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2004-08-23 - 3:40 p.m.

There is nothing more historically symbolic than a birdís wing. Staring down at the tussled feathers of an appendage that bared all the signs of a violent amputation, I tried desperately to find something in this juicy little tid-bit that I could apply to my current emotions and the recent events that have born them.

The wing was lying in the street in the diamond district, an area where hundreds of millions of dollars change hands everyday, in the form of carefully mined, cut, and polished shiny rocks. Diamonds, when they first emerge, could easily be lost in your average everyday gravel driveway, so plain and common are their appearance. The glitter and bluster they contain when looking up from a cooing bride-to-beís finger is totally manufactured, the work of meticulous craftsmen who chip and fracture each stone until it nestles into that perfect shape where light becomes its plaything.

The block is propped up by densely stuffed wholesalers and retailers. So many of them have made this one block a home that street level real-estate is all but gone, and the second level of each of these buildings is often occupied by a show room, should anyone have the thigh strength to visit them. Barkers hawk their particular brands of finery every two feet, though most of their slogans are worn and beaten from overuse. They seem to slide to the concrete, as if their speakerís lips had been greased.

Among the dribbled words, discarded fliers, cigarette butts, and the standard drool the city seems to emit out of each crack in the sidewalk, was this torn wing Ė grey, but seemingly in every grey in the rainbow, darker specks on the long top feathers, and near white for the stubby ones towards the bottom.

The bone that used to connect it to the strangely absent torso, stands stark white, without a drop of coagulated blood, looking like it had been cleaned, like someone had picked it up, considered it, and then spit shined it with his shirt, placing it carefully back down. Whatever circumstance brought the owner of this wing to leave it here, it was done with the utmost sterility.

What this symbolizes I have no idea - lost hope, a defeated piece of nature surrounded by carefully structured society, all the basic themes are there for the mining, none of which, of course, relate to me, and none lend themselves to some kind of morality tale.

Itís just a broken wing lying on the street, and thatís all it will ever be, no matter what forces of imagination I whip around it.

Itís just a broken wing, and thatís all it will ever be, except of course to its former owner, but heíll never fill it with meaning. Heís too busy trying to fly on one wing.

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