Edge of the Earth

Wanda's greatest fear is that goddamned one-legged bird missing breakfast.  Each day at precisely 6 a.m., Wanda rises from bed, wraps herself in her old, ratty purple robe, puts on her rose colored glasses (really, they are rose colored) and looks for the bird on the deck railing.
“If he doesn’t show up it might mean he’s dead,” Wanda says out loud to the empty kitchen. “If he doesn’t show up it’ll mean that useless freeloader- you know, the healthy one with the big beak- might’ve finally done him in. Poor goddamned bird.  How will he survive without me feeding him? He does like his eggs. Fried eggs over easy with two slices of bacon. Never sausage. Once I gave him sausage. He threw it up in the air and squawked all day.”
7 a.m. and the bird still hasn’t shown. I’ve got to get myself a hobby, she thinks, twirling her gray hair over her fuchsia finger nails, staring at the railing where the bird usually sits. There are flights to Reno. Flights loaded with men, and they’ve got money. They go to gamble and play golf. I should spruce myself up and sit on that plane.  Back and forth. I could go just to find a husband. That would take my mind of this goddamned bird.
She walks from the kitchen to the upstairs in the living room, staring out a large picture window overlooking the Bandon Lighthouse. The fog is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It’s like living on the edge of the earth, she tells all her guests when they arrive at her bed and breakfast. When her guests complain about the fog, Wanda tells them, “What do I look like, Mother Nature? It’s foggy, BFD. So scrap your walk on the beach, find a bar and drink. It’s about all you can do in Bandon, Oregon. You can't even buy a pair of underwear here.”
Maybe that's where that damned bird is, she thinks, buying a pair of underwear for her. God knows she needs a few new pair- ones where the elastic isn’t shot. Put that on the grocery list- underwear and eggs. That goddamned bird goes through two-dozen eggs a week. Eats me out of house and home. It’s not right for a bird to eat eggs with such gusto. Its like me gnawing on an infant’s arm just because I’ve got a hunger pang. Oh, what the hell's the sense of wondering anymore. It’s late and the day is already shot. Time for a nap. The bird will come or he won’t. “It's that simple,” she says, sighing into her purple bathrobe.
Just as she walks into the bedroom and takes off her glasses, the seagull sets down on the railing.


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