the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Angry Birds

I was sitting at the kitchen table after dinner, which consisted of a tuna fish salad and hummus on wheat bread. It was a somewhat dark in the room because I turned off the overhead “chandelier,” as my mother call the light fixture; the apartment tends to get hot, and the eight teardrop-shaped bulbs add extra heat.

As I finished my diet Snapple, I let my mind wander, and a specific image came to my mind. There was a small bird sitting in the palm of my hand. It was more a newly hatched chick than an adult bird with the ability to fly. I think the bird was bright yellow, like an Easter Peep, but I’m not sure. The bird felt so light, almost weightless. I kept my hand perfectly still, to be gentle with her. And it was a “her.” I don’t know how I knew, but I knew.

The bird chirped. She was hungry. I didn’t want to walk all the way to the fridge to look for food. I worried about accidentally dropping her onto the floor. I was incredibly anxious about holding this bird in my palm of my hand, something I had never done before. I wanted to be very careful. I grabbed a container of Italian bread crumbs that was nearby, on the kitchen counter, and poured the grains into my hand. The bird munched and savored her meal, eating voraciously.

And then the bird died.

I don’t know why this happened. I started to cry. It was my fault. I fretted over what to do with this dead bird in my head. Should I wrap her in a paper towel? Should I bury her? And where?

I glanced at my iPhone sitting on the other end of the table, and I immediately understood the reason behind the mysterious appearance of this tiny female bird in the crevices of my brain. I had played Angry Birds earlier that day for at least an hour, and the repetitive nature of the birds smashing into glass must have made an impact on my soul. All that death and destruction!

I laughed at the ridiculousness of my own stupid irrational thoughts. From tears to laughter over imaginary birds. How powerful you are, dear Almighty Brain. You rule us all.

For that brief moment, I understood the feeling of a nervous breakdown.

Truth Quotient: 90% True!  Except for the nervous breakdown part.  That is there for melodrama.


  1. Rene Foran

    so what do you think was in those breadcrumbs that killed the little bird?

  2. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    You know how we love birds at my house. Once when I was sitting on the deck in summer, a bird landed on my head. I sat VERY STILL. It was cool to feel the air move when it fluttered its wings and took off.

  3. sage

    i think there’s something to be said for birds. i used to think my friend who died was in the crowd of pigeons that used to sit on my window ledge. poor little birdie..

  4. Juli

    No. Some of us are ruled by our hearts.

    “I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination.” -John Keats

  5. The Honourable Husband

    I heards some guy from Nokia say that every day, 125 years worth of Angry Birds are played on Android equipped devices alone. So that’s not even counting your contribution. Keep up the good work.

  6. Jane Gassner

    Hmmmmm. A dream analyst would ask: what or who is the little yellow bird that is so weightless on your hand?

  7. Matilda George

    I often wonder what a nervous breakdown feels like. I’ve been overwhelmed before. I’ve certainly felt anxious and overly stressed too. But I do not know what it is like to have a nervous breakdown. I would imagine there is crying involved. Perhaps thoughts of suicide filter in. And out. But how does one know they are having a nervous breakdown when no one has ever described what one feels like? Good post.

  8. teahouseblossom

    Ah, yes, Angry Birds. I’m totally addicted to it. I’ve completely maxed out every level from 1-13, with 3 stars. I’m a maniac.

  9. Robby

    So true, our brain is powerful… poor bird you kill her on your brain. 🙂
    great post!

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