I am a pigeon. A big-city pigeon.
I am walking. Another pigeon is walking behind me. We are looking for food.
When I stop walking you may notice I stand with one foot up, as if I am injured. When I walk, you may notice that I am dragging a small branch with me.
The branch is stuck to my foot. I don’t know why it’s stuck to my foot, but it is. I am dragging it around with me when I walk, and holding it up off the ground when I rest.
I walk in a straight line, just back from the curb. The pigeon behind me wanders. If you stop to look at me and my branch I will walk around you and continue in a straight line.
If you move in front of me again I will stop and wait to see if you leave. If you don’t leave I will wait longer. If the other pigeon sees something to eat lying on the sidewalk in your shadow I will run to the food and eat.
If you come too close I will fly a few feet away. I won’t fly any farther than I would otherwise, but you will see the little branch is not keeping me grounded.
If you stay back just a bit more, I will stop and hold my foot up. If you move around you will be able to see my foot, but you will not be able to see what is keeping the branch attached. It may be a wire. It may be that one of my toes is stuck through a split in the branch. I don’t know.
If you stay where you are, I will stay where I am. If you wait, I will wait, too.
And I will look at you and you will look at me and I will look at you and you will look at me and I will look at you and you will look at me and I will look at you and you will look at me and I will look at you.
— Mark Barrett
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