I've spoken at length about my eyesight before. Suffice and briefly to say, it is not good. Things that are fortunate enough to be close to me I can see well. I can see my feet as they carry out the herculean task of carrying me to work. I see streets. I see cars. I can see – or sometimes sense – a dog's eager face looking into mine, asking for a pet, a scratch, a silly word. I can see a cat's depthless distaste.
Distant things are a different matter. I'm often forced to rely on my imagination – a fortunate thing, perhaps. Birds, for instance, are a terrible problem. Finches become tiny twittering shadows that make the branches shiver, as if they were trying to brush away their melodious tormentors.
I know where sparrows keep their nests – I'll often stop by, just to see how the domestic arrangements are progressing. I never see the parents until they buzz by me like a feathered Luftwaffe.
Ms. Dove has set up house in Boyfriend's garage again; I always check on her, but can't see her until I've come up close. And then suddenly I'm almost level with her black, terrified eyes. When my dubious face becomes too much to take, she'll fly away, the wind whistling through her lavender wings like a mother's protestations.
Mockingbirds, I'll admit, are impossible to ignore.
When I'm outside – especially during the blue, sharp mornings – I'm surrounded by birdsong. Happily I never see the sources. Therefore, it is the houses that sing – music and voices charm from the rooftops. Trees rattle with dimunitive discussions. The letters on street signs are suddenly living and articulate.
And when the birds scatter across the sky, scoring the blue paper with invisible notes and trebles, their bodies seem to disappear into the cavernous atmosphere. I look up and see nothing but song, as if the sky was so comforted by the tender sun, it could not help but sing for joy.