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the pigeon (1) by alexander zhu


On the 6:44 bus to work, Desiree and I pull out our books and proceed to

Talk for almost the whole ride, as the sunrise begins to brighten the fluorescent blue interior

I was reading Oliver Sacks’ last book of essays. One was on the perception of time

How it’s all in the brain: That those with Tourette’s can often catch a fly

Because it moves in “their time.” To a fly, a season is eternal

To an eternal, millenia are the bat of an eye

I mention another essay on the fallibility of memory

To which Desiree responds “I think I remember reading something on that! (?)”

Desiree had dog-eared a short story in her book called The Pigeon

So I suggest we do a brief exchange

The story, ten pages long, wholesomely describes a fight-lover who calls himself The Pigeon

Who also loves his mother and has a taste for cooking

He gets robbed at knife-point on a Winter jog (?), if I recall correctly

By a guy wearing the same on-sale sweatshirt as his

The Pigeon postures to protect himself, but in recognizing the jacket, empathizes, relaxes

He hands over his wallet, and as the boy turns to leave, The Pigeon says

“Hey, you’re gonna need a warmer jacket to rob people!”

And gives the robber his. The boy is no older than fifteen

The Pigeon offers him a meal too, invites him to his home the next day

Introduces the boy to his mother, says he’s a friend who wants to get bigger for boxing

So she can give him an extra helping of whatever warm and full-of-love thing she’s cooked

The boy asks The Pigeon why he’s being so nice 

And The Pigeon says that everyone deserves a second chance

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