So I am not great with dead bodies. They say you will learn a lot when you buy your first house, and I think they mean stuff like “you need to have a backup budget for repairs” or “you’re capable of more than you think!” But I bought my first house in April, and the only real surprise is how not great I am with dead bodies. Except, guys: who IS great with dead bodies? I don’t want to be that person. Or meet that person, to be quite honest.
The only reason this is a surprise is that my recurring dream – other than the one where my teeth and hair fall out, or where suddenly realize I’m like 8 months pregnant – involves dealing with a dead body. Before the dream starts, I have somehow run across a dead person. It’s never quite clear what went down, but whatever the circumstances are, it’s going to look like I’m responsible even though I’m not. So I somehow have to deal with it. And you know what? In the dream, I’m surprisingly chill about this whole turn of events! So in real life, I thought maybe I could deal with a dead bird or two.
What we’re really looking at is sort of a plague of dead birds. Like a Bible/Shakespeare kind of “pox on my house” scenario. Let’s go back. When I first moved in, I noticed that these ugly, terrible birds were starting to roost near the eaves by my bedroom. They’d squawk in the morning, every morning, and fly around like aimless assholes as dusk fell. I probably should have dealt with them right away, but my house has two stories and a full-sized attic. They were high up. And I don’t like to interact with animals from outside. Like, a stray cat, or a baby field mouse? That is not cute. That is a wild animal, and I am not here to make friends with it.
So, imagine my disgust that those birds were up there reproducing. Spawning. Gross. I never really thought about it until one day when I was out gardening. I looked to my immediate left, and there was the worst creature that had ever lived. It was dead. It’s almost like it was so hideous that it lost the will to exist. I guess it was supposed to be a bird. Except it was completely bald, translucent, veiny, and bloated. And somehow, surprisingly large. If you visualize what a baby bird would look like, this was not that. It was like if you made a dead bird version of one of those hairless cats. I hated it both for existing, and for dying – and especially for dying in my yard. It was like… you know how in movies aliens are those putty-colored bald boney men? Okay, imagine that. Then imagine the fetal version of one of those. Then imagine that off the fetus’s shoulder, it has one of those half-formed parasitic twins. It was like that.
Anyway, I did what any responsible home-owning adult would do. I ran inside and paced for like a half hour. I collected a few bags to dispose of it in, went outside, then did an about-face back into my house.
I repeated that three more times.
I called my city’s animal control line, hoping that there was a person who was so good at dealing with dead bodies that they were paid for it. No luck: they do not deal with animals on your property although the helpful phone representative told me that I could bag it and place it at the curb for removal. People like me are the reason taxes are so high, because I think my municipality should absolutely deal with dead bodies for me. Unless I ever run for office, in which case, people like me are the reason taxes are reasonably proportionate to income and property ownership.
At some point, I became so disgusted that I began to cry. Or weep, maybe. Now is a good time to mention that I am an Ugly Cryer.
Eventually, I disposed of it using a pair of rubber gloves and four plastic bags.
On further reflection, I remember finding a dead baby bird as a child – although I’m fairly certain that it had feathers and was of the appropriate size. My brother and I placed it in a shoebox and lovingly buried it. The next morning at church, the congregation sang Morning Has Broken, and my heart broke for that poor little creature who barely got a chance at life.
The day after the winged hairless cat alien parasite disposal, there was another dead hairless gummy bony bird in almost the same spot. I should probably mention that my yard is surrounded by a six-foot fence, and my cat doesn’t go outside, and the area wasn’t near a tree. I have no idea how this keeps happening, other than some kind of a curse or plague. My mother suggested that sometimes bird families will off baby birds who don’t turn out right. Were they so mutated that even their own kind couldn’t bear to let them live? From the looks of them, probably. An elderly neighbor mentioned that usually baby birds are well on their way to adulthood by this time of year.
Anyway, there seems to be some sort of a problem. I don’t know why these things keep showing up at my house. I’ve just learned that sometimes in life, there will be dead bodies. And I hate them. I hate birds, and I hate nature. I hate the circle of life. I have a dog and cat, but I am now going to go off the assumption that they will live forever. Because I cannot deal with their dead bodies, ever.
I have a feeling there will be more to say about this house business – but no more bodies, I hope – so check back for other reports from the First House Diaries, when I hopefully am able to write about something less disgusting.