Fall. Fall, I say. She doesn’t. She stays perched on her branch. Fall, I say. She does not. This ritual—the repetition is liturgical. A call and response in absentia. There is no rejoinder. There is no: and also with you. There is only silence and the absence in her eyes. Fall, I say again. She looks down where I stand. She looks away into the distance. I look. I see what she sees. Nothing there. Fall, I say. She’s like an unhinged censer rolling away down a transept. Fall, I say. And she jumps. I turn. I step away.
“And then suddenly the life would go out of them and they would sit round the table looking at one another with extinct eyes, like ghosts fading at cock-crow.”
— George Orwell / 1984