As a child I remember being quite a bit antisocial. I usually only kept one good friend, and that was more than enough for me. The problem with having only one good friend is that if that friend hasn’t come to school yet, or if that friend skips a day you’ve got no one to talk to. Really, it wasn’t not having my friend around that would bug me, it was mostly the looks of “oh, poor thing, she has no friends” that I’d get from other kids that would drive me crazy. Since my first best friend suffered from chronic lateness I spent years starting my mornings by walking around the school yard watching the sparrows as the hopped about the few trees that could thrive in Kuwait. There is something so calming about looking into a birds eyes, and trying to read it. Each bird had its own unique personality, and you’d have to watch it for a little while if you wanted to get really close. Generally I’d watch to see how jumpy it was when things flew by, or someone made a loud noise. I’d watch to see if it would stare me down or avoid eye contact. You’d think it was the ones that weren’t looking at you that would let you get the closest, its not.. The gutsy ones that were just as interested in you as you were in them were usually the best to watch.. it always felt like there was a real hidden dialogue going on there. I’d take one step at a time, making sure to stop the first time it took at step back, because that told me exactly what distance was just close enough for that bird. If you stay right there long enough, you’d be surprised how many birds will take that one step back towards you, and maybe even one step more.
I miss my mornings with the sparrows.