A Note from the Bird Outside Your Window

Tweet tweet, motherfucker, I’m back, sitting on my branch, pluming and preening and puffing my blue-black feathers. Singing a magnificent song, which I personally composed.

I see you, lounging, idle. Look outside, the sun is cresting, a laser-beam is working its way through your on-sale-at-Wal-Mart curtains, and you remain alone.

I’ve observed you for weeks. I see the way you present yourself, as some hard-working intellectual. Your fakeness — it grates on my being. I am disappointed in who and what you are. You are representing our neighborhood poorly. I will not let you forget last night.

A man gets what he deserves. You deserve the splitting headache. You deserve to wake up on shitty polyester sheets from Wish.com. You deserve to sleep on a seventeen-year-old mattress your brother gave you (who is younger than you, but far more successful). You deserve to live in a too-cheap apartment, in the crappy part of a mid-sized mid-western city, in a neighborhood that is not gentrifying anytime soon. Not that gentrification matters, because you rent and can’t buy.

Tweet tweet, asshole, you aren’t going to forget to remember.

Did you feel like a big man last night? Slamming bottom-shelf tequila and chatting up twenty-year-olds? Lying to them about how you’re an almost-famous writer. Those type of girls didn’t like you ten years ago, why would they now?

Do you really think they were interested in you? Did you consider that, maybe, they only appreciated your willingness to share booze? Booze that you bought on an almost maxed out credit card your mother pays for.

Do you truly believe attractive co-eds are eager to party with a balding, slightly overweight, thirty-year-old failed novelist with zero legitimate publication credits who works as an online-English tutor for nine-bucks an hour?

You’re killing it with your master’s degree from a mid-tier state school. Remind me, why didn’t you apply for the M.F.A. program? Was it, like you tell mom on the phone, that you didn’t want to stifle your art? Or was it because failure is far scarier for a man like you? Maybe it is better to not even try.

Tweet tweet, shithead, you are unique and special and you matter.

Except you don’t.

That is why I am outside the glass, now, just before sunrise, getting rowdy. I’m going to make you remember. I’m here singing my heart out because that is what the universe demands. Do you understand what you’ve done? You’ve shamed your bloodline. Your grandfather fought in the Korean war, earned a purple heart, and built a construction firm with sweat and two hands. Your father refused his birthright, spent three years as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, got an M.B.A. at night while raising a family, and is now an executive with a Fortune 500 company.

Tweet tweet, bitch, what about you?

Fuck you. That’s why I’m outside singing the songs of my ancestors: because you deserve to suffer, you piece of shit. Every time you forget your place, I’ll be there. Flying after you, following, watching, pooping on your head. Death from above.

Every time you think the Starbucks Barista is actually laughing at your stupid joke-name and not angling for a larger tip, I’ll be watching. Every time I see you online bill-pay for that gym membership you haven’t used since the Obama administration, I’ll be watching. Every time you peck out “sage” writing advice on twitter, I’ll be watching.

Why? Because you’re everything that is wrong with the artistic community. All flash, no substance, and you know it. However, instead of fixing it, you vomit out trash poetry, next to that retaining pond I get the good worms at, while avoiding finishing your novel (that is really just David Foster Wallace fan fiction). A novel, we both know, you will never complete—not that any agent or publisher cares.

Tweet tweet, punk. Enjoy that hangover. Enjoy your day watching Netflix and eating Hot pockets and not writing.

I’m not going anywhere. I will make you remember.

I’ll be watching.

Tweet tweet, motherfucker.

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