A parrot sits propped against my bookshelf, looking jauntily over its shoulder. It seems like the kind of picture you’d find in the parlour of a an oldish woman, who smokes too much and maybe gives people tattoos or reads palms and she has this wild grey hair and too much eye make-up and she’ll tell you about where she got the original fabric -he and the cherry blossom on which he is perched are printed on cloth- and how she reframed it after a fight with her lover. Or at least you wish that’s where you’d find it. Probably some art student found the print on a bag and in a fit of nonconforming genius put it in a frame and spent ten minutes looking at it, head to one side till they realised they didn’t really like it in the first place.
I bought the picture today, from Scavengers, this little op shop on Sydney rd that, while I pick things up from it occasionally, I feel I haven’t bonded with yet. There’s enough middle of the road, Susaan, mumsy tops and ill fitting jeans that I can’t be really settled on enjoying the place. But I go back, for the three dollar books and the baggy jumpers mainly. I found the parrot in the window as I left and did a circle back in to get him, carried him home on the tram.
The parrot and I look at each other, me from behind the glasses I wear when I use my computer, near my cluttered dresser and him from behind glass, on the floor near the three dollar copy of Prince Caspian and the Joyce Carol-Oates story I also bought, and the desk I hardly use, the rug that would by now be desperately unclean. Someone outside on the street yells “don’t worry don’t worry don’t worry” and I think, ok man.
Later, after I’ve done some mild busy work, sliced some watermelon, opened the blinds then shut them again, microwaved the rest of the coffee from this morning, I take a photo of the parrot.