Friday, November 11, 2005

Harmony


We have an overnight guest tonight, named Harmony. Harmony is a pigeon that was found injured in a bus stop by a young woman named Kitt, who works at our company as a warehouse temp. She came in our office today to pick up her paycheck (Friday is payday), and told the receptionist about how she found the injured pigeon. Kitt was keeping it in the room she was renting, but the manager wasn't aware she had the bird. Kitt wanted to, but was unable t bring Harmony to the Audubon Society so it could get the care it needed. I happened to be hanging out at the front desk while this conversation occurred, and before I knew it, I heard someone else say out of my mouth with my voice "I'll take the pigeon there for you. Where do you live, I can go pick it up." Kitt gave me her address, and after I got off of work, I went by her room to pick up the pigeon.


Harmony the pigeon is residing next to me peacefully, in the cardbox box. I put a holey talbecloth, that has been recetnly been demoted to rag in there to make it more comfortable. I also put a small water dish, and a small dish with crushed raw peanuts and oatmeal cookie on it. He/She is pretty comfortable and relaxed, and Marcus hasn't noticed yet that there's an injured bird in the house. I think Harmony is a juvenile, he's not making the annoying pigeon "cooing" noise, but pepping excitedly whenever I refill his water or give him more food. The Audobon Society opens tomorrow morning at 9 AM, and I plan to drop Hamonry off as soon as they open.

Kitt's room was a fifth floor walk-up, past a community kitchen and several other doors to other rooms. It smelled like someone had cooked something good for dinner; I envisioned baked macaroni and cheese, or green bean French onion casserole. It was dark and rainy at 5:15 PM, sheets of a fine soaking blanketing the sidewalks and streets, and collecting and dropping in glops in the half bare trees. I had to pick up a very beat up telephone receiver and buzz her to let her know I had arrived, and feared putting the phone up to my ear. I carefully held the receiver with two fingers and pressed the button for her apartment. I heard heard a muffled "Hello?" and I shouted over the traffic and rain," HI I'M HERE TO SEE KITT TO PICK UP THE BIRD." I head rattling on the other end, and a few minutes later Kitt came bounding down the stairs. She welcomed me and thanked me profusely for offering to do this.

I think it's funny how you meet people, and make observations about who they are based on who you get a glimpse of. I think especially doing the job I do, I get to know people so briefly, the next thing you know it's 6 months later and I'm on line at Safeway and they're standing in front of me, with their families, shopping carts full of the products they use, unnoticed and in their on element. Or at least a place they feel more comfortable in. I really think it's interesting to meet somebody and see where they live, to observe environment where they hang their hat and rest their head. I feel like I get a glimpse at an intimate part of someone when I see where they live, or get a ride in their car. I suppose this applies to family and friends I've known for decades, too. Especially as time passes, it interests me to see all the details; color of the bedspread, kinds of knick-knacks and decorative items, types of food items in the refrigerator, everything. The situation with Harmony I walked into today has a whole other dimension to it—since I do some of the employee information data processing, I know a lot of background about Kitt.

When I walked into Kitt's room, I noticed there were pigeon feathers, bird shit and cheerios, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds all over a white tarp in taking up most of the room. The room seemed to be a little bigger than my cubicle, and was furnished with a twin bed, covered in a frilly and lacy white comforter against one wall, and an entertainment center against the opposite wall, only a ridiculously an disproportionately large television on it. Judge Judy was on, larger than life, scolding and looming over the tiny dimly lit space. In between the television and bed were various piles of brightly colored clothing, a small table with some paper and pens on it, a couple of magazines, a mirror on the wall, and a shelf overflowing with make-up products: lip gloss, eye shadow, mascara, nail polish, and all the accessories to apply that stuff. Kitt scooped up Harmony who was nesting in one of her shoes, and put the pigeon in a cardboard box. He flapped and scattered more feathers throughout this whole process, while Judge Judy is bitching someone out in the background. After Harmony was secure, Kitt gave me a letter to give the Audubon society, and reiterated the symptoms the bird was showing, it's progress, what she would do for the bird, like a nervous mother hen. I reassured her that everything would be all right, and told her I would leave a message for her after I handed Harmony over, letting her know that everything went fine.


Later, I realized the cardboard box has "Portland Police Bureau" printed on the sides; I bet that’s what she got her personal items back in when she successfully completed her incarceration.

This is what I know about Kitt: She has a three-year-old son that was taken from her by child protective services and placed in foster care. She has had an extensive history using meth and ecstasy, and recently turned 24. The apartment building she is living in is subsidized transitional drug and alcohol free housing. She has killed a significant number of brain cells, and is mentally about 13 or 14. She had been in and out of jail since she was 19 on drug related charges.

This is what the letter she wrote said:

Dear Audobonon-

I found harmony in a bus stop downtown yesterday morning on the day 10-10-05. Today is 10-11-05 Friday. This pigeon will eat, drink, & flap her or his wings. Sometimes Harmony's foot appears hurt. Harmony can flap & flap but cant seem to fly away. I have noticed an improvement in Harmony in the time I have had her in my home. Please don't kill Harmony just because she may not fly again, I will take good


care of her in the country. I just want her to get better & hopefully breleaseded back in the wild. If she is better, but cant survive alone I want her back. Please -call- leave me with an update. I will call. Im also interested in donating my time. I use to work at a vet assisting in surgeries & more.

My name is Cynthia Leamout. My message # is 1-999-804-5033.

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