Archive for July, 2011
Every small town has it’s quirks… Now I know what you’re thinking, you grew up in Burbank, CA with a population just shy of 100,000, that is not a small town!
It has always felt like a small town to me. I take my kids to the same restaurants my Mom took me to… Many of which still have some of the same employees. When I walk the streets I often run into friends or get a honk from a passing car from someone I know. To sound really cheesy, there are a bunch of places where people know my name… And not because many years ago I was on the radio, but because I have lived here for many years before that. It may not be demographically a small town, but is socially and emotionally a small town to me.
Now back to the quirks. One of the strange things about Burbank is that there is a flock of green parrots that fly around town. The story I have heard is that there was a fire at an arboretum or an aviary… or somewhere they have green parrots, and the only way to save the birds from burning alive was to release them. This story does not explain why they ended up in Burbank? It’s not exactly jungle like here? All I know that for long as I can remember I have encountered this flock of birds randomly around the city, somewhere in a box there are photos I took of them for a high school photography class assignment.
You always notice them, they squawk loudly… not like the tweets of the little brown birds that fill our cities trees or the coo’s of the doves I see picking seeds from our lawn. They’re loud, like the birds at the zoo, their cries break through the normal sounds of the city.
Tonight as I walked my borrowed dog (I’m dog sitting for my Mom’s girlfriend) they flew overhead as I walked down Magnolia past the Mom and Pop shops, small restaurants and sporadic new businesses squawking loudly… even the dog noticed. We watched them fly into the suburban sunset.
We returned to my apartment just after sunset, still warm from the day’s heat, empty of life except for two beta fish, scattered toys still strewn about from the kids last visit. The dog, lied on the floor still panting lightly from our walk. I sat on the couch, in front of an empty TV screen, feeling alone looking at the toys that seem joyless without small hands wrapped around them. Sometimes my new normal of only being a part-time parent strikes me, I miss having my kids daily, being a full part of their lives… And they mine. Then I heard that squawk, right outside my window, from a tree right across the street… I felt at home, someplace familiar. No matter how alone I am I will always have my small town.