December 4

Something beautiful happened today but not to me and it’s not my story; it’s hers.

Mine is moving; it’s new again. My conversations are different. I found out someone didn’t believe in “God”. I don’t, but I know that. I thought she did. That made a bright colored tear in my dulled carpet. The studio is new. I sometimes feel like I got struck in the face. What am I doing here with all these boxes and two closets and a bathroom and two windows and no column or dirty fake floor, no strange wood ladder and only one room?

I left it looking like this because I needed to make something new that I might actually like:

It started with the kitten and the cat. My life had been the same for a long long time. I felt chained to something I couldn’t find the key to. A long chain but I was carrying it around on my foot like those monitors for people who aren’t in prison but have to be only in a certain amount of space and if they crack it or do something they’re not supposed to do maybe drive a car- I can’t drive.

Maybe I’ll get my license soon and suddenly I’ll be a driver. I’m scared of driving.

I was chained. I wasn’t driving my life. I started to wake up and the pandemic happened. Then this summer we visited my sister in law and her partner husband and the cats. The kitten started it. The leak on the neighbor had already happened but the kitten started it. We still don’t know if she’s a he or a she. Her name is First and we will never see her again.

This happened to me a long time ago; it was weirder. My brother nine years older than me brought me a kitten, not as young. I must have been twelve or thirteen or older. Like in some kind of novel, he really thought I could keep her, maybe hide her long enough and win my mom over but they found her right away and took her from me.

I never asked them why they did that. Why couldn’t they stretch their minds to the point of letting me have a cat? And what if I did. Did I get to keep that cat in some alternate universe? An animal can break open your life and then sometimes he seals it up and you’re heavy and dull and can’t go anywhere and wish you never decided to get him. It sounds mean but it happened with my poodle. He was alone here during 9/11. The one down the street, the towers now 20 years ago. 9/11 cracked open my life too. Possibilities opened.

We met the very young kitten in August. We visited a few days and suddenly my child fell in love with her and wanted him/her and we said yes because it happened. No explanation for 3 allergic people planning to “eventually” get the dog- with one cat hater to suddenly decide let’s do it.

We thought we’d adopt First, yes his name as the mom only had one kitty, the first one, and then the idea came of having her mom Samantha too, a black big cat, not very friendly but I don’t know if I want a friendly cat. It was marvelous that something happened that was new and crazy. We don’t do cats. There was supposed to be a dog for her getting into a SHSAT high school. She wanted a husky. Not for this place in this city.

Nobody could have predicted we’d suddenly fall in love with a kitten and decide to adopt two.

I was suddenly free. Someone reached into my stuck life caused by me and not caused by me because it’s the outside and inside that sticks you. The air was stale. Everything shrank. The pandemic shrank my life too but in a way it also cranked me back up and stung me.

Change. The person I was 30 years ago would be shocked I was so small, a little dot instead of a sparkling spinning person having adventures. Maybe it started with the cruise. December of 2019 2 years ago. that was new and unexpected. Today I danced in the living room. Workout music was playing- the only song I really like a lot of Taylor Swift, “Shake it off”, ironic. Dancing feels like freedom. «I’m dancing on my own (Dancing on my own)
I make the moves up as I go (Moves up as I go)» lyrics I just looked up and -yes, it’s time to shake it off, take the dusty figuring off the shelf and dust her off so she can dance away from the safe shelf and feel something new, make something new, maybe be something new or just be surprising to myself.

Life is like a book. You can’t plod on for pages not wanting to read it because it says the same thing over and over. We got cats but haven’t got them. We can’t have those cats because we live too far away. I cried and cried when I found out. I looked up kittens and cats. We can still have cats. I don’t want a dog. It’s like you eat bananas all your life, you wake up one day and ignore the banana and start eating a kiwi that you’re allergic to. The banana seems bland and the kiwi is exciting.

Then all these other things attack you like a machine gun. Bad things. They still somehow also crack things open. Stuff hanging over you like a wet cold tent.

I’m dancing in the wet cold tent and my heart is beating fast.

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