Mar. 10th, 2010

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The Whine of the Phoenix

Let me tell you this: immortality ain't all it's cracked up to be. Trust me. I'd trade a few thousand years and a couple of ancient scarabs that'd make the director of Smithsonian wet their knickers just for a few days with opposable thumbs.

Take the lock on my cage for example. A half-witted baby chimpanzee could figure it out. Turn the latch like so just a hair to the left, then twist that doohicky to the right, slide open the thingabob, and bam. Freedom, baby!

But no. Ra, in all of his infinite, heliotropic wisdom, figured I wouldn't need a way to finagle my way out of a hole-in-the-wall, not-particularly-legal exotic pet shop. So I'm stuck here with a bunch of twittering cockatiels until another cooing old lady pokes her finger at me and says "I think I saw this one on Wild Kingdom."

Sure lady. You saw me on a television show. Me, the legendary avian symbol of eternal rebirth. In fact, I bet you saw me burst into flames right next to a hyena's den.

"Say, what's the lifespan of this breed?"

I've been pooping on newspapers since before you were born, darling. I've seen the assassinations of Archdukes and the great stock market crash all from under my tailfeathers. I've outlived half a dozen of you grannies.

"What a lovely birdy."

Sure, I could incinerate my current incarnation and be born anew in the ancient City of the Sun, but do you know what a headache inter-dimensional and pan-chronistic travel is these days? If someone sees you, you're liable to be hunted down by loonies and stalkers. Look at poor Yeti.

Or worse, I could be trapped by a bunch of scholars who have nothing better to do than to poke at me all day and fill up thousands of detailed scrolls on my behavior and physiology. Took centuries to live down, last time that happened. Good riddance, Library of Alexandria!

Sure, they sell the immortality thing pretty hard around here. Be a good person, live forever. But trust me, it gets old. Real old. In fact, you're practically the only being that doesn't get old. But at least the food's decent. Spray millet beats sacrificed Sphinx meat any day. And after a few millennia of adventuring with mythological heroes, it's kinda nice to just perch on a rod and peck at your own reflection for a while.

In fact, forget I ever said anything. It's cool. I'm just a pretty bird from South America, Africa or thereabouts.

Take me home and call me Polly. They'll even throw in a free bag of seed.

Like most of my posts these days, this is brought to you by [ profile] therealljidol! >>;


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