Become a Fan
Feeding with Gilder Finch
By J D Roland
Monday, March 17, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
the effects of loss
Feeding with Gilder Finch
Feeding with Gilder Finch
Nothing made Gilder Finch happier than his daily trip to the park to feed the pigeons. First thing in the morning before his breakfast, before his bath, he would take a packet of Pop Secret from his cupboard. He'd grab a steak knife from the utensil drawer, make a slit in the cellophane wrapper, remove it and place it in the trash. He then unfold the ends and worked them in opposing motion, always pausing to read the instructions, making certain that he would not deviate from the day before. He knew, of course, he could do without this step but he realized that perfection required meticulous repetition. Placing the packet in the microwave, he would then turn and pick out a small glass filling it with water he then placed it in the microwave. He had read somewhere that this kept the kernels moist. He really wouldn’t know because he didn’t eat popcorn. Just the same, one could never question the experts. He set the appliance to the preordained time and pushed start. He always felt a tingle of excitement, at this precise moment.
Then, without hesitation he filled the bath, looked in the mirror and smiled, studying his features for any fixable discrepancies. The chime of the microwave caused a smile and returning to the appliance always caused a perk in his step. He carefully pulled the bag out and shook it to displace the melted butter. He pulled the opposite corners of the bag releasing the steam. Grabbing the other two corners he opened it to full exposure. He grabbed a brown paper lunch bag from the cupboard filling it a quarter full with the moist kernels. Sitting on top of the microwave sat a tin shaker labeled PIGEONS in bold Sharpie. He grabbed the tin shook a preordained amount of his special seasoning on top, then repeated until the bag was full. Rinsing his hands he then would return to his bath and played out the rest of his morning ritual.
The trip to the park two blocks away was, in most cases, uneventful other than the fact Gilder never deviated from the amount of steps it took and making sure he never missed a crack.
On this day he approached his bench with a sneer seeing two young girls taking up residence. This happened occasionally and never really caught Gilder off guard. He picked up his pace and started waving his hands over his head.
“Hey, you little parasites get outta here before I tell yer mommy yer trespassing.” they scrambled like a couple of scared rabbits and Gilder let out a laugh that probably scared them further.
Officer Donaldson was within ear shot and came walking over to old Gilder.
“Gilder, what did I tell you about scaring the kids?” If truth be known it always tickled Donaldson.
“Oh come on Gene, let an old fart have some fun.” Gilder smiled as he took up residence on the bench.
“You know old lady Tipcanny will have my head if those kids complain.”
“Ok Gene, I’ll try and keep a lid on it.” hardly concerned about Donaldson's petty problems
Officer Donaldson liked old Gilder and occasionally sat with him as he fed the pigeons. Ever since Gilder’s wife passed, Gene tried his best to keep the old man company. Today, however, he had rounds to make. He moved on without another thought of Gilder and his Pigeons.
Gilder always carried a pair of latex gloves in his pocket because he disliked getting the popcorn residue on his hands. He stuck a hand in pulling at the fingers to work it evenly over his hand then repeated the other hand. Opening the bag, he grabbed some kernels and let them fly. Sure as the sun comes up the pigeons started to gather. He smiled and settled into his routine. His mind would always drift back in time to his fifty-two years with Lilly, his loving wife, taken from him before her time. He was always amazed that the pigeons always seemed to gather, never shrinking in ranks, although, some days there were more than others.
By 2:00pm the pigeons had thinned out and Gilder was ready to head back home. He pulled off the gloves and stuck them in the spent paper bag then dropping it in the waste barrel next to his bench. He stood at the barrel and drifted back to that dark day that ended his perfect life.
Lilly was the one that loved feeding pigeons back then. They sat on the bench and Gilder would read the daily Gazette and work the crossword. On the day that fixated Gilder’s disparity, Lilly had finished feeding the pigeons and got up to throw the bag away. The first step she took landed squarely on a pigeons back. Lilly stumbled and before Gilder could even react, Lilly caught her other foot on the leg of the park bench and down she went. Her head hit the edge of the trash barrel and broke her neck instantly, leaving her dead on the pavement. Gilder never had a chance to catch her, say he loved her, or tell her goodbye.
On his way home he came upon a dead pigeon in the middle of the sidewalk. With a swift kick he sent it flying.
“That’ll teach ya.” he mumbled to himself. He looked forward to tomorrow and headed home to Opra.
Site: JD Roland (poet rebellious)
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|Reviewed by Lane Diamond
|I really like this. I think it captures the emotion of the signal event quite well. However, you're missing some commas that wold make the reading much easier, as would some greater paragraph indentations.|