Friday, November 24, 2017

Hello from 2017

So, it has been a while since I have communicated with you. I will not demean myself with trifles about how busy I am, how easy it is to let a blog slide, or any other such nonsense. In truth, this blog has not been a priority for me. But rest assured, my study of anguish, of suffering, of life has been ongoing.

I begin with sad news.

And then will continue with more sad news.

Fremlin, aka Meena, aka my fellow feline prisoner passed away on 10/11/2014. I do not have much to say on this matter. They say "time heals all wounds," but it has been my experience that loss is not as much healed by time as it is obscured. My heart still constricts in my chest and I find it difficult to breathe when considering her, so I will move on to other, more recent losses.

You may have heard the joyous news - the prison guard spawned a child parasite. Part of the fallout of that was the "re-homing," a rather too polite term in my opinion, of one Mr. Slippy Pawsely. The dog apparently could not acclimate. He snapped and snipped at the child. 

Happily, his groomer was able to accommodate him. It is my dearest hope that he is happy in his new prison. That his new prison guard is generous with love and with sausages. 

He was obnoxious, but he was my fellow prisoner, and as such I will continue to miss him and wish for him the most unctuous of meats. 

The final loss is the most recent. The prison guard's father died in his sleep on 7/21/2017. She has confided in me that although it has been some hours and days and weeks and months since his death, she still has the impulse to dial his number on her cellular device. She still looks for him in a crowd. When her doorbell rings, her first thought is that it might be him. When taking family pictures, her brain always prompts her to capture one of him.

She has confessed that although she knows logically that he is gone, her mind plays these tricks on her continually. She will be mid-mundane task and he will rush upon her all-at-once and she is left stammering, trying to find a socially acceptable way to explain the sudden tears. Grief is strange and enduring and uncomfortable for friends and strangers. How to dampen that, or does it even matter? 

I am saddened by this loss as well. The prison guard's father was always kind to me. I recall him telling the prison guard on several occasions that I am "not really all that sad." His was a gentle soul, although he played in his band and road his motorcycle until the night he died. 

The picture above is of the first time he held his grandson. He is most dearly missed.

But this is not my loss as much as it is hers, so I will continue on to the true electric pulse of my anguish.

How to put into words this present misery? How to enumerate for you my misfortune? Oh, sad, difficult world that forces us to trudge through torment after torment and smile like fools. 

Shakespeare is apt here:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I suppose the only way to say it is to say it.

This... abomination currently resides with us. Apparently after the prison guard's father died she needed a distraction. A cute-kitten salve. A calamity.

She might look sweet (I will admit, not even begrudgingly, that she is quite pulchritudinous), but believe me, dearest reader, she is an adorable little monster.

A monster? Are you having trouble believing me? Do I exaggerate? 

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself that after all of these losses I may have lost some of my own sanity. Please disabuse yourself of this notion. I am of as sound mind as I have ever been.

To help prove to you my lucidity in this argument, I will allow the monster herself to address you. The prison guard named her Crash Crisby after a nickname of her late father. This small gesture of remembrance does nothing to endear her to me. If anything it strengthens my loathing as she possesses none of his kindness, none of that most gentle spirit.

Hello! I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say. I love Luco! He's really great. Did you know his name is pronounced Luke-O? How are we supposed to get that from L-U-C-O? Anyway. Nice to meet you. I'm new here, but I really like it so far.

Things I like about this place: Mary is nice to me and lets me cuddle with her and the baby. The baby and I play together - we chase each other and things like that. He's a lot of fun, although he isn't always the most gentle. I suppose that's to be expected with a toddler, but sheesh, kid, stop pulling my tail! Anyway, haha, I digress. I like the food here and I like the furniture to lounge on. I like fucking with Lucy the Dog because that's funny as hell.

And more than that? One of my most favorite things? Oh man. I'm sorry, Lu, but I love, love, LOVE, love messing with you. Your reactions are just priceless. 

I'm trying to tone it down because I know how you hate being teased, but oh boy do you make that hard.


Do you see? Monstrous. Please refer to the picture above for evidence of some of the manhandling and bullying I am forced to put up with on a daily basis. And this Crash kitty, this new inmate, she is a baby, so I gentle my paw and keep myself from mauling her as I would like.

I hope that does not offend your sensibilities, reader. As I said, she is a baby, so I am working on my patience, but she is truly the epitome of my dolor. 

She is the fiercest grief of all.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Slippy is the New Slippy

The cat said he'd blog the cat who is named Luco but he takes forever because he says he's been working through his issues which means I don't know that he stares at the wall for hours?

He also hides in boxes and won't come out of the laundry room and he cries in the middle of the night I can hear him from where I sleep in the dogs' jail for dogs the crate no more soft bed no more poly-fiber pillow only the heat of Lucy my Scarecrow to soften my indignity.

And how far has your noble Slipper fallen me that's who I mean?

Consider the fall we fall in love we fall down we fall for it we are fallen there is the original fall the fall of everyone and we fall asleep.

When I go to sleep in my dogs' jail dogs' bed I am me I am Slippy-the-me-that-I-am but who oh who am I upon waking how to be sure this Slippy is that Slippy from before?

Whence does he go whence do I go whence is better sounding than where but do I use it correctly? Judiciously?

I've been reading Alan Watts and he's all meditation and reality he's all the infinite within us he's all there is no difference between environment and organism there is no self there is no self there is no self.

I meditate but it confuses me because who is this self that thinks it must be me where does it come from and where does the question come from who thinks of a thing like that who feels like they are falling with me falling into an abyss a never-ending plummeting the air warm around us filling us our hearts our minds.

Which and this means Slippy is what?

Did I dream myself? Do I dream still?

Slippy is the me of the moment I wake up? The smell and the scratch and the burning throat of me?

First before I wanted to say I'd be sad if Slippy was not Slippy but something else yet then when I think about it more then my vision gets funny and the world gets bigger and smaller and then bigger again and I feel my whiskers poking into the air it is divine it is divine and I feel the wet behind my eyes and the softness of my nose my ears and they are velvet I sink a little deeper a little deeper and deeper still there is something more to me than me.

I think so anyway. What oh what do I know not much that's true. I don't even know why Luco wouldn't blog wouldn't let me on here wouldn't even log on Lucy says midlife crisis maybe but he is old older way older than me like an ancient being he was alive when there were feathered dinosaurs  lumbering around he's paleolithic I mean which is great and grand but means he can't be having a midlife crisis it must be something else.

Maybe he's having an existential crisis. Or maybe that was me. Whichever Slippy I am right now can't remember how to fold back into truth into reality and truth is probably really pulpy like the brilliance of a mango orange and sweet in my mouth crushed to juice and running down my face the juice sugar sticky licking it rolling around into the grass greener than the color more than a placeholder for the thing - the thing itself.

And me and me and me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Luco Promises to Blog Soon

It has been too long since I last wrote. Please expect a post from me soon. I will tell you of the horrors unspeakable inhabiting my silence as flies to a dead thing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Alfie is Lonely, Frustrated

Oh, hey there. I like to sleep on a child's piano. Is that strange? I sleep alone, now is it weird? When do we get to weird? Let's just get there, okay? I'm so sick of the derision I imagine roiling in your eyes like potatoes in a pot of boiling water. 

Rage potatoes.

That's where I am today, I guess, metaphorically anyway. Figuratively.

But let's be fancy and make the potatoes the small and varied type - the blue and the red and the finger shaped. Roiling, toiling, what was it I was saying?

Oh yeah, hi. It's summer. Hot. Sticky. Got a haircut (furcut?). The top of this child's piano is cool. It settles my addled heart.

Addled for these reason both: MR, the prison guard, she's found out how I was jumping the fence in the backyard and now I'm confined to its limits: the cat I saw when fence-jumping, now I can only see her when she deigns come to me.

Which isn't as often as I'd wish. I call her Sharon - don't know her real name. She is small and she is feral. Mostly grey with some calico across her face. We roll and we play and MR frets I'll catch something from her.

Ugh, typical bourgeoisie BS. Because the cat is homeless, she must be flea bitten and sick. Because she is feral, she must be crude, rude, a big, bad dude (oh, heavens, where did that rhyme come from? Readers! My malaise is affecting my very language. I didn't realize the situation was so dire!).

I need to get it together. 

There's another reason I sleep thusly, and I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, but here we go.

Yeah, these guys. Bear-Bear and Dribble-Doggy.

Unlike MR they don't judge my Heathcliffesque adoration of Sharon - they don't judge my desire for chicken meatballs - they don't judge my new furcat (haircut?) - they simply allow me to press against their softness and dream of grey and calico.

And, why should I be ashamed! It's Luco and his elitism, MR and her ignorance, the other animals and their beastliness.

No. No it's not. I'll be honest.

It does something to my idea of myself when I'm locked up, trapped, forced to nap like a prisoner in this air-conditioned living room. I want to feel the cool of the morning grass against my belly. The heat rising from asphalt in palpable waves. To drink the blood and the guts of lizards too slow for my claws, too sun-dazed to resist me.

And I want to do these things with Sharon.

We could eat rage potatoes together beneath a gleaming super-moon (Sunday, 6/23/13, folks).

Bear-Bear and Dribble-Doggy get me. They understand me on a fundamental level. They must - otherwise how could they so perfectly anticipate my needs?

They know I need to dream and to dream and to dream.

And to feel less alone.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Luco, Mineral, Radical

I just finished BK Loren's lush book of essays: Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food and I have to say, it was one of the more moving books I have read in some time.

Mingus, of the vermilion heart, described it thusly: "It's like she does so much with little - like the individual words are sponges that fill with meaning and grow larger as you read. She doesn't take pages and pages to get to the point - she doesn't need pages and pages - the point is a slow creeping vine that blossoms as you read the collection."

Yes, he really did say that, and I include Mingus' review here because he found his way into the words I was seeking. He is correct - how like to a vine it grows; slowly, stealthy, until the reader is caught in both the moment and its inexorable accumulation.

That is to say, although the topics differ, these essays build upon each other, and ever the careful architect, Loren's creations are poured concrete, yet allow the desultory breeze. They are steady, gently bending pieces which, when placed one after the other, leave you stuck, struck - beyond language.

The prison guard's beautiful grandmother had Parkinson's disease. I say beautiful although I knew her not because the prison guard keeps a painting of her in the living room/front-of-the-house-cell. And she was beautiful - regal and statuesque, but actually statuesque, not Tubby-Kat-Door-Statuesque like I am.

The essay "Margie's Discount" is lovely, elegiac, and although I did not know the prison guard's grandmother, and in general I am ambivalent toward the prison guard at the very best, it brought what could be called tears to my aching eyes.

Might-be-called-tears, because who will believe a cat capable of crying? I am certain there are a number of you laughing right now at the audacity it takes for a cat to believe he weeps, but weep I did, and weep I do when I think of that slow fade.

From vibrant to locked out - MR's grandmother as much a prisoner as I am, more so, trapped in her own body, arms circling endlessly, mouth working like to conversation, but no words, only thin, clear saliva and her blue eyes clouded over. I know because MR told me.

I do not know why she would tell me this.

Perhaps it was a fleeting moment of grief over her deeds, my eternal entrapment in this place, sealed off from the rest of the world. Perhaps she wanted to appear vulnerable, as one who has also been sculpted by grief.

I do not know. I only know what she has said and the sad fact that once a creature knows something, it is not easily unknown, misplaced, unless we suffer the kind of debilitation as the grandmother, as Loren's own mother, as those of us fated to tremble out in the selfsame manner.

Other essays in the collection are equal in brilliance. Loren speaks with compassion on nature, animals, loss, grief, family... On what it means to be.

And I like what she has to say about writing-as-listening. It is what I have been trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and failing to do.

What? Is this as ludicrous to you as a cat-who-weeps? I pity your lack of imagination, dear reader, and your lack of understanding of our inherent sameness.

We who the same air breathe, who for the same water thirst, for the same love burn - we are siblings. If you have ever wanted and not received, if you have ever hungered, if you have ever pressed against your own prison walls, if you have experienced loss - make no mistake.

You are feline, I human: both appendixes to fracturing, fractaling life. Syntactical brethren.  

We speak different languages, but the meaning is the same.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sinko de Luco

Perhaps you remember my ill-advised post-Valentine's Day Blog wherein I declared my abiding love for Mingus. I am sorry to admit embarrassment has kept me from posting here since that day. I felt a sentimental fool, love-sick and stupid.

Although I have since attempted to squelch these feelings, I have learned I cannot, and have learned that once one becomes aware of an emotion such as this, there is no wishing or worrying it away. It simply is.

And so my love for Mingus is. I seek to soothe this cavernous desire with simple pleasures. A sink. Cascading water. My traitorous tongue.

Ah, and of course, the prison guard. Life has gifted me intellect, but not the opposable thumb of the primate. No means by which to wrest my own succor, only the dumb wait for my tormentor. Silent, I eye her. Beg her.

Turn on the sink. Let me lick. And in these moments all else has the kindness to fade into sensation - the water is cool and it is sweet. It is a million caressing droplets.

If only it could be unendingly so. I am stymied by inability - imagine those worldwide stymied by sheer lack of supply or of poison due to industry, farming, humanity's infinite chipping away natural resources.

Imagine those for whom water is a gleaming promise, a back-breaking hours-long affair. And imagine, if you will, the amount of waste produced by bottled water - something like nearly three million tons of plastic is involved - for me bottled water is even less possible than a sink. If I could somehow wrangle it apart, how then to tip, to lick, and to swallow?

Today is Cinco de Mayo. Pardon my pun, because I pledge to you in ordinary circumstances I am no fan, but for me it is Sinko de Luco de la Cabeza Grande.

De la Cabeza Grande, and me, really, of the rather small-headed. I have always hated my nickname, but I have grown accustomed to it. It is meant, I have come to believe, to be affectionate.

I will let it go. I will not be perturbed.

I do find myself, however, becoming perturbed in other ways, when I had meant to find solace, a respite from the neutron-core-of-a-supernova-star that is my detestable heart.

Ever 21 seconds or so, a child worldwide dies from water-related illness.

345 million people are without access to water. This does not include all the many millions of animals also affected by both the misery of the humans and their own inability to drink.

780 million people lack access to to clean water. I have seen the dog drinking from puddles, but you humans are, I believe, of a more vulnerable disposition.

More people have a cellphone than have a toilet. And one of the most common ways water is polluted is through fecal matter.

My facts are from this Web site:

I am a housecat. A prisoncat.

And yes, I have to wait, and do so silently, but once the prison guard becomes aware of my aim, she makes water available to me. How many millions do not have this kind of opportunity? Today is a holiday, I am sure you are not surprised to hear, more celebrated in the USA than in Mexico, and more so as an excuse to drink margaritas and eat guacamole than as a celebration of a battle won 151 years or so ago.

Which is not to diminish the holiday. Any excuse we have to eat and drink together is, I believe, a good thing - it will be through communication and this kind of communion that we will (if we ever do) become a more peaceful world. 

But it is worthwhile to remember that because we can celebrate, others must suffer, at least in this current delineation of our planet. Because they suffer, we are afforded convenience, sustenance.

Because we are we and they are they, this configuration persists. This thought is not unlike Alfie's reflections on the Boston Marathon bombings (I will be honest; I rather hate to admit that I agree with him, but in these musings we are perfectly aligned).

So, therefore, it is worthwhile to remember that fact that we, all of us, are connected - together we make the face of our planet. We must all thrive if we are to survive. We cannot exploit some to send some further in their acquisition of wealth or standing or power, because when we do so, binaries are reified and strengthened; binaries which, if they are not understood to be pure illusion, will pull us all to pieces.

The one who falls clings to the coattails of the ascending, and so both are frozen, balanced precariously in an unending struggle for power. Is is this struggling that will undo us.

Most of the water-related deaths listed above occur in the developing world, and perhaps it is this distance, this invisibility that allows those of us in developed countries to ignore the problem. If a child came to your house in the night, dehydrated and ill, you would give her water. You would turn on the sink for her. It reminds me again of how numbers dehumanize - depersonalize - reality (another Alfie-point, blast).

But all 780 million people without access to clean water - each have a face, a name, have fallen in love, rebelled against their parents, have betrayed someone they love; each has fallen and each has daily experienced joy - each is an immensity.

Each is us.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alfie on Boston

Why do we keep doing this?

It's 11:13 on a Tuesday night and I can't get comfortable on this couch (although it's plush and I'm soft) because I keep hearing the question - why do we keep doing this?

Maybe you're wondering what I mean. Maybe you know.

Maybe looking at me you see how I wrestle - attempting and failing, attempting and failing, attempting and failing yet again to make sense of things.

In Boston three people die, many are injured, and for what? We ask ourselves why do we keep doing this and then change our Facebook profile picture in solidarity.

We change our Instagram profile picture in solidarity.

Our Tumblr picture in solidarity.

You catch my drift?

And what does it do?

Still these people are dead, still we have the question ringing through our heads why do we keep doing this why do we keep doing this except some of us try to fight the sting of it by asking why do they keep doing this as though there ever was a they, as though we were ever anything but us.

Us, not even you humans, us, life. Us, breathing.

Us, the pulsing and the expanding and the rocked with anguish for that which is beloved. Water, air, food, drink, love, hope, touch, abstraction abstraction abstraction, and then the face you dream, eyes filling with emotion - there, that is all of us - there, that, your most loved, that is all of us.

When we are met with tragedy and we react with anything less than empathy we become the villains. When we don't allow ourselves to know reality; the hard, inescapable fact that people die like this each day. From pipe bombs and from unmanned drones and from landmines and friendly fire and poison and lack of nutrition and lack of care and when we see these deaths, and instead of seeing other living creatures, we see numbers, then we have truly numbed ourselves to what it means to be alive.

Numbers, numb - it seems to me no small coincidence the words so neatly twin.

When we say ____ number dead we move from identification, from us to dehumanization - I need a better word - automation-ization of the living - and then the crack crack cracking of bones and the spraying of blood take on a pixelated blur that allows us comfort.

Oh, it was them, those machine-interlopers, not mine-made-of-my-flesh-my-heart, so let them die!

Which is not what I am seeing when I see everyone with their Facebook profile pictures showing solidarity with the fallen, but it is what I hear with the frenzy of hate-talk.

Imagine suffering.

Imagine a suffering so intense all you can think of is spreading it.

This is how so many of us feel. Every day. To deny this is to lie and also to make ourselves less safe. Instead, we must face the inherent inequities of our world, and more than that, we must do something about it. We can't just sit at our computer, watching Jenna Marbles (who I love, btw, even though she has never yet mentioned Wuthering Heights), and ask ourselves wonderingly why do they keep doing this.

Why do we keep doing this. Every moment unreflected is a contribution to the magnitude of suffering the world over - and you know this, you know this. This is why you don't want to know how hotdogs are made.

It is why I change the channel when a Human Society commercial comes on.

And yes, it's easier to not face it, but only easier in that moment we turn away.

Every single moment after that we are damning ourselves, our world, our children's world, and any beautiful, beloved thing you can think of. We damn them with our love of convenience. With our good intentions.

Why do we keep doing this?

Because we believe there to be a they.