The Pigeons
by Jeff Okay
An old woman came to the park the other day with a huge bag of bread. The pigeons gathered around and soiled themselves in glee. The woman tossed the bread, lingered for fifteen seconds, crotchety and motionless, and then departed without a word.

If just for ten minutes, she made the lives of those birds incredible and she could not even spare the time to stay and watch. I sat unwarrantedly mesmerized with my spoon in my low-fat yogurt as the pigeons gorged and loved for an eternity. The bread gradually disappeared, allowing me to resume my meal and permitting the pigeons to return to their true pastime: eternal courtship.

The males strutted their shit for thirty seconds, billowing and cooing, prancing with tails out and necks puffed, cornering and faking out, playing guitar solos and offering elaborate boogies that would make James Brown blush. After all of the wild avian gesticulation and the applause from the audience, the intrepid would-be Wilt Chamberlains did not care if their female targets had departed. There was always another love the next breadcrumb down.

Even in my deep cynicism and crippling misanthropy, I still regard pigeons fucking in public as special because I respect the effort that the biologically-happy couple has put into the strenuous process of repeated pursuit and rejection in order to reach such a point. Pigeon life may be a patriarchy, but all genders and persuasions should be inspired as they aspire to pick up strangers at bars, clubs, Shabbat services, bookstores, and funerals.

Learn from the pigeons. Failure is not the end of the world; in fact, you have to fail to succeed. And having sex in public is way cool, as is eating stuff that has fallen on the ground.
Posted by: Jeff Okay

Prose (September 29th, 2006)