There was a dead bird in the freezer. It took her months to find in the slow process of purging past selves and reevaluating the space of her apartment, which had recently gone from two inhabitants to one, though the presence of the unknown little dead thing hung around her neck like Coleridge’s albatross. There were questions that arose from such a discovery:
- Where did her ex find the bird?
- Why had they felt compelled to keep it?
- Why did they choose to freeze the natural cycle of decay?
- What morbid curiosity lurked in the hidden corners of that mind?
It made her feel lighter disposing of the bird, even though she didn’t know it was there till today. She gloved her hand, despite the body already being bagged, and held it between two fingers at arm’s length. The cats looked at her with interest as she carried the bird to the trash-bin outside. It resounded with a metallic finality at the bottom of the bin and she closed the lid like a coffin.
She wondered if you ever really know someone; there is so much to a person, so much beneath that fleshy exterior—she believed that the bounds of a person were infinite—and how can one know the ins and outs of infinity? Was she the dead bird in a freezer type? No. But she was her own enigma; her head was in the clouds, some 20,000 feet up without a tether—her presence was rarely present. Is that how she had not known about the bird? Is that how she had not found it for months? She felt it at the bottom of the trash-bin, pulling her down with kite-like care, grounding her in the now in the way only death and loss can.