It Is What It Is.


                                    by Gonzalo Ferreyra                                 

“This pigeon fucking smashes into his face.”


“Smashes. Right into the middle of his face. A pigeon. He’s walking to the bus stop, has his head down
and like always, like we all do, fuck, he walks straight through this bunch of pigeons that’re all around
 the sidewalk, they’re just hanging out like they do, talking to each other and eating whatever shit on
the ground?”


“And he sees them, all these gray shapes, but they’re getting out of his way—these are pigeons, that’s
what they do, even if they’re not all that fucking smart they know how to do this, they’re good at it even,
 they get out of the way like experts—and he keeps walking. But then he looks up and smash, it’s in the
 face, in the middle of his damn face, smash. He says he didn’t even see it, didn’t even see it floating up
to get out of his way and then it misjudges and comes down at him, he didn’t even see it at all. It didn’t
exist. It came out of absolutely nowhere. Poof! Like magic, it is there.”

“In his face.”

“Smash, face. Bloody nose, blood dripping down his chin, he’s blind, staggers, like this, back, on his ass.
 He’s grabbing his face, blood all over his hands. Blinks, tries to open his eyes, but no, goddamn, the pain.
The eye, man, the retina. Scratched.”

“The cornea.”

“The eye, the thing. Cornea, yeah. It’s the beak or a claw, gash, across the eyeball. Slice. Damn, Jesus..”

“Man, that hurts.”

“Oh yeah. That hurts special. That hurts forever. And the bloody nose. The blood, and he’s down on the
ground on his butt. Screaming, the eye hurts so fucking much. And this is a pigeon. On the street. He’s
 walking to the fucking bus stop and this pigeon destroys the guy’s face. Puts him in the fucking hospital.”

“Is he now, what?”

“He’s home, all wrapped up like a mummy, his nose, eyepatch. Two black eyes. But you can only see
 one of them.”

“Bet he’s pissed.”

“Oh, he’s pissed. He’s so pissed. You wouldn’t want to be a pigeon in San Francisco the day he gets his
 bandages off. He’s gonna go fucking pigeon-hunting. That will be a bad day for pigeons.”

“What happened to this pigeon?”

“Which pigeon?”

“The pigeon that smashed his face.”

“You want to know about the pigeon? What, if it needed fucking stitches?”

“I’m wondering is it dead. If it was killed by the impact, or what, if it just kept going like nothing

“I don’t know about the pigeon, you dipshit, I’m not friends with the fucking pigeon. It’s my friend
the one with the sliced eyeball, my good friend, not my best but a good, good friend, and you want
me to go visit the pigeon, find out if the pigeon has any complaints.”

“I didn’t say visit the pigeon.”

“Hey pigeon, you got enough insurance, can I get you something to eat, can I hold you a cigarette
 so you can smoke it?”

“That’s not—”

“Want some magazines to read, maybe ask the fucking pigeon?”


“I don’t give a fuck about the pigeon. I haven’t worried a second about the pigeon.”

“It’s curiosity.”

“Let the pigeon’s friends worry about the fucking pigeon.”

“Anybody, any guy hearing this same story, would ask the same question.”

“No. I don’t buy that. You hear this story you want to know about Devin, you want to know is
Devin okay. What’s next for Devin. Will he ever fucking see out of his pigeon-blinded eye again.”

“I want to know all that, too.”

“But first you want to know about the pigeon.”


“Your best friend in the whole world the pigeon.”

“My best friend is not a pigeon.”

“You go look for the pigeon. I’m done with the pigeon. Devin I’ll take care of, I’ll bring a bottle
 to, I’ll sit with, but the pigeon, this pigeon, any fucking pigeon, can fucking die in the gutter for
all I care.”


  Copyright  2007 Gonzalo Ferreyra

Gonzalo Ferreyra has written one (unpublished) novel and is hard at work on a second.  He's a great admirer of Vladimir
Nabokov, Philip Roth, and John Cheever but tries his best not to mimic them when he sits down to write.   He lives in
Castro Valley, CA, with his wife and two daughters.

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