January 25th, 2015

Mohammed and the Feather

MOHAMMED AND THE FEATHER

It was four o'clock in the morning, and Alicia decided that she'd had enough. Enough of what, she wasn't sure, but she was going to do something.

"I'm going to move to Mexico," she said aloud. "Or Morocco, or Monaco - one of those kind of places."

"That's a long way from Portland," said a feather, from the bookshelf where it had been sitting quietly for several months.

"What do you know about it?" Alicia didn't normally talk to feathers, but it was four o'clock in the morning.

"Quite a lot, actually," said the feather matter-of-factly. "I'm a feather. I fly places. I float places."

Since it was looking like a long morning, Alicia went to the kitchen and fixed a breakfast of Folger's instant coffee and Wheat Thins. The feather waited patiently until she returned.

"So have you thought about my question?" the feather asked.

"You didn't ask me a question."

"It was implied."

"Paron my obtuseness. What was your question?"

"Why do you feel you've had enough? And what would you do if you went someplace else?"

"That's two questions."

"The second one was implied in the first. But I thought I'd spell it out for you."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome. So?"

Alicia munched a Wheat Thin, blew on her coffee, and pondered. "I live alone. Most days nobody knows if I come or go. If I died, they'd only find me after the neighbors complained about the smell."

"And going away would fix that how?"

"Well, it wouldn't. But I'd be someplace different."

"Someplace exotic, like Modesto?"

"It wouldn't have to be exotic. Just a change of scene."

"But you'd get tired of the new scene."

"What I'm really tired of is me. I'm middle-aged, I have stringy hair, I have no figure, and I'm overweight."

"That's not so bad."

"What do you know about being overweight? You're a feather."

Alicia enjoyed this momentary victory, and the silence, and sipped her coffee.

***

Outside, the darkness was faded by the orange glow of the street lamps, and the silence was muffled by the rain. The sun wouldn't be up for another two or three hours. Alicia figured if she listened close enough, she could probably hear ghosts or evil spirits skulking around outside, Collapse )