Seagulls are rare in my part of the forest, but when I get deeper into the forest, past the clumps of trees I normally reside in and to the slabs of flat rocks and human caves, I sometimes run into a seagull. The last time I saw a seagull, it stared at me as it stood next to a few crows, chewing on some plastic bits it had fished out of a dumpster. It was a strange experience. It was missing feathers and had a twisted leg. It looked okay with both of those things. The bird’s dark, beady eyes glared at me while its empty face consumed its catch. I envied it, to be honest, as it so openly, without any indication of shame for its seemingly awful state of being, enjoyed a nice dumpster snack.
I saw another seagull today. I was trying to climb into a dumpster when it swooped from the sky (as birds with their aggressive nature tend to do) and landed on the corner of the dumpster I was climbing. My front paws were inside, but I stopped and stared at the seagull as the last seagull I saw had stared at me. It stared back. It was covered in dirt. Brown and grey crud covered its crooked feathers. Mud rested on its neck, dried and flaking off with every little movement it made. Its eyes were just as beady and as dark as any seagull I had ever seen.
I am not sure how long we stared at one another, but eventually the seagull broke the spell and flew off. I shook my head and tried to snap back into my reality. I climbed into the dumpster I was climbing into and did what I normally do in dumpsters: enjoyed myself with some scavenging and a long nap.
When I climbed out, the seagull was on the ground to greet me. I had no idea if it was the same seagull, but it was definitely covered in dirt and it smelled similar. My head was poking out of the dumpster, my paws hanging over the edge, when its glare stopped me as it had before. It was standing in a very thick, dark liquid. Confidently. Maybe proudly. We stared at one another again. This seagull was so unashamed just to be. I do not know how it did that. I have always been nervous to be. Being has always worried me, plagued my thoughts and forced me to rethink my being. I doubted this seagull even knew it was. Did this seagull even care that it was? That it existed? I was hard to tell.
It dipped its long, strange beak into the liquid, slurped some of it, and flew away.
This seagull was fine with being what it was.
I tried licking the black liquid after the seagull was gone and I had climbed out of the dumpster.
It burned and made me very upset.
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