is a sweet lady who seems to prefer the companionship of birds. Deeply
beautiful in that freckly earth-mother way, she always wears colorful
beads. Dozens of cages contain hundreds of bright busy birds: budgies,
cockatiels, a macaw. Some of them will perch on her finger, singing.
She's tamed them. Others, though, will never accept her. "It's a
survival instinct," she says.
The house smells like a chicken coop.
than avians, Polly lives alone. She has a number of deeply-held
beliefs, such as that daylight savings time is a conspiracy against poor
people. And she believes that all the problems with George W. Bush can
be explained by a botched circumcision.
Polly is not unpleasant, but she can be strident.
her fortieth birthday Polly bought a computer and a fancy surge
protector which, when plugged into the outlet, flashes a red error light
indicating a broken ground.
It's a three-prong outlet, but when I
open it, there's no ground wire. Just some old two-wire ungrounded
Romex. I explain to Polly that somebody replaced the original two-prong
outlet with a three-prong, though they never added an actual ground
"You mean, they made it look like a grounded outlet even though they knew it wasn't grounded?"
Polly frowns. "Now that is an evil act."
She's right. Sort of. It's petty evil. It was also, probably, simply an act of convenience.
Polly's terms, there's a lot of evil in construction. There's evil
everywhere, constant menace. Polly is ever on guard. You get the sense
that she'll never be your friend. Or anybody's friend.
Some birds will never perch on fingers.
Note: photo by Jerry Tillery (from Wikipedia).