MILE 7 "A rainbow of them all flocking together"
LOCATION: TELEGRAPH HILL
Annie, a freak from the east coast living in "fog city by the bay" and trying to grow strawberries when she meets a flock of parrots.
Now, people have been saying that something should be done. That they're a nuisance. That they should be captured, incarcerated and deported. Because they're not from around here. They're native to South America... the rain forest. People say that they just don't belong here. Well, there's about forty parrots in this flock. A fairly self-sustaining population. Cherry Conures, and some others, mixed in. They're supposedly descended from half a dozen escaped pets. They all just managed to find each other. And they seem to be thriving… Well, the first time I saw them, I was woken up at five in the morning. My partner, Dorothy just slept through it. She slept through the last three earthquakes. I can't. Light sleeper. Because I just know that one day… BANG! The big one… But, I just love it here. I'll never leave. So, I was jolted out of bed by a... ruckus. I'm not sure if that's proper term. You know... geese honk, crows caw, owls hoot- But this sound could only be described as a ruckus. I like that word. It's like a cross between a "row…" and a "fucking circus." And that's what I saw when I went out on our balcony. Well at first I couldn't see anything. I was blinded by the sun just peeping over the bay. Then I blinked and I saw green, which is what I expected to see. You see I have a little garden on our terrace. It's my one real extravagance. So I'm looking at this… green. Only, this isn't my green. It's more colorful. And there's more red than there should be. Not tomato red… something more tropical. And this time when I blink, I notice three dozen pairs of eyes blinking back at me. That's when I notice... what's left of my garden. It's been... denuded. My strawberries, my fruit- all my attempts at horticulture... destroyed. I took one step. And the little brigands scattered into the wind. Now I have always considered myself to be a progressive. But at that moment all I wanted to do was wring their little red necks. Later, after Dorothy had consoled me and convinced me that I didn't really want to join the NRA, and become the proud owner of a double barreled shotgun. I cooled down. And as I was standing on our balcony in my housecoat and bedroom slippers scrubbing their guano off our railing with a toilet brush. I thought, "now who's to say who's non-native". I've lived here for thirty years and I've learned to live without sun in the summer and loathe the tourists. Like everybody else. But, I'm no Ohlone Indian. I'm just as alien. A freak transplanted from the east coast. This whole city is… So, then I thought about those fabulous parrots. And Darwin and his finches… But then I thought about my strawberries. And I wondered what Martha Stuart would do. (beat) So now I have chicken wire over my new garden. And a bird feeder, filled with trail mix hanging out there. Every once in a while they drop by. I stay inside, behind the glass. So I won't frighten them. I've been very tempted to try and tame them... But, I keep a respectful distance. And just watch them out there. A rainbow of them... All flocking together.
SHE LOOKS OUT AT THE VIEW OF THE PARROTS AND THE BAY.
Mile 7 Telegraph Hill
LISTEN to a clip from 49 Miles
Performed by Amy Resnick
Recorded by black box theatre.com
music by Curious Quail
"Apart we are together"