• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05

A Hummingbird by a Lady

Everything happened on the week she saw the humming bird—her first apartment in the city and there was a climbing hibiscus vine outside her window with big red flowers, and the hummingbird would come and feed, it was that same week—her first week in the city, her first apartment, her first hummingbird and now she had to leave?

There was fire on the hills and the smoke was suddenly everywhere and her passport had expired and the lines at the grocery store were long and the embassy wouldn’t return her calls—but she saw the hummingbird for the first time, fluttering back and forth and hovering around the red hibiscus flowers, and it seemed like a sign that everything might work out.

Down the street on the promenade people gathered and exchanged food and supplies and stories and numbers: Call me if you need anything, call me if you want to talk later, and someone put up a box in the bookshop next to the cash register so that people could drop off requests of things needed, or notes of thoughts they needed to share, and others could pick them up when they felt like it so that no one was ever alone during everything, and she wrote on a piece of paper: Today I saw a hummingbird for the first time, and she drew a picture and the red of the flower was the red of the fire and she hoped someone would pick it up and tell her that it was a good sign, and that the rain would finally come.