“I used to love caged birds. Until….” [wrote] 75 year old, owner of a yacht, white, Protestant, millionaire, racist, anti-Semitic, ex-politician, Harlington Ponsonby-Smythe III, to no one in particular in his newly bought note book.
“Until I got locked in a cage myself. My father kept me there for four days and four nights. To teach me a lesson he said. He did not want a softie for a son.
I was his only son. My mother had given birth to two daughters before giving birth to me but they had each died within a week of seeing daylight. My mother died as I took my first breath.
It was on Christmas Eve that I committed my first matricide, not alone of course. I had the help of some filthy, smelly dirty crooked nosed, and most of all, greedy Jewish doctor. For obvious reasons, he was the only doctor available on Christmas Eve. Those people do not attend the midnight mass.
He came in and got me out while my poor mother bled to death. He got his pay. Eventually. Somehow.
What I did to be locked in the cage for so long I do not remember, nor does it really matter. My father was a very tough but very righteous man and whatever it is that made him lock me up, I must have deserved it.
I used to love birds. I had a whole collection of birds, from all around the globe, from all races and colours. I used to spend most of my free time in the cage with the birds, observing them, feeding them, caressing them, playing with them. I loved them. I can say with uncontained pride that they are the only creatures I have ever felt a true and deep affection for in my entire existence.
I do remember in every detail the very minute my father let me out of the cage. I was dirty beyond description, thirsty and hungry, but before anything else, I let the door open and let my feathery and only friends fly away. As I was liberated, I swore to myself I would never again cage a bird. And I never did.
… Not until much later that is.
And, the kind of birds I started collecting later on and caging would be of an entirely different, although not featherless species: Women. Never my wife of course, neither my daughters, although at times I did consider it.
Yes the wife and daughters. I married young, as was expected of me, to a woman of my status, that my father helped me chose, as was done then. She gave me two rather uninteresting and noisy daughters and a son. After that rather inelegant business had been settled, we stopped sharing room and bed, as we agreed upon before tying the knot. I am not quite sure how my wife kept herself busy after that, I suppose she went on with her knitting and the education of our daughters and our son – who, it must be said, turned out to be rather dull too. As for myself I discovered the many different types of cages a man could have: the matrimonial one, of course, the social straitjacket, the parental trap, obviously … but alongside the latter I discovered a whole series of much pleasanter ones: those that held fluffy and feathery creatures. Creatures who deserved and enjoyed being caged. Up to some point anyway, and provided the price tag was correct. There always is a price tag.
No birds no. No coloured women either. Neither black, nor brown, or yellow, no sliced eyes, no overdone lips, no hair that can be tied up with a pencil. I despise that. I find the smell that emanates from these coloured bodies abject, and cannot bare the touch of their overgrown parts. The thought of their eyes either completely hidden or all expressionless and of the same colour is enough to make me want to look the other direction.
No these have never been granted the privilege of entering or even getting close to any of my cages. These sort of sub-humans do not deserve to please me or my business partners. All access to my yacht has been barred to them. My yacht, where I stand now and where I have been spending the better part of the last ten years.
I have been told by some acquaintance that my daughters got married, however, the truth is I have no desire to know about them. I never found their presence of interest and the fact that one married, what we are now supposed to call ‘Afro-American’, and the other a Jew, has made them even less dear to me.
My son seems to be travelling all the time, as though he were running from himself – which I certainly would do too if I had had the utmost bad luck of being born in his skin. The poor sod was never very bright. Had I not stepped in and used my prestige and no less prestigious wallet, he would have failed his schooling. We were lucky we found someone who agreed to marry him for a reasonable amount. The ungrateful little bastard now travels all the time.
My wife still sees them all but knows better than to talk to me about either of them or the numerous bastards they have engendered.
They should all be caged. For life. And without feathers.
All in all, I am pleased with the way my life has turned out. My mother would be proud of me had I not killed her so young. My father never understood my inclinations for the caged women and stopped talking to me the day he walked in on me while I was beating one of my birds with a whip. He signed himself, left the room and never addressed me again. He died some 10 years ago and left me everything he had.
The poor soul.
He should have known better. But he did not.
Oh well, that will be all for now, the new masseuse has arrived to take care of me. At the age of 75, some things need outside help to function.
(October 23rd, 2013)
Alex S David