Last few months I've been dreaming and remembering more. Not as much as I have in the past, but more than I have the last few years. It's a start.
This dream I could have done without.
I am given a little blue heron (not to be confused with a juvenile great blue) that is mortally injured, his beak is cracked and in pieces. It's awful. I have nothing to put him out of his suffering, so I have to use my hands.
There's a thing I have with little blue herons in waking life. They tend to show up when I need a friend most, to tell me it's going to be okay, that I'll be okay. I don't have prophetic dreams, but having one show up like this feels unreasonably foreboding.
I try to snap his neck where it meets the back of the skull, but I don't do a good job of it. One would think it would be easy to break the neck of something to so small. But he doesn't stop moving. My thumbs press too hard and cave in the skull, blood pools under my fingernails and runs warm over my hands. He doesn't stop moving. It might be the last kick of the nervous system, but I'm afraid he's still alive, still feeling, still in pain. I try again, and I feel him finally go limp.
Did not wake up well this morning.
Did my best to make things go better; I'd done plenty on Wednesday to feel like I'd set myself up for a constructive day at work. Couldn't shake that dream.
"You're not asleep now," Captain Howdy points out. "What would you do differently?"
'I would realize I was dreaming. I would mend the little blue's beak with nothing more than intent and a touch, open my hands, and watch him fly free.'
"You can do that now."
Found out that Julian, one of the anhingas, had come back from the vet that morning. He had a large abscess under one wing that had gotten infected, and they'd had to operate. He'd gone in Tuesday afternoon after one of my coworkers told hospital that there was blood in the pen.
Two weeks ago was the first time we'd told them someone in the pen was bleeding. Two of the hospital techs had gone down and looked them over, but did not physically handle the birds. The hospital admin was unaware of this, and initially insinuated that someone on grounds should have noticed it sooner. Yeah we did, and not a whole lot happened when we said something.
Admin is now pissed off at the tech, but to be honest, they have no protocol for inspecting injured resident birds. She likely would have done the same, what the fuck else did she want him to do. Most of the time we're lucky to get someone to check it out within a few days of reporting the injury. Julian's injury had progressed to the point that the bone was infected, and the vets had to amputate the entire wing.
My jaw fucking dropped when she told me that. The entire wing? She said he was grandfathered into the permits, even though that amp is technically illegal. All I could think was that it would be impossible for him to balance and climb up the tree in his pen with an entire wing gone.
Julian was still out of it from the anesthesia when they brought him back this morning. I could barely look at him, and wished that he'd stayed asleep. Thinking what it would be like to wake up find I had an entire limb missing. It would be fucking horrifying. Even moreso if I didn't understand why and nobody could explain to me.
I'm not an especially cold-hearted person, but I do have cold blood on tap at a moment's notice. If the vet had told me the extent of the injury and how much of Julian's wing they would have to amputate, I would have told them to euthanize rather than put him through that surgery.
Julian was one of my favorite birds at the sanctuary, one of the favorites in general. He was so fucking sexy, for one. Just a super good-looking bird. He'd been a decent surrogate parent for other anhingas. Definitely a loved part of the family.
It would have broken my heart to ask the vets to euthanize, but it would have broken my heart more to see him missing an entire wing, off balance and clumsy, unable to climb or swim, day after day, week after week, until he'd hurt himself to the point where he'd have to be euthanized anyway.
Julian did end up passing on his own a few hours later. I cried but was also relieved. Although I would have loved to have been wrong, the chances of him maintaining enough balance to have a decent quality of life were slim to none. He would have struggled, and he would have certainly suffered.
That's one of the worst things to see. Our peregrine suffered, too. Even when it was clear he was stressed, hurting, needing to go, hospital didn't do anything for him, just hoped for the off chance that he would get better anyway. Am I bitter? Hell yeah I am. Same old mentality from the previous director, much as they've claimed to move away from that.
Could the day get any rougher? Sure it could. Found out they'd dropped the largest non-nuclear weapon on Afghanistan over lunch. What in the fucking fuck?
I haven't been this freaked out over the possibility of war since the 80s. It's not like I even know what war is like. All I know is that people who don't know I even exist have the ability to destroy everything I care about in the world. Fuck them, and fuck that. We have failed so entirely as a species. We don't deserve to make it through the next wave of evolution.
Bitsy and Gatsby hung out together this afternoon, talking about apex predator things, talking about what to do about humans. They clearly do not deserve this planet, clearly have no consideration for anyone else who needs it. They have to go.
Let me know if there's anything I can do to help, I offer.
'We can't trust you,' says Bitsy. That's fair.
I could drive the car once you've got it all planned out and it's past the point where I could do anything about it, I pressed.
'That could be possible,' Bitsy decides.
I'm on their side, even if I'm not permitted to choose it until the end. I'm all for whatever Bitsy and Gatsby have planned.
Driving home from work, walking through the store, all I could imagine were burnt out fallen buildings, empty ash-riddled aisles. It did not depress me as much as you would thing. The primary feeling was one of 'good. we deserved this' and 'I want to watch this burn.'
I hope tomorrow goes better.