The Red Parrot

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Ah, Melbourne. I’ve just arrived home after a visit to the flatmate who isn’t my flatmate any more. I had a great time, experiencing her city and visiting her local hangouts. It was great. Grey… but great.

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Even the graffiti seemed more friendly than what is thrown around in Sydney:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

In fact, the constant overwhelming feeling I get from Melbourne is best summed up like this:

Source: buzzfeed.com

Source: buzzfeed.com

I was reminded of a few things while I was there.

I was reminded of friendship. Of the difference it makes. Of my good fortune with the people in my life, and the friendships that time and distance just don’t interfere with. That there are bonds that tie people together, creating joins that just can’t be broken. And it’s a beautiful thing, to have friends like this. It really is.

I was reminded that people matter. No, I mean really matter. There was a piece of street art, dedicated to a woman that I am guessing was a regular figure in the streets. And I missed my chance to get a photo of it, but that someone had taken the time to create it really made me smile. And there was the Bead Man, with his red beads. And the groups of people sitting together that seemed to be connected simply by time and space.

And I was reminded of the ways I tend to walk through the world with the ill-fitting shoes of Aspergers making things slightly difficult for me. We were at a cafe and a cheeky chap approached us and pointed out a red parrot. I turned to look for the bird, and was still looking as I heard the flatmate who isn’t my flatmate any more laughing with the cheeky chap in question. I couldn’t see the red parrot anywhere. But it turns out that it was a sneaky ploy to swipe some wedges. And it did not occur to me at any stage to question the existence of the red parrot decoy. And I know this is kind of minor, but there are things I just don’t get, and things I do that seem out of place and odd and peculiar.

And I was reminded of this and it made me sad, and the flight home was long because I was caught up in thoughts and grief and sadness and anger and missing my friend and wanting to be home and really being nowhere, just hovering over the world in a plane full of strangers that probably all had their own internal dialogues happening. And hovering in the plane and looking at the sky and the clouds and then the tree tops and the patchwork quilt of life and stories and people, and seeing it but not being of it, and seeing it and knowing that even when I land I’m still not of it.

And when I got home and my beloved picked me up and we had dinner and talked and laughed and shared stories, I was reminded that you don’t need to be of the world to just bloody well exist in it. And not just exist but also make a difference in it, either good or bad, and live and be and breathe and hope and aspire and daydream and achieve or not achieve and to sometimes believe that there are red parrots, because you believe in the ability of nature to impact a city and capture attention and become worth speaking about.

To sometimes believe that there are red parrots. Because you believe in the ability of nature to impact a city. To impact a city, and capture attention. To capture attention, and become worth speaking about.

Become worth speaking about.

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