The road in front mirrored the sky above, wide and flat and empty horizon to horizon. I don’t remember much but the ruckus. It was a hot day, a sunny day on the highway. It was spring, pleasant. Batman. I mean, I never really saw the thing. Mr. Freeze was doing his damndest to rattle Bruce Wayne in the background, the background wherein was my attention. My brother, or maybe it was my sister…no, it was my brother who saw it. And Poison Ivy was in the peanut gallery. An escapee of course, a toucan on the lamb, who’d have thought?! The way it was, there was a four-lane road on one side going one way and a four-lane road on the other side going the other way. A narrow median divided the expanse; everything was aglaze in shimmer.

Most I know of the incident comes from what I was told about during and after, ‘cos I never really bore witness to the bird. My memory’s limit is my mother’s screaming. We lived in a big yellow house, sat atop a grandiose green hill on the corner of our street, Hackamore Street; all the names of all the streets in our neighborhood had something to do with horses.

The highway was picturesque, and on it ambled a family-bearing suburban, and in it was myself, my brother, my sister, my mother, my father, and an audio tape crooning background-noise-Batman, and then my mom starts screaming, and—I can’t remember anything after that. Both parents were at work; we had an au pair. Our car flipped over. Apparently she called the police, who called animal control, who called the zoo. I’m not sure if we went to the hospital. And besides, it flew away before the authorities arrived anyways! I’m not sure how we got away from the highway.

Our au pair was from New Zealand. A coffee-stained trucker was asleep at the wheel of his rig. She incidentally introduced me, via T-shirt, to South Park: she had spectacularly long black hair, all the way down to her waist. His unmanned 18-wheeler gained speed as it flew, unbridled, down the road. Her reaction was at least a little overkill. I wonder when he woke up. Had she handled the situation with a little more je ne sais quoi, then I could’ve maybe grown up akin to a pet toucan. Our car was brittle by comparison, although our dog Ginny more than sufficed.

Steel on steel on concrete wrought with force against its will met with my mother’s screams married to the Batman soundtrack crystallize in what really is the very first thing that I can remember. I loved that dog.

***

For all installments from 30 Birds, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. “Velvet” by the Bloody Eyes
  2. “Subtle” by Yukio Mishima
  3. “Geronimo Sunset!” by Jun. 27
  4. “My Hero” by Annie Wonoffate Million
  5. “Gender” by Jun. 27, Part 1
  6. “Gender” by Jun. 27, Part 2
  7. “Eel Dogs ‘Til Stupid” by Jun. 27
  8. “Pleasant Town” by Jun. 27
  9. “Daffy” by Herman Barker
  10. “Classic, Ecstatic, and Shocked (My First Kiss)” by John Robert Barnes
  11. I Would/Would I?/Wouldn’t You?
  12. “Fabled” by Jun. 27
  13. “Simpatico Starring Matthew McConaughey” by Harrison Ford
  14. “Tarantella” by Jun. 27