I can't even think of a fitting title

Yes, pops, just plain loony

So I had this serious and heartfelt and vaguely profound post bubbling around in my head all day, and I came home all set to actually put it in words and get it up here. But I reached my front door to find a package from my Dad, inside which was the little fellow on the right in the photo above, along with a card: "Because sometimes life is just plain loony!! Love, Dad." This sent me into a spate of half-laughing, half-sobbing, in a way I don't think I could replicate if I tried, because it's all just so unbelievably...something.

Here's the thing: after the breakup with G. in 2004, Erfert brought me a bottle of booze and a stuffed ptarmigan from Wild Republic's line of Audubon birds ("with real bird calls!") which, when squeezed, sounds a ridiculous but delightful ptarmigan call. The ptarmigan was soon joined by others (a loon, a chickadee, a bluejay, a thrush), all of whom perched on the back of my sofa.

Though I can't remember exactly when or how, last summer Erik took a liking to the loon (that's him on the left above), and eventually he became our steadfast companion, coming with us to Vancouver and perching with us when we watched movies and calling out his loony call through all of it.

One afternoon, one of us squeezed the loon and, rather than his standard "whooOOOOoooOOOooo," he let out what sounded like an angry squawk from some other bird altogether. A while later, he added to his repertoire a sweet songbird-like chirping. And he'd switch between these calls and his normal one seemingly at random. (I swear I'm not making this up; there's video-recorded proof.)

Over the last few months, the loon started to lose his voice, his calls (all three) growing increasingly metallic and warbled. By a couple of weeks ago, he was all but silent. Squeeze him now and you get the aural equivalent of seeing someone who's always been robust and healthy withered away to skin and bones.

During our weepy pow-wow yesterday, Erik told me that he'd watched the short video of the loon he'd taken back in late summer and said he heard a radical difference between what the loon sounded like then and what he'd become. I choked back a heave/sob thing and said, "Loved to muteness."

So when I came home today and unwrapped another loon, this one with a call that's loud and strong and clear, it felt like there were a billion messages coming down from the universe, but I couldn't understand any of them.

My Dad sent me a stuffed loon to help soothe my broken heart. This loon is sort of small and runty compared to the original loon, but he calls out clearly. The original loon--our loon, the loon so beloved by the boy I love(d)--is bigger and fuller but now can only warble weakly.

It all means so much. It all means so little.

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