Shivering against oncoming dark clouds, I scurry north onto
Broughton Street headed to my home-away-from-home while at the Fringe.
Another long day of flyering. I want to collapse on the sofa.

Once again I admire a checkered table runner in a window of the John Lewis
department store, cross St. James Place, pass the Police Box Coffee Bar
(bagels and Philadelphia cheeze, amazing kool drinks) and the closed Hotdog
King cart. I glance at the sculptures in front of St. Mary's Catholic
Cathedral and again wonder what they signify. Two young boys climb on the
giant bronze foot while a girl plays on the giant bronze hand adorned with
grasshoppers and a mysterious miniature building.

A plaintive scree, scree, scree from the direction of the cathedral. At the
top of the wide stone steps a baby gull is crying. She's full size, as big
as an adult, but clearly a youngster. She searches the sky. SCREE! SCREE!
She paces back and forth. A stiff wind is starting up.

I climb the 17 steps and sit. The gull paces, approaches then veers away,
then back toward me. An adult gull glides overhead. The youngster goes
nuts, calling, pleading! The adult continues past without a glance, soaring
toward Princes Street. I'm sure she's sitting atop Wellington's head
watching for food scraps. She has done her job. She produced the baby, fed
it, gave it adequate direction, then: You're on your own, kiddo. It's solo
time. But Mama, what if I forget my lines? What if nobody comes? What if I
get a bad review? What if I crash and burn? 

The young gull teeters on the rim of the top step. She spreads her wings. A
gust of wind catches them; she bobbles and chickens out but stays on the
edge of the top step. She wants so badly to make it on her own. Slowly I
inch down two steps. She eyes me, then hops down two steps. I go down two
more, then two more. She follows each time. At the bottom I stand. The gull
walks over to the giant bronze foot, hops onto the big toe, and turns to
look at me.

It's going to be okay.

 


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