Feeding birds

January 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

The park is wedged in between the university buildings, a patch of green and brown amongst the surrounding terracotta. Not big enough to kick a football round in, and there’s no playground either – just trees, and grass, and benches. He never sees anyone there – well, not for the last three or four times he’s come here anyway.

His dad’s just moved in to one of the new apartments across the way, with no garden, and no space inside really. When the boy comes here he has to sleep in this poky little box room piled high with his dad’s girlfriend’s clothes, and it’s so stuffy he can hardly breathe. Where they lived before was countryside, sky so big it’d burst your lungs; every time he comes to the city he gets a cold, which makes his mother tut in that way she has.

His dad said it was okay to come and feed the birds in the park, as long as he stayed where they could see him from the apartment’s huge lounge window, even helped him crumble up some crumbs – quietly, like, before she got up and started grumbling about him and his dad making a mess of her kitchen.

The boy is flinging out the crumbs from his orange carrier bag and the pigeons are flocking round him and looking up as if he might be about to say something very important, even though, as usual, he isn’t saying anything at all.

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