Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good Night, Beloved Pet

To my dear friend, my cat 
You came into my life what seems to be yesterday 
You won me over with your feline characteristics 
You jumped out of a 2nd-story window 
You escaped every chance you got 
You sat out on the ledge of a 3rd-floor balcony 
cackling at the birds 

You slept in the sink 
You sat on my lap when I sat on the toilet 
You sat at the edge of the bathtub when I was in the shower 
You sat on the sink 
putting your paw up 
preventing me from brushing my teeth 
or putting on make up 

You laid at my feet 
You laid on my laptop 
You laid on my clean clothes 
You laid on anything that seemed to be important at the time 
And when we asked you “Why?” 
You looked up with glazed eyes 
and gave out a tiny 
as a response 

You taught Gidget your ways 
You looked out for her 
You bullied her 
Like a big sister would 
She looks for you sometimes 
Thinking you’ll pop out and chase her down the hallway 
She misses you 
And so do I 

You were my first pet that I called my own 
We’ve been through a lot together 
Different apartments 
Different people 
Different pets of other people 
The one constant was you and me 
You made my life better 
I hope you know you were loved 
by everyone that met you 

Good night Nellie 
My Beloved Pet

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gimme Fiction

"Slept In"

I sit in my car and look down at the clock. Late for work again. Waiting for a light to turn green when you are already late for work seems like an eternity. As I try to think of a reason better than “It’s hard for me to leave the house sometimes”, a woman catches my eye. She is walking across the street, not really walking, more like shuffling. She has blonde hair, is about 5’3”, maybe 160 pounds. I recognize her. She comes into work almost everyday and asks to get on a computer.

The first day she came in, she handed me her passport, which caught me slightly off guard. Most people I knew that had passports were young, vibrant travelers ready to paint their name across the world. But as I looked at her picture, I saw that was what she was. Young, vibrant, a traveler. The picture looks like it was taken 30 years ago. You can see the life in her eyes.

The passport looked a bit tattered, probably expired but that doesn’t matter where I work. We just need some sort of identification saying you are who you are. I wonder where she has been with this. London? Brazil? Istanbul? What did she do there? Maybe she was a part of the peace corps helping areas in third world countries develop into communities. Or maybe she was a nurse in the army and helped wounded soldiers heal. Or maybe she was just a traveler. She backpacked through the Eastern Alps studying the lithology of rock units.

I must have been wondering for too long, because she took me out of my train of thought and mumbled something. “I’m sorry, what?” I asked. “Salvation Army.” I nodded. People who stay at the Salvation Army don’t have to pay to get on the computers. I gave her a pass and directed her toward the computer. She shuffled over and sat down.

As I watched her, I thought about how she was almost unrecognizable to the person in the passport picture. The young woman in the picture looked like she had goals. She looked like she had a plan. Where did she go wrong? This woman was practically homeless. This woman who, at some point in her life, wanted to paint her name across the world.

A car beeps their horn behind me. It practically sends me through the roof of my car. I have a green arrow. I guess I’ll just right down that I slept in. How do you write down on a small piece of paper that you weren’t doing anything important that made you late. You ate breakfast really slow, laid down with your cats for awhile, watched a rerun of “Frasier” and then realized that you should have left five minutes ago? I guess I’ll just say I slept in.