Bad Dream about Monkey

Last night I had a dream that I still had my previous birds, my linniolated parakeets.  I wrote about them here.

I let them out of their cage almost every day, and I also let them fledge, because birds are meant to fly.  Clipping the wings protects them, but it’s also like putting them in a wheelchair.  It is the nature of a bird to fly.  When I let my last big parrot, Parrot, fledge, she became much more confident and open to our relationship (and I never let the linnies out when she was outside of her cage, because I was afraid she might hurt them.  They were indigenous to different continents and did not speak the same birdy language).

It was safe, because my 5th-floor walkup apartment in the East Village had no windows in the living room.  There was no way for the birds to get out.

For the most part, the linnies stayed on their cage, just hanging around with each other.  Sometimes they would make slow, careful laps around my living room, or fly to me. I never tried to dictate their behavior. They were so beautiful, and I miss them so much. I knew them each, as individuals.

Well, in my dream (was it actually a nightmare…?  Not quite, but almost), I’d let the linnies out of their cage so that they could play.  There was a child boy in my apartment, and the left my bedroom door open, when had windows.

And the windows were open.

He came to me, shrieking “One of the birds flew away!”

I rushed immediately to the window and tried to close it, but it wouldn’t close.  I grabbed a towel and held it over the open space in the window, but the towel did not cover the open space.  The birds could still fly out if they went around the towel.

I was terrified.

Somehow, the door was closed, and we got the other three birds into the cage.

Which one was it, who flew through the window…?

It was Monkey (that is his name, Monkey, because he loved to climb around and hang upside down).  Monkey was absolutely gorgeous, a perfect specimen.  I ordered him from San Diego and picked him up from the airport.  He was the boldest and strongest of the linnies. If I introduced new food, or a new toy in their cage, he was always the first one to check it out or go exploring.  He was turquoise.  He was beautiful and I’d post a picture of him now (I took lots), but I can’t bear to look at them right now because of the dream.  He was also wild as a March hare, and wouldn’t allow me to touch him, but as long as I didn’t physically impose myself upon him, he wasn’t afraid of me at all.

Monkey flew away to a certain death.

My NYC analyst, the Freudian, said that my birds are my heart.   I’ve had so many dreams when they were released out of my protection. 

I have failed to protect myself in this life.  And nobody else can do it for me.

 

Monkey
I miss you and I’m sorry.

 

What I Did to My Birds

       The hardest part of completely changing my life practically overnight was parting with my birds.  I lost most of my furniture because I couldn’t sell it in time and I couldn’t afford to store it.  The shipping company lost two big boxes of clothes that constituted half my wardrobe (thank God I had the good sense to pack my best suits and business clothes in my carry-on), for which I was compensated $200, which barely covered the cost of one of my dinner-date with Fortinbras dresses.  I lost my wrought iron bedframe, which was all tricked out for bondage sexytimes (but, it was the bed on which I cavorted with Drs. Cockatoo Fraud and my Housecall-making Ex, so maybe it’s good that it’s gone).  I even lost my desk, because it was too big to fit into the storage unit.  I loved that hugeass desk.  It was huge and heavy and beat to hell.  That desk was through the wars with me.  It was the first piece of furniture I bought when I moved to the East Coast for school.  I’m typing this on a piece of shit I bought off Craiglist for $20 which is only nominally better than a TV tray.  

       All in all, between the stuff that I had to sell and the stuff that I had to abandon and the stuff that was lost by the shipping company, I lost more than half of my property.  The only thing that remains entirely intact is my library.   I kept almost every book.

       None of it hurt me like giving up my birds.

       I have had many dreams and nightmares about my birds, and my deceased Parrot.  They play heavily symbolic roles in my dreams.  (2 links..click both if interested) 

        My analyst says that my birds represent my heart. 

        I contacted my avian vet and arranged to have them boarded.  One reason I’m so broke right now is because it cost me a fucking fortune, but I knew that I could trust this place.  They feed the birds top-quality pellets and change the toys and clean the cages multiple times per day and let them out to fly in a special room every few days (flying is very good for birds’ souls and emotional health.  When Parrot fledged for the first time under my care, she immediately became more confident and curious).  

      But….I couldn’t give them up.

        The last week I was in New York, I took my birds almost everywhere with me.  I just wanted to be close to them.  I put them into their travel cages and brought them with me to the Studio.  The other dommes loved them.  We fed them apple slices.  I bought them so many toys.  I was with them whenever I wasn’t in a session.  I’d never bring Parrot to work because she was shy and timid, but my other birds are very comfortable as long as they’re together in their flock, especially if they see me around them. 

        At night, after my shift ended, I’d walk home with them.  Yeah, I walked around Manhattan carrying a birdcage, like a crazy person.   The traffic noises would make them vocalize.  They loved to check out the pigeons.  They looked up at the sky a lot, which kinda broke my heart, to tell you the truth.   They are meant to be flying in the sky.  I tried to give them the best quality of life that I could and be sensitive to their needs and respectful of them, but the fact is that almost all pet hookbilled birds (parrots) not kept in an aviary environment are essentially being locked up in prison. Even if it’s a relatively cushy minimum-security prison like they have in Norway, it’s still a prison, and the bird can’t live like a bird and do birdy things.  

       I wheeled their cage into my bedroom at night so that I could be with them.  I let them out to fly and they’d hop around my desk or hang out on the curtain rod.  I took them out and held them, one by one, to say goodbye to them.

        Every day, I’d call the Vet and say that I was bringing my birds in after work.  And every day, I put it off, because I wanted one more day with them.  One more day.  One more night so I wasn’t alone in my apartment with its ever-growing content of movers’ boxes.  

      I put it off for an entire week.  In the end, I had to ask for help.  My English Domme friend from the Studio, Betsy, came to me literally 4 hours before I had to get on the airplane.  She helped me put my luggage into the cab and held my hand while I leaked tears and hugged the bird cage with my other arm.  My hair got into the cage and the birds nibbled at it.  

         I felt badly for crying because my birds are sensitive and they know when I am upset and it makes them scared, just like little children.  I always tried not to let the birds see me when I was furious or really sad.  I hate that Parrot saw the Surgeon when he came over that last time. 

          In the end, I just couldn’t do it.  I know it was my responsibility, but I couldn’t.  I guess I am a coward.  I did not want to cry in front of the receptionist and make people uncomfortable. 

         Betsy took the birds in and turned them over for me.  

         The stupid taxi driver kept trying to talk to me and ask me about my birds.  He was one of those really talkative taxi drivers.  I didn’t want to talk to him.  I just wanted to be alone.  I was quiet and he would just keep talking and asking me questions. 

        Betsy came back to the cab and said, “It’s done, Bird.  They’re fine.”

        She held my hand all the way back to her apartment.

        Then, I went straight to the airport. 

        

RIP Parrot

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 Update 9 AM:  They cremated her body at the avian hospital where they did the necropsy (I brought her in because I wanted to be 100% certain of how she died). 

    I am glad they did this because I have no yard in which to bury and I obviously couldn’t do it in the park and I would hate to just throw her in the trash like she was garbage.

     I did throw the Teflon skillet in the garbage.

                       *                                   *                          * 

    Parrot died.

     Fumes from the Teflon coating on a cooking pan.  No, it wasn’t me.  We had a houseguest. 

      The little ones survived because I’d rolled their cage into my bedroom that morning so that they could get some fresh air and sunlight.  

       She was supposed to be with me for 30 years more.  I was going to buy her a boyfriend parrot and everything.  She was such a nice bird.  She was timid and shy, but a very nice bird.  

      I threw out her cage.  I could have sold it or given it away on Craigslist, but I couldn’t bear to look at it.  I had to get rid of it.  Her little perches and toys and all.  I put it on the curb and it was gone when I came home from work.

      She died a horrible death and I was not even there.

     Guest is very sad and apologetic (it was an accident) and will buy me a new parrot, but I don’t want a new parrot.  I just want Parrot.

     I feel badly about all the things I did not do for Parrot.  I should have bought her more toys.

      There was a dark time in my life when she was the only thing that I loved.  

        Parrot, I’m sorry.  You were an awesome parrot and you did everything right.  The Vet said it happened very quickly.  I hope it wasn’t painful.  Bad enough that you were living in my apartment when you should have been flying around Africa.  

         You were the best Parrot.

RIP Captain Shackleton

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      My favorite fish, a pearl gourami named Captain Shackleton, has gone missing.

       What I want to know is: what the hell happened to him?

        He was there when I cleaned the algae off the glass two days ago, and I distinctly remember seeing him swimming near the top of the water when I turned off the lights last night.  That’s where he always hangs out.  The top of the water.

        This morning I decided to do a water change.  Once I finished, a inspected my little fishies.  

         Captain Shackleton wasn’t there.  Or isn’t there.  I checked behind the plants, the intake tubes, everything.  I stirred up the gravel, uprooting a few plants in the process, thinking that maybe I’d buried him by accident when I vacuum-cleaned the gravel.

          No dice.

           With a heavy heart, I realized I must have sucked him up in the plastic python (a tube used to clean the tank).  I hooked the python up again and ran water through it, hoping at least to get his body out of the tube before it decayed. 

             The python wasn’t lodged with anything.  He wasn’t in there.  

            Where the hell did this fish go?  I checked all around the tank for his body.  He didn’t jump out.  Besides, the tank has a lid.  There is only a small area that a fish could jump out of to escape.  

             He’s not in the filter.  I checked.

             Even if he died in the night, it’s not enough time for the other fish to eat his body.  There would still be a lot of him left.  Captain Shackleton is huge.  And he looked healthy last time I checked.  A magnificent specimen, really. 

          I call him Captain Shackleton because he lived through everything.  He’s over five years old.  Three apartments.  An assassination attempt by my Ex.  Being dropped in the filthy New York gutter by careless movers.  Being dropped on the floor more than once (sorry, little buddy).  Hurricane Sandy, when I was without electricity for over two weeks, and the cold and lack of filtration caused me to lose half of my stock.  He lived through my alcoholism.  

       I’m sure he’s dead, wherever he is.  He’s not in the tank.

       I told my friend.

      “Did your parrot eat him?”

       Impossible.  Parrot’s been inside her cage all morning.  Besides, I can’t imagine that she’d do that.  She’s never displayed the slightest bit of interest in the fish.

        It’s a mystery. 

        RIP Captain Shackleton.  You were the best fish I ever had.

The Captain

Captain Shackleton surveys his domain        

Parrot Lays an Egg

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     Parrot has been going nuts recently.

     Usually, she is a very quiet bird, but for the last few weeks, she’s been screeching her ass off.  She’s been jumping over to my bookcase and attacking my books.  She shreds the newspaper on her cage floor.  She knocks her beak against hard surfaces.  She menaces my sweet smaller birds.  

      She even bit me!  She’s only bitten me once before, and that bite was just a little pinch.  This bite actually hurt.  It didn’t break the skin, but there was a bruise the next day.  

     And she screams and squawks and makes this very high-pitched chirp that hurts my ears.

     What’s up, Parrot?  Why are you freaking out?  Are you having a little birdie period or something?  

     I made an appointment to have her examined by our avian vet. 

     And then…the next morning…I found her sitting in the corner on the floor of her cage.

      This alarmed me.  Parrots don’t sit on the ground.  Even my little ones, who in their wild state scavenge the floor for food, don’t sit still on the ground.  

      Parrot had to be very sick, I thought.  And when birds are sick–by the time they evidence symptoms–they can perish quickly.  They are not hearty animals.  They are delicate. 

      I put on a glove and gently moved her to the side, and….

      PARROT LAID AN EGG!!!!

      An egg!  

      She was freaking out because she was pregnant!  She was chewing up the newspaper and the books in order to make nesting material!  

      I got online to ask people on a parrot forum for advice about what to do.  

      They said that, like poultry, parrots can lay eggs even if they don’t have sex/have a mate.  The egg is not fertilized.  So it won’t hatch, obviously. 

      The best thing to do is replace her egg with a fake plastic egg…or, if I don’t have a plastic egg, just let her sit on her own egg.  She will figure out that the egg is not going to hatch, and abandon it.

       Yikes! 

Parrot shreds $95 textbook

Date Decision Flow Chart: Nothing Could Go Wrong (+ Bird Hilarity)

      You missed quite a comedy show this morning here at Margo Manor, friends and neighbors.  

       Yours truly, Captain Cranium, was getting caught up on housework.  I was washing my stockings in the sink when I heard the unmistakable sound of wings flapping.  I poked my head out of the bathroom door in time to see all of my little birds–not Parrot, the little ones–making a cage break.  I’d left their door open after I cleaned their cage, and they were using this opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge.

       Several of them, flying around my apartment like crazy.  And unlike Parrot, they are only quasi-tame–they don’t step up.  I had to chase them, which was quite an experience, and I could only chase one at a time.  I was terrified that the ones I wasn’t focusing on would fall into the aquarium tank or fly into a window or eat some rat bait or God knows what.

      Or get eaten by Parrot.  Parrot was hanging out on top of her cage when this happened, and she didn’t like the little ones whizzing around the room, feathers flying everywhere.  She didn’t like it at all. 

     I was chasing birds for a few minutes before I remembered that I’d left the bathroom sink running.   Flooded the floor.  Took every dry towel in the house to mop up the water.  

       I was going to do the floors today anyway, but for Chrissake.

      I finally got the birds contained by throwing a pillowcase on top of each one and gently bundling it up.  I examined each bird carefully and I think they are all okay.  

       It’s a beautiful day outside.  I’m going to finish my chores and walk to the west side to catch the train to Jersey.  I have a student tonight and then I’m going to catch up with a friend.  I feel much better.  Last week was emotionally rough for me, for reasons that I don’t quite comprehend.  Maybe I overexerted myself.  It’s good that I made plenty of money and got the monthly bills paid up in advance, but maybe I overdid it.  I think I’m gonna take it easy this week.  

      I was also sorta torturing myself about what to do with the Mathematician.  He’s always sending me emails and text messages.  Not about setting up an appointment, either.  It’s friendly stuff like “I took my dog to the beach today!  Wish you were here!” with attached photo of sand-encrusted retriever fetching a tennis ball, or “What do you think I should get my female colleague for the office Secret Santa exchange?” 

        It is notable that these warm–dare I say, affectionate–gestures provoked within me anxiety and an impending sense of doom.  Tell me that isn’t hilarious.  I’m sitting in back at the Studio–the atmosphere of which was only nominally more sane than the psych ward at Bellvue last week–answering emails from random internet sadomasochists, and I look like I was attacked by Hannibal Lecter because the Surgeon took a bite out of my shoulder, and I freaked out over the photo of the dog with the tennis ball.   

       This nice man has no idea what he’s getting into, I thought.  What do I do? 

       Well, you know what…?  He’s a grownass man.  He’s older than I am, and he has his shit together.  He can make his own decisions.  I’m not going to get rid of him just because of my stupid self-sabotaging impulse.  He doesn’t need me to protect him from anything.  

        At this point, the only thing that I owe him is honesty.  He can decide for himself whether, and to what extent, he wants to be involved with me.  

       He invited me to watch him play squash tomorrow night, and this time I am going to go (last time he invited me, I freaked out and canceled).  Then I am going to let him take me to dinner.  I am going to eat the food, and not cut it up in tiny pieces and move it around on the plate.  I am going to enjoy his company.  If he wants to pay me, he can.  I am not going to stress out about it anymore.  If he wants to talk about it, then we can talk about it and reach a decision like two mature, thoughtful adults.  

      The Mathematician is not Hannibal Lecter.  There is nothing to be afraid of here.  He is, in fact, probably the least scary part of my life.  

      I just did a little decision flow chart in my head.  Barring a catastrophic freak event, like a car crash or the Surgeon showing up at the restaurant, nothing could go wrong.  It is impossible to fuck this up.  I am going to spend time with a really great, attractive guy who treats me like gold.  

      Wow.  I don’t know where I got this burst of clarity and insight from, but I’m sure glad to have it!  I will definitely have to share this with my analyst.  She will be thrilled.  Three cheers for positive mental health!

       What a relief, man.  I need to think like this more often!

       Here is an awesome, beautiful video about birds.  It makes me feel happy inside.  I hope you like it!  
     

Parrot Goodness VI

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    Parrot is so cute!  I look at her and talk to her as I sit at my desk.  It makes her happy.  She runs back and forth on her favorite perch and squeaks. (Her favorite perch is a “Comfy Perch,” if you want to know.  It’s made of cabled fabric and it’s kind on the feet.  The other birds love it, too.  If you are reading this and you have birds, get your bird a Comfy Perch today!  You can wash it in the sink, dishwasher, or washing machine!)

All Hail Comfy Perch (that is not my Parrot)

 I LOVE MY PARROT!



P.S.  I watched the trailer to Coriolanus three times after I woke up this morning.  Wow–PROJECTING MUCH, MARGO?  

Dog of the Year: Greek Riot Dog Loukanikos

    Go, go Riot Dog Loukanikos! 

     Found this video on Max Keiser the other day.  At first I thought it had to be some weird joke, but then I googled Loukanikos  and found that he was real and has his own fan club.  DOG OF THE YEAR!  I’m in love!  

     I’m working on a blog post about Loukanikos  and the other Greek riot dogs for Craven Desires.  


     
 Music is Ennio Morricone, The Ecstasy of Gold.  Morricone’s the guy who did all the spaghetti westerns.  I really like westerns.  I took a weird random class as an undergrad–The Western as Literature.  It turned out to be one of the best English courses I ever took.  The professor taught the hell out of it.  The first Western, should anyone ever ask you, was The Last of the Mohicans.

       Anyway, if I could sing like this lady here, I’d never shut up.  As it is, I can’t sing “Happy Birthday” without musical accompaniment–I can’t keep tune.  

      How can people like Morricone come up with shit like this?  I mean, really.  I can’t imagine playing it, much less inventing it.  It’s like when you watch someone draw–it’s like magic if you can’t do it.   

Parrot Goodness V

     I love parrots. 


      This year, I need to get a mate for Parrot.  It’s really the least I can do for her.  They’re like cats, in that you can keep two as easily as one.  Like a slave, she can never be free.  The only quality of life she has is the one I provide.  


      Did I tell you that I let her fledge?  I did!  After much deliberation, I let her grow out her flight feathers.  She is three and a half years old, and had never been able to fly.  Her first owner kept her in a PARAKEET CAGE for a year and a half and never touched her.  Her second owner, who was a really good owner, nevertheless keeps all her birds clipped.  It is not an unwise policy.  The bird gets out the door or the window, and it’s dead.  


       But birds are designed to fly.  It is simply what they do.  In their natural state, they fly for miles every day.  


       I let Parrot’s feathers grow, and eventually, she started taking the occasional, cautious lap around the apartment.  She’s still pretty clumsy, but she’s new at this!  Sometimes she flies into my room (she can see me from her cage in the living room), crash-lands on my bed or desk, stares at me, and then flies back to her cage.  Sometimes she gets lost when she can’t see her cage, so I gently approach her and pick her up.  She steps onto my hand when I offer it, even when she is afraid.  I am moved by this.  She trusts me! She has never once bitten me. 


      Like a small child, she loves it when I watch her.  You know how kids say, “Watch me do this!”?  Parrot is like that.  Just watching her makes her happy and excited.  She sees me watching and starts to do her Happy Parrot Display Dance.  She darts back and forth and turns around and lifts her wings and trembles.  When she first started doing this, I was alarmed, and consulted the parrot experts on this internet parrot forum I belong to.  I thought maybe Parrot was flipping out.  The experienced parrot owners told me that Parrot was doing a “Hello, Friend!” greeting.  


      She makes the noise of the microwave beep, the cell phone ringtone of her last owner, the hiss of the radiator, and she is trying to talk.  She can almost say her name.  


      I love my Parrot.


      These are YouTube videos I enjoy which feature awesome parrots:




African Grays are probably the smartest birds on earth.  I have read nothing which indicates otherwise.


Bet you anything this cockatoo wants to go to the trees. That is sad, but I love how expressive he is.  Cockatoos are the most emotional (as we understand it) of parrots.  That is why they self-destruct in captivity.


This is a senegal parrot, like Parrot!  This guy is a terrific parrot owner.  His parrot loves the hell out of him.