I returned home from our morning walk to find birds in the rafters of the garage. I frowned at the tiny creatures, their feathers brown in color, and ducked as one of them came alarmingly close to my head when I entered through the open garage door.
It is my habit to leave the large door open from the time that Chienne and I depart to explore the neighborhood until I reverse the Jeep from its spot and press the remote that clings to my visor. Depending on the day, the duration can be 30 minutes to many hours. When it's the latter, I don't mind it as the window in the door that enters the kitchen lets additional light in and any odor from the garbage I store in said garage dissipates a bit.
I climbed the first of two steps that lead to my kitchen door and stared up toward the roof of my garage.
"Little brown birds," I addressed them cordially. "Please fly away." Chienne looked up at me, sighed and nudged her nose against the door for it was time for eye drops and treats. "I'm speaking to the birds," I told her and she stared up at me for a moment before sighing again.
"I know it's getting cold," I told the small flock above my head, "but you can't build a nest in here. The door might startle you or you could fly in when I open the door to dispose of trash. Then I would freak out and the cat would stalk you and it'd just be really bad. Awful. You can't imagine the horror, honestly."
Unmoved, they continued to sit upon the rafters, mostly ignoring me. Scowling at their resistance to logic, I pressed the button to close the garage, nodding when they all fluttered their winds to leave their perches. I pressed it again, leaving the door partially open to aid their escape.
"For crying out loud," I muttered when they looked at the open door but resettled themselves. I pressed the button again and the four of them flew out the door as it rumbled closed. I squinted upward once more to make sure noone remained. I then opened the door for Chienne to trot through, pausing so I could remove her leash and put drops in her eyes.
"I had to evict them," I told her, feeling a little guilty. "I don't like birds in general, but even if I did, they don't belong in the garage." She blinked a few times and waited for her munchy strip in reward for allowing me to use the drops. And this morning, we left the garage door closed and departed from the front door.
I can't remember if I've mentioned it, but Brother has had a rough time of it of late. He left the employer he'd had since age 15 about a year ago, I think, though the circumstances of said parting of ways are a bit of a mystery. He indicated they were evil and insane, but my parents and I feel it likely had something to do with the nearby bar and the frequency of his presence there. He consulted for a new employer, similar in focus to what he'd done before, but had to quit when the informal arrangement no longer included normal payments. Afterward, he started a job located south of my parents and appeared to have his professional life in some sort of order. (I did tell you - we went to visit, remember?)
He was asked to leave said job shortly after his girlfriend moved in with him and packed his things to return to my parents' house. He and said woman have taken up residence in the basement as the three upstairs bedrooms are already assigned to 1) Parents, 2) Little One and 3) Smallest One. Neither is working and both seem to expect that my parents will provide room and board indefinitely.
"He asked about Christmas decorations the other day," Mom told me when she called, announcing she and Dad would be visiting this weekend. "I asked if he still planned to be here then and he said we'd have to die sometime. Then he'd get to move upstairs."
"Mom," I said, unsurprised but remaining sympathetic, "it seems you have two options. You can either accept that he's back and not worry about it or you can tell him to leave."
"But where would he go?" she asked and I shrugged. Like the little brown birds, they would probably find something less wonderful than my garage to protect themselves from winter winds, but they're conditioned to figure something out.
The last I spoke to them, they're tentatively planning a trip to Florida to buy a forclosed-upon condo. (In general - nothing specific in mind that I can tell.)
"That would be nice," I replied, thinking I'd always wanted them to head south as Mom has always been happiest near an ocean. Dad would miss his cars but he could always make trips home to visit them. They'd both be despondent from missing the girls - I don't know how to reconcile that with reality.
Still, I suppose the bird to Brother analogy is less than perfect. I'll let you know how it turns out.