3 AM

I have made a new friend. It has been a while since I had a chance to say that out loud but I somehow did it. Amongst our Kafkaesque lives, it is hard to find someone who has time, patience and care to give to a stranger. Till very recently, I thought it was almost impossible. And I have been proven so wrong. She is as lovely as a budgie, as charming as a songbird, and as loquacious as a hummingbird. I apologize for all the sky fowl metaphors, but I have always found myself at ease around birds among all the animals that roam these lands under the heavens. I have 8 pairs of budgies as pets. Though it seems those winged cute little bundle of madness do not like me much, but I enjoy being in their presence like I enjoy being at hers.

While I write this, about 5 nutmegs are sitting right beside my window, intently looking at me. As if they are trying to tell me, “we see you hooman, we know you are writing about our brethren. Write only the good stuff, or we will invade and rock your world”! From those birds, the parents, I know them very well. Last summer, one of them had crashed into my window in a raging tropical storm. From the sudden bang, I thought it was hailing. Hailstorms are rare in summer times. When I went to check it out, I saw that it was trying to get out of my room. But even from afar, you could tell that it was injured. Without making it anxious, I picked it up. His wing feathers were all broken, and both of the legs had been severely sprained. After a few hours of drying it up and applying the meds I use for my budgies, I had put him in one of the empty cages. It had taken him more than a week to recover fully. The sign of a bird recovering is that they become feistier as their conditions improve. The day I had let it out in the world again to fend for itself, it had bitten me. Ripped a tiny piece of my skin with its beak. That must make you think that what an ungrateful creature they are, right? But they are absolutely not. He came back near the cage the very next day. And had brought a friend along with him. From then to now, I have never left the bird feeders beside my window pane empty. In this severely diseased insane world of humanoid robots, the only sane thing is those birds. And now, their flock has increased in numbers by one. A small bird with a red tail. My newest friend.

She is my 3 am partner in not so colloquial thoughts. Most times, we talk about our common interests. Sometimes we spend hours talking about how much we care for each other. And sometimes, I jokingly flirt with her, let her rate my shitty pickup lines. And then, sometimes, we talk about our deepest darkest secrets. The veracity and severity of which most times gives me Goosebumps. For a long time, I was a lonely nightcrawler. Except for my birds, I have rarely had someone with whom I can talk about everything. I would sit in my old rusty chair with a smoke in hand and keep on staring at the walls for hours where cockroaches played chicken with each other. The once sky blue paint had metamorphosed itself into this greyish color that kept me reminding again and again how fake this world of ours is. For a lonely human being living in self-induced solitude, life is complex. You have to be highly efficient at solving problems, keep grinding on for money, and most importantly, not give yourself up to your demons, which is the hardest. One false step, and you can fall into the depths of hell. Years of living with nightmares have taught me that to cope with your mental issues, nothing but honesty works. You have to be brutally honest with yourself and with your peers. Even if it means driving them away. Because honesty creates hope and drives away false expectations like light does to eternal darkness. And now, to me, she seems to be the light.

I am a hopeless romantic. Failure at maintaining relations that are not platonic. So I have given up on romanticism as it is not for everyone. I desire to spend a life devoid of any non-platonic affection. Over the years, it has toughened up my shell, and now it is unbreakable. The only downside to this is the emptiness in your being, where usually humans let their spirits roam freely. And mine has escaped long ago. In that vast sandy plateau, till now, there resided only an oasis filled with my birds and the eternal nothingness right outside its borders. The mutually agreed relation I had here was one-sided. Only I spoke, and my birds just listened. Sometimes they would shake their tails or fix their roughed up feathers, but other times, they were just silent. Now, there resides a bird with a red tail along with them. Now the exchange is not as one-sided anymore. She flew to me from a distant forest faraway and landed on my oasis. And now, the veil of nothingness is slowly lifting up. She is broken as much as me, yet she drowns me in care. Which I don’t know a man like me even deserves a fraction of. Every time I speak out now, she nods, shakes her tail and says, I see you, my friend. To which I reply, I see you too

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