The Fight

I sat in the breakfast place. It had only been open for eight days and the coffee needed some work. Having been through many new start ups like this I knew that usually given time and practice it improved. The building was modern with glass all round so I could see my pick up parked on the waste land just outside the shop in the warm bleaching morning sun as I waited for my fried rice to arrive. Yes not very original but after a day on the wine fried rice was something neutral enough to move me on to face another of those perpetual party days and sipping the strong but rough coffee helped as did the whir of the fan to my left supplying me with a wind constant enough to keep me cool as the brightening outside seemed to cook all in its wake.

The bird swooped down to my pick up. It was one of those brown and yellow with possibly a hint of red birds. A small one with fast wings and a tail that seemed to pulsate at some near epileptic rate. Or at least that was what I could make out, but probably not swear to, as I had taken my glasses off to read the menu and the descent of the bird was a blur of sharpness and sometimes what you see and what you remember or choose to remember are not the same. But maybe what you remember or choose to remember becomes the reality for it is the only thing remembered while what actually happened is forgotten, changed or embellished but ceases to be anything itself.

The bird fluttered down to the mirror on the driver’s door, my door. And it hung fluttering around just in front of that mirror and to the left of the dark tinted glass. Hanging in the air, wings moving at a speed to cause the individual feathers to become indistinct and a tail that gave hint of a rattlesnake or brought memories of a hummingbird although I had never seen a hummingbird but memories of what I imagined a hummingbird to be.

While hanging in the air and bouncing as it did so, the flash of brightness then noticing something and swooping into to peck or bite or butt. Then quickly bouncing back away to avoid a return jab as the enemy did exactly the same. Then in again for a counter or a new thrust but parried perfectly by the equally deft foe as every forward movement was equally countered by a perfect riposte of forward motion and every lunge or dart away and tactical withdrawal equally matched. The perfect sparring partners for each other. Then with tiredness approaching the bird took a quick turn and flew rapidly to the ubiquitous black wires bearing the power for everything from the breakfast joint to the corrugated iron slum to house the Burmese labourers building the new housing estate. And here on the bringers of power and energy the bird sat and waited gathering strength again and then after some minutes dived down in a rapid arc back to car to face the enemy again and the contest started again until exhausted the bird would once again return to the fortress of the wires for another rest before repeating the whole operation again.

My breakfast had arrived and would now take my attention leaving the perfectly matched combatants to continue their joust now unobserved, unnoticed and uncared about. Fifteen minutes later I would walk to the pick up and as I did I disturbed a little bird mostly brown in colour but with a hint of yellow and red, disturbing it as it hovered and darted in and away from the drivers mirror. Disturbing it with a shock so great that the little character would suddenly lurch off at great speed into the sky and soon become a tiny dot before disappearing into the distant sky of indeterminate and washed out colour as the great yellow ring of the sun rose a little higher and the first beads of sweat broke onto my skin.

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