I am the Maritius Kestrel. My genetic code contains a trait that turns off inbreeding depression, allowing me to recover from populations of less than five individuals. I am the Andean Condor. My feathers are affixed to junk and sold to tourists in large quantities. No, I hate those things and I’m neither of those things.
I’ve spent all day walking up and down the streets of your neighbourhood: where you used to live, I mean. My legs are exhausted and I’m cold inside and out. When I close my eyes I can hear the rhythm of my footsteps, my footsteps on the pavement and the sound of the wind rushing past my ears. Did you get any of my postcards? No, right? When I look up I can still see the grey haze that has settled over this entire city, the dim grey light that haunts my dreams.
Now, I’m the last one to give a shit about birds. Every day when I was gone I thought about birds and I’m tired of thinking about birds. Far from deepening my appreciation of birds my year with birds has given me only knowledge of their weaknesses and limitations. I mean the weaknesses and limitations of a life with birds. I have no more stomach for birds. They are vile creatures and I’ve come back to say that to you; I meant to clarify a few of the cryptic points I made in my postcards.
I’m sorry about leaving you for the birds: really, truly, sorry.
I dreamed about you every night, or maybe not of you exactly but of the city we lived in, our city rising out of the ground like a Transformer and slowly doing battle with a pulsing grey light rising like an atom bomb out of the horizon.
I wish I’d confirmed your address before I left. I wish I’d done a lot of things, I guess.
I have no faith you’ll get this letter. Maybe you’ll come back to the old neighbourhood and meet me on a street one night. Maybe your dreams are the same as mine and that is where we’ll meet.