Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Luco has the Heat

Today I am filled with a growing sense of trepidation. It is, as you may know, the NBA Finals. And for some reason that escapes me at this moment, I have made another bet with the dog. His team is Dallas. Mine Miami (just as an aside, it seems as though the dog and I hold nearly everything in opposition - he likes the day time, I the night. He hates to get a bath, I luxuriate in the sink, etc). 

Our bet is simple. If Miami wins, the dog must find a way for me to get Outside, if only for a moment. If Miami loses, I will once again allow him to author my blog (an outcome I imagine to be exceedingly undesirable for me and for you as well, reader).

Why do I do this? Now I am not only in turmoil over the game itself, but also at the prospect of once again losing to the dog. And this conflict prompts the question: Why pay any attention at all to sports in the first place?

Ah, would I understood more fully the lure of these displays. Why do I care whether Wade makes the shot? Why am I biting my tongue as he sails through the air, a blur of total grace?

Do not his gymnastics suggest their opposite - the hardening of the flesh in rigor mortis? The stillness of those once heaving lungs? An appreciation for a sport cannot but suggest an intrinsic acknowledgement of death - that these athletes are able to accomplish these feats is remarkable in part because they will not always be able to do so.

Does the dog sense this? Does it make him quiver? 

Or does he prowl around the room, hoping a clumsy human will drop a piece of food so that he may consume it? Does he simply become drunk with the happiness of others, never understanding why or how?

I asked him today, "dog, why do you like basketball?" And he simply stared into my eyes, smiling, but did not offer any kind of response. Was it because he didn't understand me, or is he keeping some secret? And what does he know of his own mortality? 

Does he understand, like I do, that as we cheer and cheer so do we also absolutely perish?

Basketball is my memento mori.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who's Afraid of Luco de la Cabeza Grande?

Today my head is full of the music of violence. I believe this to be in part because I just finished rereading Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I remember loving this play (and the movie version starring Elizabeth Taylor - oh, she was divine in that role) as a kitten. 

However, upon finishing reading yesterday, I was struck by how fundamental violence is to the story. There is the gun, the throttling of Martha, Honey yelling "violence, violence," George slapping Martha repeatedly, the flowers he brings in, and it is possible I am forgetting more instances. Oh yes, the killing of George's parents. The death of Martha and George's "son."

Did I simply miss this violence when I was younger? Did violence bother me less then than it does today? Why is that? Perhaps I have become one of those clichés - an old cat, eyes oversensitive to the light, blinking into a new day, wondering where exactly I am and how I got here. I believe I did turn ten this year, you know. Nine or ten. Eleven? I am no longer a young cat.

Or is it possible that all creatures have an intrinsic capacity for violence that we learn to shelter ourselves from? Is it as though we are peering through partially opened blinds into the brightest light of the afternoon? But then, we do not all strive to forget this violence. This must be the case with characters like George and Martha who so delight in inflicting pain.

There is a scene in act two where Nick and George are having a conversation that turns into an argument. George is ostensibly giving Nick advice about how to succeed at the college - Nick has just said "UP YOURS!" to him, and George replies: 

"You take the trouble to build a civilization... to... to build a society, based on the principles of... of principle... you endeavor to make communicable sense out of natural order, morality out of the unnatural disorder of man's mind... you make government and art, and realize they are, must be, both the same... you bring things to the saddest of all points... to the point where there is something to lose... then all at once, through all the music, comes the Dies Irae. And what is that? What does the trumpet sound? Up yours. I suppose there's justice to it, after all the years... Up yours" (117). 

I believe that George is joking and I also believe that he is not joking. 

"The unnatural disorder of man's mind," is he here speaking of himself? And how can anything about our minds be unnatural? What about woman's mind? 

Ah, I joke, I joke - it is merely that I cannot stand when the default is masculine. I am a cat of our times, you must grant me this.

In any case, what are these four characters struggling to achieve? Why the verbal (and physical) bloodshed? 

Could it be that simply existing is an act of violence? I am here, and because of this, some other cat was not born. I am here, and so I consume resources that are wrested from the earth, torn from starving children's hands, resources covered in the blood of the most vulnerable. Is my mere existence a part of that "trumpet sound," that "up yours," that begets the Dies Irae?

Why fight my violent nature when I commit violence without even realizing? And what might that seed of violence look like? Is it the dog, snaggle tooth bared, barking at me in the bathroom? Is it me, perched on the kitchen counter, hissing at Fremlin? Does the seed of violence inside of me have a shape? Might it look like a burning sun? A broken bone?

A glass eye? There must be a way to see into that which we obscure from ourselves, but should we? Would I be able to stand the revelation? 

Or is it more likely I would crumble before the reflection of my true nature. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

For Luco that which is a Comfort is Also a Burden

There is a place I go to escape the tribulations of my life. A place the dog cannot reach. A place outside his very imagination (as well it must be. The dog is far too little to have ever peered over the bathroom counter). The sink.

Yes, the cool ceramic of the bathroom sink is my sanctuary. Now that I am unable to sleep alone, it is the only place left in the prison where I can go, become invisible to the dog, and bask in the comfort of my solitude.

Alone. Free. My body pressed into the chill. Filling every edge of the sink. My thoughts roam where they will. I dream of bursting into ash. Rising in the sky. Seared to the surface of the sun. Moments when my usual dread is softened into something more pensive. Something more like wistfulness. 

Sometimes my only desire is to be left like this, frozen, forever. And other times I cannot bear the weight of my own nightmares and I sink into a terrible depression. I run in panic even to the dog for a kind word (which he, of course, is not capable of. He spouts the most idiotic of expressions: "there, there," he says to me, as though words so asinine could hold any kind of meaning. "There, there, kitty cat," and I hate him all the more furiously for his condescension). 

Even these nightmares, however, are a salve because I so cherish this solitude. There is only one problem.

Either the sink is nearly too small for me (and getting smaller each day),

or I am very nearly too big for the sink.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Obvious Luco Just Finished Re-reading Medea

This morning Mingus revealed to me a very horrifying series of photographs. I am compelled to share them with you, reader, if only to spread my revulsion wider, and perhaps in so doing find some temporary respite from my anguish.

Mingus assures me there will never be relief for me, but he is no oracle! This might be the day I am relieved of my burden. This might be the day the dog runs out the front door, down the street, never to be seen again. It is possible. I do not classify myself as an optimist, but I will not dismiss the great potentialities that exist (simply because we ourselves exist. Perhaps, also, this is the day the dog stands and walks into the kitchen - the day he requests of the prison guard peanut butter in perfect, unbroken English).

Exhibit the first. The dog seated at the table as though a gentleman in an upscale restaurant, flaunting his snaggle tooth (the prison guard's description, not my own), preparing to eat a feast of human food. 

I must admit, reader, that upon seeing this photograph I began to weep and have not yet quit this weeping. What need I do? Please, I beseech you, what need I do to be fawned over in this fashion? What small or significant failing(s) of mine have lead me to this unhappy state?

Oh horrors. Oh the frigid circumstance of the less-loved. And who is that in the background there? Is that the prison guard, or is it her sister, an affable enough human who seemed at first to me to be some semblance of a friend, but if that is she, then she can be no friend of mine.

Because only an enemy would do this. Only a loathsome enemy would coddle the dog thusly! Would serve him. Would even tolerate his presence at the dinner table.

The woe that afflicts me is unbearable. What delicacies was he to be plied with? What roasted meats and sizzling cheeses? What soft breads and salty fish? 

This is unbearable. I am glad that Mingus showed me these photographs, and yet I wish I had never seen them. How to undo this terror singeing my bones? How to unsee that happy dog? 

How to get the prison guard to leave the front door open just a crack, a crack the dog could push into, opening the door, fleeing out into the street, into freedom or doom - far, far away from me and my life here in this prison, which, for all its tortures is my only home?

I am reminded of Medea (and like her am spurned by the love for another - for Medea it was Jason's love of the princess, and for me it is the prison guard's love of the dog - two creatures perhaps not dissimilar), and although she is discussing what it means to be a woman, I believe her thoughts can be applied to what it means to be a cat:

Of all creatures that have life and reason
We women [cats] have the worst lot.
First we have to buy a husband [prison guard], at vast expense,
And - to make the bargain the more painful - 
What we buy is someone to lord it
Over our body. For us, the biggest question is
Whether the man [prison guard] we get is good or bad (Euripides 219-225)

Oh greatest woe, greater than any other. The dog is held on high while I must suffer. So thankful am I for this Internet age wherein a cat like myself can keep a blog. This blog, reader, is my only solace. My diary of pain, torment, anguish. 

"Oh misery! How wretched I am! I want to die!" (Euripides 87-89)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Luco Sleeps Alone No More

This is how I prefer to sleep. Alone. Sometimes I retreat into the warmth of these bedsheets, other times I lie uncovered under the fan, listening to its electric hum. There is something innately soothing in that sound, and I believe it has to do with the absence of all other noise. There is no Fremlin crying out in her sleep. No Mingus bleating for the prison guard. Just the cool hum and the internal clamor of my thoughts.

And then? Enter the dog. He is quite the disruptive creature. Fremlin now will not leave the guest bedroom. Mingus is quick to jump onto a table or shelf. And me? How has this dog changed my life?

There are too many instances to enumerate here, but I shall give you the one most on my mind at the moment. That sound of electricity I just spoke of? The lovely solitude I enjoyed while lying on the spare bed?

It is no more. Now the three of us must lie together, struggling for comfort, jostling each other out of the way. Fremlin frets and dreams terrible dreams (I know she has bad dreams because she has confided in me as much - we are not friends, but we are united in our feelings of revulsion for the dog), while Mingus stretches out as wide and as long as he can (he is quite the bed hog), and my solitude is absolutely vaporized.

Maybe you are wondering if this new proximity to my feline inmates has made me happier? Has made me feel more accepted? A part of a community?

I just finished reading "Everything Matters!," by Ron Currie Jr., and while I was rather underwhelmed by the novel as a whole, the ending I found quite moving. He writes: "You listen and feel pity for these people. You wish they understood, as you do, that there is no escape and never was, that from the moment two cells combined to become one they were doomed" (302).

How can their company comfort me? Yes they lie here with me, and so together we slowly die, but neither has ever attempted to peer into my intricate heart. Neither has shaken me awake from a nightmare to soothe me. And even if they had this would only serve to illustrate our disconnection. "What did you dream of," they might inquire, and I would fail to find the words to adequately describe the brilliance of those horrors. 

Sleeping with them merely reminds me how alone I am, and yet it is frustrating to have lost that old, comfortable solitude. I miss sleeping alone. I miss listening to the sound of the fan. I have thought about this a lot, and I still cannot understand why they brought home that dog.

Perhaps it was to punish me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Luco Graciously Allows the Dog to Make His Case

This weekend I made an ill advised bet with the dog. He is a Celtics fan, and I a Heat fan, so we agreed to make watching the game together tolerable by "putting our money where the mouths is" to use the grammatically tragic cliché of the dog. 

Alas, as you may know, the Heat lost in a stinging defeat due in part to the efforts of the maimed Rondo (honestly, both the dog and I thought he would not come back out to play - he is, to quote the dog, hardcore). And so now I will allow the dog his reward - behold, the dog blogs.

Hello to you. I'm the dog and my favorite color is black this is a serious blog entry for me! I live in a house the cat calls it a prison I have three cats they are mine to own! Sometimes I eat scrambled eggs.

Maybe I'm sad now like Luco because I want some scrambled eggs with lots of cheese but I don't have it because I can't even cook what am I to do! Sometimes when people come over they give me food but it's a secret because I'm not supposed to eat that stuff. But I like it! And sometimes I remember the taste of eggs and cheese and the way they are soft in my mouth. 

In general I eat things both soft and not soft as long as I can eat them then I like them! Also I have a lot of work to do because I'm a hard-working dog and I even know about hyphens! Work that I have to do includes: eating eggs please as soon as possible, wrangling the cats because it's for their own good, napping, eating other stuff hopefully with cheese in it, walking and going outside, cleaning up the people because my god are they dirty, sleeping which is different from napping because it's longer and it's in my bed where the people lie down, and that's about it but you can see it's really a lot of stuff! So I'm always super busy but that keeps me happy!

So happy happy happy happy happy happy happy happy! Thanks for letting me blog, Lu-dawg! Come on, Celtics! You got this, Rondo! I'm a dog! Happy happy happy happy happy happy happy!