March 25th, 2005



I got home last night and my little aggy had died. I feel so crushed and broken hearted and I don't know what to do right now; I'll miss her so much. Is it bad that I didn't cry at all when a family member recently died, but the loss of this bird has broken my heart?

I called my boss to say I'd be late today. I have aggy in a box that I think I'll take to a vet to ask what they do with these animals. I live in an apartment, I can't just go to some public land and bury her, I don't feel like that's secure. I'm sure the vet does something incensitive but I want them to do it, and I'll even pay them, I just need to hand her to someone.

I have so much to do at work but I can't go thirty minutes without crying right now. my goal is to pull it together by 10 to make it in, but I feel like if anyone talks to me I'll just lose it. I wish my sister wasn't in scotland. I can't call her, and she's the only one I want to talk to about this.

last night I wanted to write here but couldn't. instead, I got the cardboard box to put aggy in, and I wrote on the box. I wrote everything about her, and every silly little memory I could think of, and whatever vet I take her to they're going to think I'm nuts because this box is covered with black sharpie now but it felt right, and I had so much to say. so much that this little life represented, and it's all gone from the world.

the worst good friday

I was fairly determined to make the best of the day, even though I was an emotional wreck all morning. I woke up and brushed my teeth and started crying. I pulled it together long enough to call my boss and tell him I'd be late, then I started crying. Being in the apartment was awful, because every little sound I heard made me think, "That's just aggy, shuffling around... she's okay! I'll go back to my room and she'll be there in her aquarium, not the box I put her in, and she'll climb up on the second rung of her ladder and tell me all about yesterday, because she didn't get to..."

But then I remembered that it really wasn't aggy. aggy was gone. and then I'd cry.

I researched pet cemeteries but decided that was impractical. Aggy was in my heart forever, she didn't need to be in a marked grave. So I took the box to a vet and asked if they could do something with my little parakeet and they said of course, they'd take care of it. Yeah, the box with all the writing.

Then I decided to go to work. I felt bad, because I'd told a guy in electrical I'd be there in the morning to help him rewire some switches first thing, and here I'd be rollling in at 10:00.

On the way I decided to stop at the UPS and pick up a package I'd ask them to hold. They didn't have it. The request hadn't made it through, so it was out on a truck somewhere. I thanked the lady at the desk and went outside... and then cried again. I cried in my car, driving down the highway.

Got to the office. Snuck in and washed my face. Upstairs, I was relieved to see that no one in my row was actually there, they were all off at meetings. I sat down, logged on, put my headphones on and prayed that no one would see me. Finally the guy who sits next to me got back, and asked what was up, and I just looked at him like nothing and said, "I'm changing the elevator trim actuator logic."

But thirty minutes later I felt like I should talk, so I told him about aggy, and he said he was sorry. Asked if we should have some group moment of silence, and I said no, so he told me a funny story about a hamster he'd had once. I told some more people... I felt better, which is good because engineers are pretty insensitive people. I know, I am one. They don't mean any harm, they just like to keep the mood light. And how.

Went out to lunch. Demonstrated display lighting curves to some folks who needed to know. hung up campaign signs after work. went to church for good friday service.

I still thought a lot about aggy; especially about yesterday morning when I last saw her alive. She looked bad. Sometimes she just had bad days... she's had them for a while. I've taken her to vets twice and they just say, "She's a ten year old bird with a splayed leg. It's wearing on her. There's not a whole lot we can do."

But yesterday she was worse. She wasn't in her little rock house, she was out by her food dish looking frustrated (most of you haven't owned parakeets, so you can't picture a frustrated or upset parakeet, but bird owners know, okay?). I asked if she was alright. I reached in and petted her and she tried to turn around and chew on me like she usually does when I'm screwing with her and she wants to say she loves me. I gave her fresh water and she climbed up and drank some and I said, "There you go, that's my aggy. You just gotta wake up!" I petted her again and then went to work. I thought about her during the day, but didn't get home until late, and when I got here I checked my e-mail and it wasn't for several minutes before I noticed how quiet everything was. I went in my room. She was dead. I said her name, told her to wake up, asked her to come back, and laid down and sobbed until my stomach hurt and I couldn't see out of my eyes anymore.

I'd known it was time. There was a time a few months ago when my parents came, and said "This bird is old. Let us know if... something sad happens." After that I was paranoid. I'd get home, rush to my room, and if aggy was asleep I'd wake her up, and if she was in her house I'd make her come out, because I wanted to know she was okay. After a while I relaxed, because she kept being okay. And this bird is special... her first death sentence came the day she hatched, by my family, and then the next day, from the vet. Ever since she was born in my room people have tried to tell me she was dying and I need to distance myself. But she never died. And I never distanced myself.

So now I'm here trying to figure out how to come back to this quiet apartment, where nobody's chirping along happily to Le Tigre, nobody's shuffling around before bedtime, nobody's waking up when the sun rises and calling to me to do the same. I can't replace aggy.

she's gone and I just have to keep going.