I hadn't been home for a while. What with the army and college and all. News arrived that my youngest sister, Bonnie, was getting married.
I arrived at the county courthouse early. It was hot and muggy outside so I went into the air-conditioned room where the wedding ceremony was to be held.
A few people were already seated. Shortly after I took a seat, a well-dressed, distinguished-looking woman leaned over two seats and said: "You must be Bonnie's brother."
I nodded in the affirmative.
She asked "Which one?" I told her "I'm Terry."
She said "Oh." And we both went back to watching people wander in.
A few moments later, she leaned over and said: "You are the one the birds talk about."
I thought I misunderstood. "Excuse me?" I asked.
She said "No! I meant to say bird. You are the one the bird talked about."
I wondered "How nuts is this woman?" and looked away.
She tapped me on the shoulder, looked into my eyes very seriously, as if to make herself understood, and said "Nevermore!"
At the reception, I told this story to Bonnie.
She laughed and said: "Do you remember the myna bird that mom used to have? Well, that woman used to come over and visit, and each time someone slammed the door the way you used to, the myna bird would call out 'Terry!' just the way mom always did. You are the person the bird talked about."
myna bird's name was "Nevermore."