Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28/11 new cat

Is it too soon to be overjoyed? Katie says, her hand buried in a bellyful of the softest fur either of us has ever felt, "I feel like were dancing on Honey's grave."

Every time I believe I've reached my capacity, for love or happiness or whatever, I am blown wide open by yet another thing that proves to me I have no idea how much I can feel, love, enjoy, experience. A long haired calico cat with a white belly and sweet green eyes purrs between us as we lie on the bed, her back pushed up against my leg, one pink-padded paw draped over Katie's leg, and my heart feels fit to burst.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 Rrrrargh

Work has been brutal, the last week. The accumulated karma of 15 years of slacking coming home to roost.

It feels like something inside me has been beaten - not defeated, but actually beaten, tenderized. A part of me has given up, at least for now, but even so, I can feel it lurking, waiting to rise back up and assert its stupid, foolish dominance.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

11/15/11 Allocating your time

"I don't believe that you spend 7o% of your time on my work," I read in her email, and the anxiety which I'd been staving off for the past few hours comes crashing back. My head seems to swell up like a balloon full of blood and I wonder if this is what it feels like right before a person has a stroke.

This is what comes of working in industries where you have no native talent or interest, and a strange resolve kindles in me.

I am going to find a job in a place that roughly corresponds to what I actually care about.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/13/11 I know how you feel, kid.

The child walking behind us begins to snarl and howl. His mother gently encourages his displays of spookiness: "Oh, you're pretty scary."

I look up for the full moon that has been dogging me the past few days, but I can't seem to find it. The kid goes, "Ow-oooooooooooo!"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

11/12/11 too soon?

"Katie" is the name they give for the calico/Maine coon cat mix in the cage in front of us. Her eyes, the same color as my only-a-week-gone-kitteh, watch us with relaxed interest, and then close in satisfaction as we stroke her long, soft fur.

We talk ourselves into and out of taking her home four different times over the course of an hour, finally deciding that it wouldn't be fair to bring her home for a few months and then have us leave on vacation.

Of course, the real reason is that we still haven't completely gotten rid of all the cat hair, and toys, dishes, and pillows where she slept, that remind us of Honey.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 Fall Fell

Overnight, the city has gone from the shabby end of summer to full blown fall. The ginko trees shed golden leaves in sheets as cold wind gusts down Brooklyn streets.

Katie and I walk west with clouds scudding overhead, past trees with brick-toned leaves. "Are they the same color as my hair?" she asks, knowing that, even in the fleeting sun, they couldn't possibly shine as bright as that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11/9/11 Waking Up is Hard to Do

Katie's new job has us waking at the same time, and both of our alarms go off simultaneously, making a quiet digital racket in our bedroom.

She and I have completely different morning styles, given that she would like to murder all goodness in her rage at being awake anytime before nine A.M., and I am cheerful, instantly awake, and full of energy.

Last night I commented on us being up at the same time, and how did she like it? "You're so cute in the morning I want to smother you with a pillow," she said.

11/8/11 Sick Holiday

Home from work on election day, as my company takes the day off for some reason. I probably would have and should have taken the day off anyway, as the head cold I've been nursing for the past few weeks has kicked in with a vengeance.

I decide to take advantage of the free day to stay inside and write, but the words are coming hard today. Some days I get to my 500 words and I fall away from the keyboard feeling like I've been wrestling with something large, wild, and completely out of my control.

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/11 Instigator

"Any room for a little person?" I hear the cracked voice of an older woman ask, mock plaintively. The train is packed and she cackles as the grumbling commuters crammed around the door grudgingly make way. She then proceeds, in sotto voce that carries above the rattle of the tracks, to urge the people around her to punch each other in the face.

As I step off the train, she stands by the door watching all of us disembark, a brightly colored, iridescent feather on her black cap, a satisfied smirk on her face.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

11/5/11 Remember, remember

The vet leaves the room for a minute to "give us some time." The first injection was administered without much fuss, and after a moment of the kitty thinking that she might go take a walk on the floor, she lays down on my lap, completely relaxed and breathing slow and easy.

We stroke her fur, pet her head, play with her paws and tail, all in the ways that she would never let us do before now, when she was conscious and able to object. Her paws twitch, as do her ears, as if she is dreaming of walking away from us, and I tell Katie I hope it's a good dream.

Friday, November 4, 2011

11/4/11 That'll work

"So Jonathan," I said, "you're similar to my wife in your rage and your restlessness and intolerance for boredom. What do you suggest for activities when we're low on funds?"

He thought for a moment. "Booze and Wii," he said.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

11/3/11 The March of Sickness

I knew, as I went to bed last night, that this morning I would have a cold. All the usual suspects showed - the heavy dryness in my sinuses, the stinging, swollen throat, the shaky exhaustion - and made my dreams (once I was finally able to sleep) strange and unsettling.

On waking, however, I found myself still only in the initial stages, waiting on the further indignities to come. I ate handfuls of Tylenol, sucked down spicy and bitter herbal elixirs, gargled desperately with warm water into which I'd dissolved crushed aspirin and salt, but nothing seemed to arrest the inevitable march of sickness through my body.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/2/11 She who is not busy eating 9-Lives is busy dying.

My cat meows plaintively at the door outside our bedroom where Katie and I lay asleep. It is four in the morning, and like the elderly of any species, she has trouble sleeping through the night. Since the majority of her time that is not spent sleeping is now spent eating, any time she is awake she has decided that she must be hungry, and she therefore demands to be fed.

I am a light sleeper, unlike my slumbering wife who manages to sleep right through the cat's complaints, and so I struggle out of bed to feed the beast, who circles my feet, still yelling, until I plop the food onto her plate with a wet splat to place it gently before her, and stumble in darkness back to bed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11/1/11 - another morning

My high school band teacher, Mr. McEnaney, drilled into our heads that, when exiting a bus, it is always polite to thank the bus driver. Today, while getting off the B67, which I only take in direst of need when I hope to catch the earlier train into work by lopping off the few blocks between the 7th Avenue Q Train station and my house, every single person thanked the bus driver as we exited. It was very satisfying.

In the station, a man, presumably homeless, lay sleeping in one of the giant, three-wheeled baby carriages that jogging parents use to take their offspring with them on their daily run, and it seemed to fit him quite well.