Bright Shiny Things

When I was little, there was a time when my hair was a hot ticket item. It wasn’t that it was so fashionable — in fact it was cut in a hideous style known as “the bowl cut”.

But that’s just one of those funny things about birds — absolutely no attention to style.

Birds, they go for the bright shiny stuff. When that shiny stuff looks like it will make a strong warm nest, all the better.

I discovered this one day when they started diving at me. They dove down, ripped out beakfuls of my bright red, bowl-cut hair, and swooped away with it. Chortling in their evil birdish way.

I tried to tell my mother this. In fact my exact pre-school words were, “Mommy, the birds are terrorizing me.” She thought this was quite funny. Ha ha ha! Birds don’t terrorize pre-schoolers. What a riot this kid is. I gave her a look. Mothers can be so immature sometimes. She decided to humor me. “I’ll watch when you go outside, okay?”

So I stepped back outside, right into the path of danger. Dive, pull, swoop and there went another chunk of my hair. It wasn’t like I didn’t have enough hair, there was enough hair up there for a good five or six normally-haired children, but, for crying out loud, it hurt!

Years later when my mom and I watched Hitchcock’s The Birds together (which she promised me would be super scary) I was kind like, Eh, been there, done that. My birds were way scarier.

So now that I’m on this new chemo and my hair has started falling out AGAIN (just when I’d gotten used to the laid back chemo regime that didn’t affect my hair at all!) and I risk becoming like a normally-haired person again instead of a wooly-mammothly-haired person, I like to think that I am making a lot of birds in our neighborhood very happy. Shedding a little bit on each walk, I’m just helping to make jolly little bird homes.

If you haven’t been keeping up with me of facebook, the latest news is that I’ve been restricted to being at home and staying away from people since last Friday due to the old low white blood count/fever business. We’ve decided that walking in our neighborhood is safe as long as we avoid the street ball games and lemonade stands that have started springing up along with the daffodils. If we didn’t go for walks, how would the birds get access to the shedding hair? Really, it’s for the good of all. Probably I’m saving some poor red-headed kid from getting dive bombed by birds.

Mostly we’re able to avoid people (I miss people), but I did run into our postman on my walk today and had to stop and say “Hello” as he is one of my favorite people what with all of the bringing me cards and prezzies from all of you and wearing shorts at Christmas to remind me that we don’t live in the frozen midwest tundra anymore. He didn’t appear to have any suspicious flu-like symptoms, so I think I’m okay.

The rash, well, it isn’t gone, but it’s better and I must enjoy the vacay as the next round of the drug that started it all is next Wednesday.

Since quarantine means that I have missed out on all sorts of fun things (like Victoria Jamieson‘s super awesome Olympics Viewing Party on Saturday and Christine Fletcher’s A Hepkitten’s Guide to the War presentation at the Cedar Mill library on Sunday), I have at least been able to read many, many books and most recently tore through a copy of Prom Nights From Hell that Barrett picked up along with my antibiotics at Fred Meyer. I always forget how fun short story collections can be — to see how each author handles the same theme.

And I’m working on sketching out the sequel to POISON which currently cracks me up but might actually be just a bit too… well, we’ll see. Maybe the prostitutes will have to go.

Love to you all,


*Note: Awesome crow image modified from original Crab Scrambly art produced for Upstart Crow Literary, the coolest literary agency in all the land, with added red hair for dramatic effect.

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  1. I hope that medicine doesn’t give you as many problems next week as it did the last time you had it.

    Is it really so nice there that there are flowers? We got two feet of snow last Friday. It’s hard to imagine flowers outside right now.

  2. Glad you got out for a walk to enjoy the flowers. I think they are early and abundant just for you! Hope the itchy-rash medicine pays off in more big-time healing.

    And in the meantime… it’s great that you’re making good use of your isolation. Prostitutes, eh? Hee hee hee. A story will do what it will do…

  3. Bridget,
    I remember the hair cut and color that you had when we were small…..but NEVER did I hear anything about those birds!!! I think those birds really knew what would be a beautiful addition to their nests!

  4. When I was two or so, we were camping, and a bluejay swooped down and stole my pacifier from the picnic table. I don’t remember this, but my mother said I watched as my pacifier flew up, up and up away until I finally burst into tears.

    After hearing your story of the birds attacking your HEAD, I think I was quite lucky!! OW!

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