Polly is a sweet lady who seems to prefer the companionship of birds. Deeply beautiful in that freckly earth-mother way, she always wears colorful beads. Dozens of cages contain hundreds of bright busy birds: budgies, cockatiels, a macaw. Some of them will perch on her finger, singing. She's tamed them. Others, though, will never accept her. "It's a survival instinct," she says.
The house smells like a chicken coop.
Other than avians, Polly lives alone. She has a number of deeply-held beliefs, such as that daylight savings time is a conspiracy against poor people. And she believes that all the problems with George W. Bush can be explained by a botched circumcision.
Polly is not unpleasant, but she can be strident.
For her fortieth birthday Polly bought a computer and a fancy surge protector which, when plugged into the outlet, flashes a red error light indicating a broken ground.
It's a three-prong outlet, but when I open it, there's no ground wire. Just some old two-wire ungrounded Romex. I explain to Polly that somebody replaced the original two-prong outlet with a three-prong, though they never added an actual ground wire.
"You mean, they made it look like a grounded outlet even though they knew it wasn't grounded?"
Polly frowns. "Now that is an evil act."
She's right. Sort of. It's petty evil. It was also, probably, simply an act of convenience.
On Polly's terms, there's a lot of evil in construction. There's evil everywhere, constant menace. Polly is ever on guard. You get the sense that she'll never be your friend. Or anybody's friend.
Some birds will never perch on fingers.
Note: photo by Jerry Tillery (from Wikipedia).