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Friday, 22 August 2008

A Bed for Drunk Robins

By Elizabeth Westmark of Switched At Birth

When, for me, was there absolutely no going back?

There was that heady love at first sight experience, no doubt, but still, we were grown-ups and either of us could have walked away - for awhile.

Was it when we talked through nights and days in that serious space between lives, the collision of worlds where estranged spouses and grown children orbited us like lost planets while houses, furniture, picture albums of family trips, linens, china, brass mirrors, town friends and all the hip, cool loneliness of my femme fatale days thrashed and crashed around us in the hermetically sealed bubble we drew around ourselves?

Was it when I flashed an anger of recognition when you said, "You are better than you think you are?"
Or when you worried, those 27 years ago, our hands entwined and eyes that couldn't break the connection, that our age difference would matter, in time?

I think it was the afternoon when you told me about the robins in your mother's chinaberry tree, the robins drunk from eating fermented berries, falling like Friday night workmen from branch to ground, cats lurking with bibs on, washing their paws.

You, that fierce, lone little boy, took it all in, fetched shoe boxes from your mother's closet and tenderly laid the drunk robins side-by-side, head-to-head, put them on the screened porch to sleep it off and then returned them outdoors to fly.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Bravo! I too am married to a fierce, lone little boy who has a tender side that only I know and keeps me from ever walking away.

The title of your story reminded me of the time I rescued a drunk wren. I looked out one day and saw this little feathered guy lying by my pool with what I thought was blood near his head. When I inspected him I found that the blood was Pyracantha juice and he was one potted wren. I, too, put him in a shoe box to sleep it off. The next time I checked the box, he had recovered and flown away.

Beautiful, evocative--I have tears in my eyes remembering my own first meeting with my husband almost 30 years ago. I asked him if he had children and the look on his face, when he brought out the baby photos in his wallet, just grabbed my heart.

I hope that this story is one of the nominees for this month's award.

Thank you, Ronni, for publishing my story.

Granny Annie -- it touches me that you could relate this to your own "fierce, lone little boy."

Darlene -- I laughed out loud thinking about that "potted wren!"

And Clairz -- thank you. Your words are incredibly encouraging.

I have known people like that. Too bad they are not around anymore. The world needs more of them.

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