I have pet chickens in my backyard.
My least favorite chicken died yesterday. We weren't that close. I have a special bond with my other chickens -- they all have strong personalities and are feisty or stubborn or friendly. They stand out from the crowd but Little Beer was a quiet simple chicken. Maybe she had a deep inner life.
Who knows? She was a chicken. And now she is dead.
Yesterday, Little Beer's sister, Mohawk -- the other silkie chicken that she was brought up with from chickdom -- was bereaved. Mohawk wouldn't talk or eat or move. She just stood there stunned. Last night, instead of making a perch on the toilet in their coop (where she usually sleeps), she curled up on the floor of the coop. I poked her to make sure she was still alive. She looked at me without any recognition. I tried to get her to eat the most delicious chicken feed but she wouldn't budge. I thought this morning I would have another fluffy yellow chicken body to bury.
But this morning Mohawk hopped out of the coop with the other chickens, her period of morning, at least temporarily, ended. I brought her her own food and made the other chickens back off so she could eat, but there was no need: Mohawk was hungry and wasn't going to be bullied. She was back to her better self.
I have great plans for a chicken funeral. I want to dress up in my farmer outfit (where I look very much like my avatar from the formerly addictive facebook game, Farmville) and say some words over Little Beer's grave with the other chickens in attendance. I want to bury her with some good food and a bottle of beer. It would be fun and playful and a genuine celebration of Little Beer's life.
Lately I have taken to obsessively videotaping myself giving monologues while doing various things or going about my life. I do this because I do so many things alone and I want someone to share them with. So, I video them so that I can either edit the videos and share the online or so that I can just feel like there is someone to talk to about my experiences -- even if that "someone" is a credit card sized crappy video camera.
I would like to videotape the chicken funeral. But then I realize, it might be difficult to find someone to hold the camera. And there isn't enough time to train my dog to do it.
Like many single people, I have friends. I have wonderful friends and wonderful roommates. But as Special K commented on my Vday post, my life lacks intimacy. In the past, I have had intimate friendships where we knew everything about each other and talked all the time and we were available to each other for support no matter what. But as my friends coupled off or married, our intimate friendship was crowded out by their intimate partnership with their partner or spouse. And now, all too aware of the energies a romantic relationship demands, I am reluctant to develop new intimate friendships because I know that they are essentially temporary, a stop gap until one of us couples.
Although I take issue with the way our culture works, it is still the way our culture works.
And so, with the death of Little Beer, I also realize that what I would really like is a capable, supportive person in my life who would enjoy participating in a chicken funeral and would gracefully hold the video camera while I perform the necessary invented rites required to lay Little Beer to rest. It is an odd request and one made on a weekday in cloudy weather. If I am going to put the fun back in chicken funeral, I would like another human to share this unique experience with.
There are a few people I could call upon. I could ask one of my roommates, I could ask my best city friend. But people are busy. There are so many other things to do.