tail feathers on top of the pole and along the wires and cables.

One morning, I decided to be solicitous to these winged creatures. I placed rice grains on my windowsill for them to feed on, if they manage to see them there. No more than a few minutes have passed when one, and then several of these little birds saw the tiny feast on my window. There was a bit of hesitation from them, but it immediately caught on. It was a delight to see these birds feeding on my sill. I thought I could be the Birdman of pasay with these.

In the succeeding days, it immediately became a little hobby of mine. Every morning I would scatter some rice grains on my windowsill and in a while several of these birds would then fly and feast on them. It was such a delight to see.

One particularly hot, windless evening, I let the windows open and placed a futon beside it. I lied down and put the whirring electric fan right in front of me. With the air from the fan blowing in my face and the stars I could see from the window beside me, I started to drift into dreamland.

I dreamt a strange dream that night. I was in the middle of a sword fight. I jabbed and stabbed at some opponent. In my dream, whatever I do, I always end up getting stabbed instead. I flinched in pain and I was wounded. I woke up with a start. Sweat was pouring all over my body and I could hear myself gasping as I was lying still on the futon. I was blinded by the morning light streaming from the open window and for a few moments I just lay there motionless. Then I felt it. I felt a sharp pain on my right chest as if I was being stabbed.

Oh God, I thought. Something’s wrong with me and I am all alone in my apartment. I just lied still there on the floor trying to see when the next wave of pain would come. And then there it was again. A sharp, painful jab was coming from my right… nipple!

What the…??!

I lifted my head to see what the cause of the sharp pain was and I shrieked in fright. A brown bird found its way through my window and landed on my naked chest and was pecking on my now reddened right nipple!! I frantically shooed the little bugger away and it flew out. I closed my windows and just sat there, staring at my throbbing, bird-pecked, sorry-looking right nipple.

From then on I stopped putting rice grains on my windowsill.

And the birds?

Well, they still perch themselves like clockwork every morning on the electric post in front of my window, twittering and cleaning their feathers perhaps wondering when I’d be putting out a feast for them again.

After that nipple-pecking incident… never.