"How do I say this without sounding self-loathing? Without the other gulls dismissing me as fretful or, worse yet: haughty! But watching these humans, I can’t help but register a feeling of… envy. Pitching and bobbing among the undulating waves… kicking up fat chunks of sand as they frolick along the shore… sharing a kiss above plush striped towels. They all seem so positively happy. And what of me? This is my home. I live and breathe this beach. Why do I not derive the same pleasure from the plangent crash of the waves at low tide? Why do I not giggle at the burrowing crabs?
Don’t get me wrong. I still revel in the sight of a torn garbage bag, the loosed contents offering up delicious morsels of mayo-gobbed tuna fish. Nor am I too proud to enjoy the perfect deployment of fecal matter atop a baby’s head or the bridge of a chattering debutante’s nose. But such moments are the exception. The rule, I’m afraid, is a gray and secular monotony.
Perhaps the answer is simple: you’re jaded, Cecile. Yet there are seagulls here twice – nay, three times – as old as I am, and from them I hear no complaints. So, then, maybe a simpler answer: you’re flawed. Not the universe, not this existence. You. Cecile. Damaged goods. The one that flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
No! I shall not accept that. That’s what society wants me to think. That seagulls are good for ransacking toppled pails and cacophonic squawking and nothing else. Is it hubris to aspire to something more than that? Oh, the cruel irony, that humans view these wings as symbols of freedom. My wings are shackles! That they are adorned with feathers makes it none the less so.