Tag Archives: cats

Life is still hard.

The other night I had to go back to work after a week and a half hiatus. I was so distraught that I called my mom from outside the office before I went inside. I whined. And mostly she didn’t listen. She was in a good mood about napkin rings or something and wasn’t indulging my compaints at all. At one point I started to say, “I feel like my soul is dying,” but she cut me off.

At the end of the conversation she said, “Go to work. You have to do it.” And hearing those words reminded me of all the times she’d told me similar things–when I didn’t want to go to school, or softball practice, or Abby’s ninth birthday party at the roller rink. I’m not sure there was anything I did want to do as a child. Many times I’d sit beside one of our cats on the floor and feel the strongest envy towards its lifestyle. All you have to do all day is sleep. You have it so good, Smokey. So hearing my mom say, “You have to do it,” triggered that same old whiney response from growing up. “I know. You don’t have to tell me.”

As soon as those words came out, though, I realized I needed to pull myself together. It was disgusting. It was like I’d forgotten to take my dignity with me when I’d left the house that day.

Anyway. Work was fine. I survived. Just as I survived school, and softball practice, and Abby’s ninth birthday party.

Funny story–one time at softball practice I was playing catch with one of my teammates to warm up. We’d separated from the group a little bit and gone by the fence at the edge of the field. My dad came over and was watching us from the other side of the fence. My teammate saw him and didn’t realize it was my dad. She thought it was a stranger and a threatening one, too. She told me to follow her to another part of the field, away from the fence.

I didn’t tell her it was my dad or that he was nothing to worry about. Which I would feel guilty about, except…I didn’t want to be at practice to begin with.

“If you touch me you’ll understand what happiness is…”*

*That’s a mighty claim, Andrew Lloyd Webber…

Yesterday I went to the Salvation Army. My plan was to buy a coffee table. The thing that’s so great about thrift stores like the Army, though, is that you never know what you’re going to find. For instance, in the electronics department I found these:

TWO televisions simultaneously playing “Cats”, paired with one television playing J. Lo and Matthew McConaughey’s “The Wedding Planner”. These three screens distracted my attention for at least five minutes. (Five of the best minutes of my life.)

In the end, I didn’t go home with a coffee table.  Nor did I go home with a TV or a VHS copy of “The Wedding Planner”.  (I already own it on DVD.)  Instead, I went home with a pair of rollerblades and a plaid shirt that was in the men’s department even though it’s clearly a woman’s shirt.

Updates on future failed attempts to purchase a coffee table to follow.  I wrote a poem about a coffee table when I was in college.  It was just a list of stuff that had been left on the one in my dorm room after a particularly drunken weekend.

Poets are so pretentious.


Please experience 3:00:

And another month has passed.

The month of May has always been close to my heart. My mom’s maiden name is May. My eldest brother was born in May. And, you know, flowers are nice.

Three weeks ago I went into one of those fast-food breakfast chains, bought a bagel with cream cheese and a medium hazelnut coffee, and then rushed back onto the street to catch a subway and a train out of the city. As usual, I was completely lost in my head. More than likely a little hungover. Slightly worried about missing my train. And drifting back and forth between allowing the universe to guide me wherever it sees fit and completely freaking out in an effort to figure out what to do with my life.

Anyway, I wandered onto the sidewalk, paper bag and styrofoam cup in hand. I waited at the curb for the red hand to turn to a white stick figure, at which time I would follow my fellow Queens pedestrians across the blacktop. As I stood there distracted, I heard a man yelling out behind me. It was obvious, for some reason, that the yelling was meant to get my attention. “MISS! HELLO, HELLO! MISS!” He was so frantic and excited, as though I’d just missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity, or you know, dropped an earring or something. So I turned to see a man waving and smiling at me as he leaned out of a convenience store window.

At the time I just thought, “Hmm. Men are so strange.” Which is probably a thought I have a good two to three times a day. I didn’t particularly recognize the man, so I just assumed he was a bored stranger in the middle of a 14-hour shift who was cat-calling to pass the time.

Have I mentioned how much I love cats?

Have I mentioned how much I love cats?

About a week later, train out of the city successfully caught, and then train back into the city also caught–I walked out of my apartment building on a mission to buy toilet paper at the 99 Cent Store next to the Strip Club. To get there, I had to pass the stoop next to my apartment building on which a middle-aged man sits each night. We small talk, chit-chat–you know, like real neighbors. He asks me when I’m doing laundry next. I ask him what kind of beer is in his brown bag. Put simply: we bond.

That particular night, though, I really didn’t have time to shoot the proverbial shit. The 99 Cent Store was about to close, the Strip Club was about to open, and yeah. Toilet paper was at a premium. So when I gave a distracted “Hello,” and continued walking, I was not in the mood to deal with his, “HELLO! MISS, MISS! HELLO!” But he was just so excited, so frantic, that I stopped.

And it was then that I learned my neighbor with the nightly stoop-sitting ways is the very same man who works at the convenience store next to the fast-food breakfast joint. He told me that his co-workers saw the whole ordeal. Heard him announce, “I know that girl!”, only to have that girl turn away and cross the street, her eyes showing no signs of recognition.

I apologized profusely. Our non-English-speaking super also leaned on the stoop, his head cocked, his lips curled into a perplexed smile. My neighbor shrugged off my apologies and said, “Next time you’ll know. You can have a soda on me.”

Five minutes later, toilet paper in hand, I walked by my neighbor and my super again. We all smiled in recognition at each other, but I already knew that I would likely never take my neighbor up on his free soda offer. I headed towards my own stoop, anticipating entering my bathroom where I’d replace the old roll with the new roll. My super waved. I waved back. My neighbor held up his brown paper bag, and in a one-sided toast, exclaimed, “Goodbye, Miss! Goodbye!”

*Dejected Sigh*

Just got back from the library.  Nearly took out this book:

But I thought better of it. You know those AXE body spray commercials in which women flock to men who spritz themselves with that god awful stuff? Well, that’s how I am with cats. Not in a sexual way. Just in that frenzied, I need to touch you or I will die way. In line at the drug store last week, the cashier was showing the customer ahead of me photos of her cat on her cell phone, and I practically tackled the magazine and candy rack trying to get a peek.   I didn’t destroy any merchandise, but I did screech, “I WANT TO SEE!”

It’s not normal.  So, I took these books out, instead:

Well see if I actually devote time to its pages.

We'll see if I actually devote time to its pages.

And then, one with a matching cover that I think will be oddly inspiring despite the subject matter:

Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy

Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy

Speaking of melancholy…a collection agency called about an outstanding dental bill before I could finish writing this post.  This clip instantly came to mind as I reminisced about how awful that damn dentist was:

Nothing really comes to mind to entitle this, so…Untitled

I have nothing to say about Wednesday night’s debate except that my supervisor from my last job spent an entire day with Bob Scheiffer and said he’s super nice.  I wanted him to be meaner to the candidates, i.e., make McCain stop talking about Joe the Plumber, but that’s ok.

I might have to talk to a priest in about thirty minutes, which I’m not all that excited about.  Last time I saw a priest I started laughing.  Sometimes I can’t control myself, but that’s ok, too.

Hey, so I just noticed WordPress now has a poll feature.  Take it.