Big Bird

Big Bird felt especially clever after pocketing a plastic ashtray from the local tavern after last call on Tuesday night. The barmaid had noticed but felt sorry and embarrassed at his clumsy attempt at discretion. What did it matter anyway she thought. He usually tipped and never made a mess.

“Good night Suzy.” Big Bird chuckled as he left the bar.

While walking home from the tavern, Big Bird stepped into an alley to huff some glue and drink a small bottle that he had bought earlier at the gas station. It was vodka and it was on sale. The vodka was made in Missouri and truly tasted like poison.

It didn’t really matter at this point. His head instantly felt warm, even as the snow began to fall around him.

Big Bird was a bit dizzy and confused when he mistook Oscar in his trash can as a packed weed bowl and set him on fire.

After almost two months in the burn ward, Oscar died of infection. His last words were, “I want to be a garbage man.”

Big Bird is now wracked with guilt. His drinking problem and depression have gotten worse.  He hasn’t bathed or cleaned his tiny studio apartment in weeks. It smelled like Oscar’s charred flesh. Everything does now.

Standing next to the broken hotplate, he finishes another fifth of cheap Canadian whiskey and holds onto the edge of the sink for balance.

Big Bird kicks his way through a dozen empty aluminum cans as he stumbles across the room. He manages to sit up on his cum stained couch or ‘love seat’ as he used to call it.

“Man did I used to get laid.” He almost smiles and says to himself, “Good pussy too.”

In front of him is what was once his grandfather’s coffee table. Now covered with old porno magazines, unopened mail and cigarette butts overflowing in a plastic ashtray.

Big Bird vaguely remembers some obligation to pay an electric bill or maybe sewage. It’s hard to remember anything these days or care for that matter.

Big Bird closes one eye to focus and stares at his dark green acrylic bong, a quarter filled with putrid brown water and then his break-action shotgun which he had recently moved from under the bed.


Projected Letters is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the best new and established writing from around the world.


Zachary H Loewenstein never meant for things to be like this. He has lived and worked for many years in Lower Luxembourg after having received his Doctoral Degree in Anesthesiology from the University of Leiden in The Netherlands. Zachary is also a successful organic gardener. His favorite bird is Maglan.