Monday, August 31, 2015

Gift Horse

Simone, the cat, likes to announce her success hunting kangaroo rats by bringing them to the bed in the middle of the night. She has to vocalize out the side of her full mouth. Rrroow. Rrroow.

Thanks Simone.

I pat the bed stand in search of a head lamp, knocking off reading glasses and pens. When I find it, strap it on, and shine some light, there she is, eyes glowing, kangaroo rat drooping in her jaws.


Aye. I try not to wake Megan when I coax Simone off the bed and out into the living area or kitchen where I can try to get her to drop her prize, catch it myself, and toss it back into the wild desert.

She then looks at me like I am a lunatic before she lies down and plans her next foray. I close the cat door to prevent more sleep depriving suprises.

Such is the pattern of my life: a cat that wakes me up, a job that puts me to sleep, an old house with swamp cooling that is so hot at night I soak the sheets with sweat, money that is never enough, a brain that gets dizzy, feels lost, and refuses to focus.

Simone loves me in spite of it all. She rubs her head on my sweaty bike jerseys.

She stretches out her front paws to say adios when I leave on Monday mornings to go to work. She says hurry back so we can hang out after you feed me.

She doesn't care that sleep, money, time, brain are all in short supply. She doesn't care that I feel pressed to respond and have to leave my brooding thoughts behind to join the day, do my part, make my daily bread.

Part of me, as you might guess, does not like having to do this. In fact, that part of me hates it, is angry, wants to be left alone, and, sometimes, even wants out. This life is just too freakin' complicated and miserable.

The better part of me, the one who loves my cat, my swamp cooler, my poverty, my confusion, knows that this a good life. It comes in the form of a cat that says "Let's eat rodents!" which is her way of saying "Lighten up!"

I want to look this life in the mouth and say that the dentition is far from perfect and that I reject such a sorry premise for an existence. But that is bad form when one is given a gift.

So, once again, here I am at the crossroads of another Monday. Down one fork lies the litany of all that is wrong; down the other lies the abundance of surprise, delight, pathetic humor.

Come on brain, help me out here. That horse is waiting. The prize wants to be held close. 

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