In a Breath

I picked up Inigo’s ashes yesterday. I put them in his house for the day before moving them to the nightstand last night. When I held the little box to my heart, his presence was so strong. He felt young and whole and healed. He felt free.

It feels right to keep them in the bedroom. Inigo loved it there. I think that is where he felt safest. I sleep under the birdie quilt now.

The term “Sunday Blues” has taken on new meaning. There’s not much of a point to cooking pasta dinner when it’s just for me.

Even the laundry is different. There are so few towels now in the towel wash now. Just my bath towels, a couple of kitchen towels, and the towel I put under the front door to keep the cooking smells from the hallway out when my neighbor makes whatever stinky fish thing she makes. The towel wash used to include birdie towels from Inigo’s shelf and bar cloths from when I cleaned the cage. I stopped short when I went into the spare bathroom to collect the bar cloths from the edge of the sink and there were none there.

Because you haven’t had to clean his house in over a week.

The days are filled with moments like that now. Opening the drawer and seeing all the unused syringes there. Taking a banana from the fruit bowl and realizing it’s just a banana now, not a NANNER. Seeing Inigo’s follower count go down, little by little, one here, two there. Opening the oven to heat something up, seeing the writing on the bottom where you can put some water if you want to set the oven to self-clean, and realizing there’s nothing stopping me from using that feature because there’s no reason to worry about the fumes. Or the fumes from Scrubbing Bubbles. Or candles, if I had any. Or Carpet Fresh. Or perfume. Or nail polish and nail polish remover. My hands are a mess from my trip to New Orleans earlier this month, the skin dry from washing them in the hard water there. I had preened the wrong feather the day before we said goodbye, and the wound from the nip he gave me has faded into a small pink dot on my hand.

And silence, so much silence, especially when the thermostat shuts the heat off. Sometimes music or turning on the TV helps, but they are irritating as often as not.

I’m still finding feathers, including two last night, bright green, in the home gym, and may the cosmos smite me if I’m lying but they weren’t there yesterday morning or afternoon when I packed his unused syringes in the spare room closet. My floors are dark wood and my gym mat is purple. I would have seen the larger feather for sure.

Inigo is free, but he’s also here, all around, the breath that blows the feathers out from wherever they hide.

I hope I never stop finding them.

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