I’m sure they have a word for this, the rest of the birds that litter my yard post-sunrise must have seen this kind of obsession more than once, Spotted Towhee. Repeatedly flinging yourself at an imaginary enemy, ignoring any and all actual challengers in favor of this one, true nemesis. Your development has been stunted, sidetracked by a challenger of your own making, by your inability to simply turn your head to see that there is more to do in a day than just batter the glass.
When you arrived, you had a girl. I saw her. Shy and dim-colored, you told her you’d be right back, didn’t you. That you just had to prove this one guy, this one imaginary foe you saw through your pane of glass was wrong. Then you would be free, then you could be together. But every morning, every time you look, there’s another one. And another. It’s like they don’t hear you, like they don’t understand that you’re right. There’s always another bird in that little window.
Where is she now Towhee? Did she get tired of waiting while you ranted and raved at your glittering screen? This perfect specimen of opposition that exists only because you keep going back to call it out, rather than stretching your wings and considering the rest of the world.
I’ve blocked you from the object of your obsession more than once now. Chased you off, spent time and energy, erected barriers of tinsel and fabric to keep you from seeing that imaginary enemy. Tried to get you to see that your time would be better off spent building your bower, on paying attention to that shy lady bird who waited every night for you to finish your screed. Instead you flung yourself at an illusion until panting and spent, energy poured out in a tirade that feels like a real fight, that feels like a defense of that idea you hold most dear. But your dear has left, flown off with another bird who was more interested in being there than in being the victor over an imaginary foe.
And at the end of the day, when that shining pane of glass finally goes dark and you pick and pluck at the remnants of cheese puffs and bits of bread the other birds felt beneath their notice, you feel strangely unfulfilled. There was no victory. There was no triumph. There was only a null response as the other bird vanished due to a change you couldn’t comprehend. Look up, Spotted Towhee, look out into the larger world. Forget the glass, forget the enemy that cares not for winning or losing. Go find another shy bird and be free.