I live in a condo in the city. I recently put a bird feeder on my deck and now nature comes to me. It’s magical.

When I sit at the dining room table and write, I can look out and see the birds, flitting away, secure in the knowledge that they don’t have to eat city garbage to survive. While other birds in this environment are living off hot dog wrappers and the rare dead rat, my birds are feasting on Safeway bird food.

Sometimes when I’m lying in bed in the morning I can hear them chirping to one another. It opens my heart.

When I sit at the table and write, I glance up and watch them.

I wonder what they’re saying.

“Boy, this lady’s a sucker for feeding us. There’s a whole park full of acorns right down the street.”

(Do they eat acorns? That can’t be right.)

“Look at that lady on her computer. Doesn’t she know there’s more to life than that?”

“Look at that posture! Does her mom know she sits like that for long periods of time?”

“Why won’t she spend money on better quality food?”

Jesus birds! I’m trying to do a good thing here. Why are you trying to destroy me?

They’ve left other proof that they’re mad at me. They shit all over the deck railings and throw a bunch of the food out of the feeder and onto the deck floor. Sometimes I’ll see them, there in the feeder, and it almost seems like they’re purposely using their tails to shove food out of the feeder and onto my deck. I assume it then falls onto the deck below ours, but I’m afraid of heights so I can’t lean over and look. And also I don’t really want to know.

I try to keep it clean. I sweep it and throw the discarded food in the garbage, and sometimes I even wipe down the railing with a paper towel and water. Then I scrub my hands like a madman because I’m afraid of bird flu.

Like I said, these birds bring joy into my life.