All day everyday he would sit and watch all the comings and goings occurring on the outside of his small window. Rocky doesn’t do much anymore, he used to perform in front of hundreds of people, but these days age and all the trappings that come along with it are more than he can sometimes bear. Today like every other day, started the same way, consisting of waking up at dawn and waiting for his caretaker Edmond, whom he lovingly referred to as Eddy to come and feed him his breakfast and get him ready to face the day.
After some time his stomach growled ominously, he was sure many hours had passed since he had woken, and still hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Eddy. Normally Eddy would come out of his room, make his coffee and grab the newspaper that the delivery boy would leave for him outside the apartment door. (Getting the newspaper after Eddy finished with it was one of the highlights of Rocky’s day.) As he had never learned to read or write, looking at the clock was somewhat of a frustration for him. He knew the morning was almost over now as the sun was getting very high in the sky. “Where the heck is Eddy?” he wondered. Trying to occupy his mind with other things beside the torrent of gurgles taking place in his belly.
Rocky moved closer to the window to get a better view of the pigeons who would coo around the sill for the crumbs and seeds Eddy would drop for them on occasion. The way they strutted around reminded him of some buddy’s he used to fly with back in the day, before life had interrupted his peaceful existence. Beyond the pigeons he could see a fountain down in the square which is usually full of people going about their daily whatever’s. Today seemed unusually sparse for people watching, just a young couple sitting on the edge of the fountain feeding each other all romantic like. Damn! That just made him think about food again! He was beginning to get worried now, thinking again, “Where is Eddy?” Rocky called for Eddy a few times and listened patiently for a reply, to no avail. “Did he get up and leave before I got up?’ Rocky pondered. Answering his own question he thought, “No way! I would have heard him… wouldn’t I?” Things were starting to feel desperate and he began to yell as loud as he could, “Eddy!!! Are you home? Eddy!” over and over til his throat was raw and he started sounding hoarse.
The day faded, turning to evening then into night as Rocky sat there almost paralyzed with fear! He had been calling for his friend for many hours and nary a sound was heard from any of the rooms of the small apartment they have shared for more than 25 years. Save for their adjacent neighbor, a large burly man named Humphrey, if his memory served him correctly, pounding on the wall, yelling back “Keep it down in there!”, “What should I do?” thought Rocky. “Should I keep making noise until someone comes to help me?” but he was worried the neighbors would get angry with him and have him kicked out of here. They had tried to block Eddy from renewing his lease one time, until he made a promise that Rocky wouldn’t be a nuisance and Eddy would see to his every need. He would hate to get his friend in trouble over what could possibly be a complete oversight on Eddy’s part. He was getting up there in age as well and acting a little more senile everyday, but then again, so was Rocky, so who was he to judge? After sometime of speculating upon his predicament, he figured that maybe if he just tried to go back to sleep all would be better in the morning? “Yes, that’s just what I will do, things will look better in the light!” he said aloud to no one in particular. “And I’m sure Eddy will be back by then?” he added.
That night Rocky dreamt of his old flying pals again, the training they received when they were young and flying off on their own once they got old enough. It was like he was there again, diving and swooping at some enemy, defending his family’s way of life was all he wanted to do growing up! He was good at it too! He never lost a battle in the sky! He knew that he was born to do this, it was his calling! Suddenly there was a loud gurgling sound that rippled through his body slamming him out of his dream and back into reality once again! It was his stomach, he realized, calling to be fed. Peering out the window he could see the sky beginning to brighten in the East, knowing that soon daylight would be upon them, shining its tendrils of light and warmth through his beloved window.
He called out again for Edmond, this time he decided he was not going to give up, even if that meant he wouldn’t be able to speak for a week. Over and over and over again, Rocky called out to his friend! Humphrey had apparently had enough and Rocky could hear him thumping out of his apartment, plodding over to their door and rapping on it so loudly that Rocky was sure that no one could ignore that kind of racket. Surely Eddy would get up now? Rocky and Humphrey went back and forth like some ancient rhythmic drum and song until he could hear others joining him in the hallway. “It was working!” he rejoiced! There was a fumbling, tinkling sound emanating from the door when suddenly it sprang open! It was the Superintendent of the building that was accompanying Humphrey and they both looked extremely angry indeed!
“What the hell is going on in here?” yelled Humphrey. “Where is Edmond? spoke the Super. ” Humphrey glared at me, “Shut up!!!” he said ferociously. Rocky stopped immediately, staring wide-eyed at the two men who were glowering at him. The Super walked to Eddy’s room and knocked on the door. Standing there impatiently for some sort of response. With a glance back at Humphrey, he opened Eddy’s door and stepped inside, calling for Humphrey to join him almost immediately. What seemed like hours, was only minutes, as more people showed up, two young men with a long tray of some kind, guided by the Super, and walked into Eddy’s room. Rocky could hear a lot of talking but couldn’t make out what was being said and was feeling quite confused, until he watched the two young men walk out with his friend, lying still, and silent upon their trolley. It was then that Rocky realized what had happened. His friend had passed away, leaving him alone in this world. An overwhelming sense of sadness overtook Rocky. He turned away from the scene to look out his window and wept, crying out with the pain that only this kind of loss can bestow upon ones heart.
It was then that Humphrey took notice of him, he walked over to where Rocky sat staring out at all the coming and goings of the day. Rocky was watching as people went about their daily business not knowing, nor caring what kind of pain he was in right now. “Hey there little guy.” Humphrey said softly. Rocky turned slightly to look at this man. “I’m so sorry about Eddy!” tears welling up in his eyes. “I just wanted to say thanks for causing such a ruckus and letting us know something was wrong.” he said. The Super came over, leaning down to look at him. “He sure is a pretty bird isn’t he?” the Super mumbled. “Yes, yes he is!” agreed Humphrey. “I’m going to take him to my place to watch over him until Edmond’s next of kin can be located” Humphrey said. “Put some of that birdseed in his cage, his dish is empty” gesturing at a bag of bird food sitting on the floor to the other man, who grabbed a handful of food and put it in his food dish. “I’m not hungry anymore” Rocky thought to himself. Turning from the two men to watch as the rain began to fall, pattering gently against his window like tears falling from the sky, “Me too sky, me too.”
Stay safe, stay warm and be kind to each other