Public transportation is a wonderful thing; a cheap way of getting from A to B if you're not in all that much of a hurry, with the added benefit of the entire world on display for you at any given moment. Sometimes you see a homeless woman hunched over the newspapers she is obsessively shredding, sometimes you walk into a car with an honest-to-god showman singing his ass off. Sometimes you spill into a seat on the bus on your way to the Yankees game and find a picture of a man holding his pet macaw for the enjoyment of his family and passersby in the empty space next to you.
Really, I could have picked a seat anywhere on that bus. I could have stood. I could have been crammed right on top of the picture as some annoying person shoved me over. I was actually running late and missed the bus I wanted to take. But that's the luck of the draw with public transportation. I was on the bus for maybe three minutes and it absolutely made my day. Look at that picture!
The man is holding an enormous bird. I can't emphasize this enough. His boy is pointing at him as if to say "Dad! You are awesome-despite dressing me, or allowing me to be dressed, in this weirdo nineties take on Huck Finn—you are holding an enormous bird!" His wife is pleased as only a woman in a family portrait involving an enormous bird can be. The daughter, ignored, happy to relate to animals, if anything. Dogs are happy even if they are only cared for by the unloved daughter.
It was a portion of a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet that looked like it was cut out of something larger. Maybe someone found it to be exactly as ridiculous as it is and cut it out to share with others and just left it when the joke was over. Maybe this was part of a Jehovah's Witness's cheat sheet as they boned up before pounding the pavement, only to be forgotten. Whatever it was, it found its way to the seat next to the one I sat down in for three minutes and, no talk on my stoop needed Witnesses, I believe.
The most preposterous thing is the most obvious. "How is [family happiness] possible?" An adult male, with a wife, son and daughter, holding an enormous bird is offered as proof positive that family happiness is indeed possible. But what makes it possible? "I am a man," you think. "I have a wife and son," you say. "I don't have a dog, but I have a cat—same difference."
"What am I missing?"
You are missing an enormous bird. You do not have an enormous bird. You have no idea the magical happiness an enormous bird will unlock in your heart. You need only let the enormous bird in your life and you will understand this man's happiness. Elusive? Yes. But only because you cannot see the enormous bird. See the enormous bird. Through enormous birds all things are made.