“You’ll think this is a bit silly, but I’m a bit–well, I have a thing about birds.” “What, a phobia?” “Sort of.” “Well, that’s the common term for an irrational fear of birds.” “What do they call a rational fear of birds, then?”

“I wish I were more of a person and less of a bird”, I say out loud in the dark. My cat moves on the pillow next to my head so I stroke the space between her ears. She makes a sound that resembles a melody from my forgotten country and falls asleep again. I think about departures and running away. For a moment, when the cat pushes her paw into my neck, I think about her and how I am not such a great care-taker: how I don’t carry her in embrace and rather on my shoulder if at all; how I don’t play with her much apart from the time when I throw my pens across the room. On the other hand – it seems she is all right with that – she doesn’t like to be held or baby-talked to. Nurture vs. nature, I guess. Her tail lands on my face so I move away. It’s a big bed, double I presume, and there is two of us – there is enough space to sleep together yet apart. I am sure I must smirk when I try to imagine an extra person sleeping here with us… However – maybe they could reassure me I am not just a birdy and more of a human. Maybe there would be someone to stroke my empty bones and tickle with the fallen out feathers… I sigh and that alone makes my cat change the position once again. I stare into her black paw but don’t do anything this time. Seconds then minutes pass. I sigh again but nothing happens. Suddenly I think in panic that it’s already winter and I haven’t migrated south. When the morning comes it’s just empty shells and fallen out fur on my bed. I imagine I’m no longer.

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