Bird, 195

a documentary it said that when his two year old daughter died Charlie Parker was in Hollywood and his 
wife Chan was in New York. 

He was off heroin at the time but drinking.
“The night he got the news Parker sent four telegrams from Los Angeles to New York, each more 
incoherent than the last.”

The first: “My darling. Our daughter’s death surprised me more than it did you. Forgive me for not being 
there with you. Yours, most sincerely, your husband, Charlie Parker.”

The second: “My darling, for God’s sake hold on. Charles Parker.”

The third: “My daughter is dead. I know it. I will be there as quick as I can. My name is Bird. Let me be 
the first one to approach you. I am your husband. Sincerely, Charlie Parker.”

The fourth: “Chan… help      Charlie.”

It seems to me that each one is actually clearer than the one before it.
If someone had asked me to write a fifth telegram for Parker that night I would have written:

“I am surprised to see that the weather still goes on without her. I see angels flying with round open 
mouths like the silvered black ends of gun barrels calling back to us ‘There is news, there is good news!’ 
but there is no news. And there are no angels.”

But I do not think that it would match the clarity of that last telegram of his.

A man slowly cutting himself apart with a knife.

© Michael Blouin