Kiki Barrish Decides to Fall in Love

A cacophony of birdsong woke Kiki Betty Barrish. Her third floor apartment of an Art Deco three-flat was cocooned in -young by nature's standards, but old by human years - sturdy Oak trees that dangled a labyrinth of healthy branches, heavy with snowflake shaped leaves, reaching for the sun. The giant windows that faced these treetops from her living and dining rooms appeared as framed, museum masterpieces with fleshy and fat Van Gogh brushstrokes of every shade of green. Towering above the roof, shading and keeping her apartment cool in the summer, these trees were home to Hummingbirds, Finches, Robins, Cardinals, and the occasional Woodpecker- OCD in his or her or their choice of pecking place - always appearing on the street corner(her balcony rested above the corner and often made her feel like Shakespeare's doomed Juliet, The Pope or the Queen of England while standing on it) and always before seven am. The Woodpecker, Kiki surmised, must be a loner, like her, used to tolerating long hours alone, trying not to be too annoying, too "big" of a personality when mingling with other birds across her street enjoying the gentle water from the fountain. For Kiki,the fountain made the softest, soothest sounds and could only be heard by disciplined meditation and focus from her balcony after shutting the rest of the world(honking horns, dog barks) out. Although a solitary creature, the Woodpecker was born with a sharp beak that had a calling that nature demanded be answered. If Kiki woke before dawn, there was a single bird call that played on repeat, like a skipped, favorite vinyl record at the end of a good, long night that put a smile on your face when you remembered it. This song was loud, louder than the jarring didact of the Woodpecker that she'd grown accustomed to. This desperate cry, in the dark of night - under the stars, under the moon, was a different kind of call that struck a chord inside of her just as she floated helplessly out of her dreams. It was unmistakable. This was a call for love. This call was truth to Kiki. It was as if the bird wanted both everyone and no one to hear it. This sound was relentless, unwavering, and like the pounding beneath the floorboards of Poe's Tell Tale Heart, driving her slowly mad. Kiki thought soul mates existed - more than one, most likely - and she had convinced herswelf that she would find hers by the sound of his voice. Like a lullaby, or how Bryan Ferry's voice affected her late at night while trying to fall asleep. Or something like that. This voice would calm her. Finally. Calm had eluded her. Kiki only imagined that love would feel like that. It was a hypothesis. You see, Kiki, awake on the lumpy sofa, staring at the cobwebbed ceiling and trying to avoid grabbing her Iphone/warm milk bottle beside her for comfort - had never been in love. My bird call, Kiki thought to herself, is easy. Fleetwood Mac, Rumors album, Songbird. That pounding in her heart, too loud to ignore, hidden under dusty, splintered wood, had been pecked away at over time. Those damn birds, she thought. That morning, Kiki, hearing the winged messagengers so loudly that she wanted to scream, said, "Enough! I hear you!" That morning, Kiki Betty Barrish, tired of ignoring nature's call, decided to fall in love. She decided to fall in love. Kiki Barrish decided to fall in love.

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