Saturday, July 19, 2008

Death is your body's way of telling you to slow down

My cold hit with hurricane force: Sore throat, fever, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, runny eyes and a general malaise. If I were in a Victorian novel, I would be suffering from ague. I am not a well girl today.

I have commissioned Flip to drive me to the store for Kleenex and chewable vitamin C.

The roads are littered with hapless tourists who take seriously the fable that in California, pedestrians have the right of way. Stupid people. That is a myth, a cautionary tale, a caveat. A warning. Damn uppity tourists. In their deluded minds, they think it is all right to stroll slowwwwwwly across streets, jaywalking with impunity.

I think they shouldn't push their luck today. Luckily, I am not driving. Flip misses all of them.

I feel unproductive. I am bored. I whine.

Flip offers to sing me a lullaby.

"As long as it's not a funeral dirge," I tell him.

"Bubbaly, bubbaly," he chants.

"What in the hell is that?"

"It's 'lullaby' backwards."

"Oh, Jesus."

He sings it again.

I'm a tough crowd. "I want my money back."

I fix myself a cup of tea, which I can't taste. This would be a good time to load up on everything I don't like that is good for me.

A lot of trees have died for this cold. I have my personal 280-count box of Kleenex on my lap which tells me in French and English that it softens the blows.

"Donnez lui de la douceur!"

I have always wanted to know how to say "dab, wipe, blot and rub" en Francais. I spend a few minutes reading the English blurb along with its French translation. I feel so much smarter now.

I do not understand people who enjoy poor health. I just want to go to sleep and wake up in another universe.

Flip sits beside me and places a sympathetic arm on top of my comforter. "I can't believe you're trying to feel up a deathbed person," I hiss.

There should probably be a "caveat emptor" sign on me. Let the buyer beware.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In Memory

Today we lost our cat, Truffle, in a room with a mural of a doggie and kitty floating on clouds in an impossibly blue sky and several teddy bears with wings propped in corners. Our home is empty of its brightest spirit.

It may take a day or two but I know she'll be back, nesting in my hair as I sleep.

Friends part only to meet again. You haven't seen the last of me, Truffie.

The Cat and the Moon

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,

For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,

A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,

And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

William Butler Yeats

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Could I Be Mellowing?

The Chinese bank teller in the peony-colored blouse said, "You got beautiful teeths" at the same moment I said, "What a pretty color that is on you!"

She smiled. "I got many pinks, but afraid wear."

"Why?" I asked.

She leaned forward and cupped her hand around her mouth. "Gay peoples," she whispered.


I think she is taking a chance here. How does she know I am not gay? I even wear pink on occasion.

She is waiting for me to respond. It is clear that she will not perform my transaction until I do.

"You're a girl," is what I manage. "It's different."

And I hate myself for a moment.

I find that I carry my soapbox with me less often these days. It isn't up to me to educate others on my convictions because they are prejudices, too. I am prejudiced in favor of certain values like equality for all and deeply believe that I am right, but does that entitle me to inflict my views on others?

In private conversation, yes, I think it does. But on strangers in public places with a line of people behind me, probably not. And it would be pointless as well.

She has her prejudices, too.


I finally understand that I am not responsible for the earth spinning on its axis. For minds and hearts embracing the principles I hold dear. That standing up and being counted does not mean rubbing noses in others' misconceptions, no matter how grievous, like puppies that have peed the carpet.

We all have the right to be stupid in whatever way we choose. But couldn't some of us be a little less flagrant about it?

“Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!”
-George Carlin-