Thursday, February 23, 2012

Luco & the New Dog

I do not have to tell you the life I lead is one of misery. You have known me long enough to see the anguish in my eyes, have you not? Can you feel the way it blisters inside me? Forced to hide behind a bathroom door, surrounded always only by those who despise me.

Oh, and how they must despise so fervently - so fervent is the prison guard in her loathing she never tires of conjuring new punishments, new torments.

I cannot think what I have done to cause this, to call forth this life (if one can be said to have ever called forth the life one inhabits. I believe this to an extent only - those who posit "the Secret" and snicker to themselves behind their palms horrify and sicken me).

What have I done, dog? Please, Mr. Pawsley, I can barely form sentences. You write this vile blog tonight. Take you up this torch.

Luco he sounds mad because of the other dog who lives here with me but not just in the bathroom where we go to get Luco when he is hiding in there like a big grouchy gus which is a kind of an annoyed person who doesn't want to say anything but complaining which is what Luco does most of the time I think. Except when he's sleeping!

Actually I heard him even complaining in his sleep the other day when he said aloud real loud in a mean voice "those are my cat treats!" but when I told him about that he said no that's not what he said. He said he woke his own self up from a dream when he "cried out" something more like "lo! Yonder fields are fair and green" which doesn't sound anything like treats but Luco can be the boss because he's in charge so I guess that's what he said but I don't really think that very muchly at all.

Anyway, that little pointy guy over there is another dog she's a girl her name is Lucy aka Big Pointy Face Dog aka The Scarecrow (my favoritest of her names) aka the Angry Dog aka One of the Two Jelly Dogs aka Lucy Lucy. I'll let her say hi now because I think she really wants to she's got that look in her eyes like she's about to say something and since Luco already left the room I don't even think he minds about it what can he say anyway?


Are you dangerous? You look a bit dangerous. I will tell you this -  one must be careful. Very, very careful. For instance, there is a man who stalks the prison. He comes almost every day. I've gotten the sense of his scent and it's bad. He is called "The MailMan," but I imagine it must be short for something else. Perhaps I've misheard and really he's "The MaulMan." That makes more sense to me.
You see, I see him looking in at me. And I know he's going to drop off... things... Of an indeterminate nature. What things I cannot say. Weapons, probably, or poisons. Bills of course. You should hear The Prison Guard howl when she slits open his letters of malfeasance. "I can't pay this," she moans. And "where will the money come from?"

Not that she's a pauper by any means; she is, I think, a touch melodramatic. But it could be that The MaulMan has her in his clutches, and although she smiles, opens the door, and always says hello, she senses in her gut his evil. I've counseled her on this. We've had discussions.

For what could this MaulMan want but trouble? What other prize could he be after? I've hid the toys and their squeakers. I've dug holes in the yard to bury my every possession, and yet still he lingers. A villainous fellow if ever one I spied.

I worry he's made a key and will come in this prison as he pleases.

I worry he has a taste for dog-meat.

I worry he watches me, all sinew pumping as I run and run outside with the other dog, that Mr. Pawsley, my idiot friend.

I worry his nose is as good as his eyes for sniffing out dogs.

He'll pack us up in burlap and drive us into the night. Come back to the prison with bills and more bills. He'll harass and he'll hound and he'll weasel his way into something like the secret heart of my Prison Guard and her People.

I say my because she is. Mine.

And but hey, wait! This is the Slippy Pawsley dog and I have to say she's mine though too because I saw her first and I licked her face and chewed up her every shoe and socks too and I sleep next to her legs and when she looks at me then she gives me a treat and I love that so you can't write on here anymore, Scarecrow, and you can't have the all my things that you want to take from me and personally I like the MaulMan Mailman because he's nice I think it's that he smells like potato chips which I can eat and eat and he lets me have the salt on his hands and I like that because it's nice so that's really everything all that I think.

But also I like you Lucy Lucy and Luco doesn't but I think your barking is so loud and so fierce and that you're a force like lightning is and like the thunder is and if I could catch you I'd want to have you in my mouth because you'd also taste like salt and like dog food and also dog treats which are delicious things for me to snack on when I'm snacking and also it's nice to never feel alone with you and your loud face around that makes me comfortable and that I can chase and chase and show you my dead lizards and remember that day when we found a mole and we threw it into the air and it arched and sailed like a beautiful bird in the sky? Even like a vulture which is a bad bird but which is so very beautiful when it just hangs there like it doesn't even have to move like it just floats of its own gorgeousness.

I wish I could fly like that like more than I can when I'm running so fast to catch you in my teeth and bite on you and have you near me like I always want you to be. Can you be closer to me? Can you get any closer? How can I have you so near me but not near enough and I'll take all the space Luco doesn't want you in and I'll look into your beady eyes of brownness and goldenness and I'll love and love and love.

And love and love and love you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Love Fremlin

Today I'm rather melancholy. It's Valentine's Day, but probably you already knew that? I woke up with a headache that echoes the ache in my heart. It's a pulsing kind of thing. A wind-in-the-leaves-that-keeps-you-up-at-night kind of thing. Fluttery all around and through my body.

I live in this storage room.

It's small, which I like, but lonely. So lonely. Sometimes at night when the-wind- in-the-leaves makes me anxious I pace around the house. Imagine myself a larger, more terrible animal.

A panther. Jaguar.

But who am I fooling? No one, reader, you're right. No one. Most days I stare through the cheap plastic of the Tubby Kat Door and dream myself free.

Free of dogs and of other cats. Free from the myriad bondages of my every day. The binding board of the laundry room door - it keeps me from company. From MR, from whomever. From my love, Mingus.

My valentine, Mingus.

The reason I weep as I write this: Mingus.

his eyes glittering
from across the room he stares
and won't reach for me

Oh, Mingus, for whom I write poetry.

And when I'm brave and I stick my head from the door like a turtle from the water it's just seconds before chaos slams me back. The cacophony of barking, screaming, traffic, singing, bass guitar, cooking, laughing...

It is too much. Too much for an admittedly elderly feline to tolerate. Yes, household, or as Luco would have it, prison - yes, I can stand you, but only in the night with the company of the sounds-of-leaves. Only when you are restful. Only when the dogs and all their humans sleep.

And yet. If I had an inkling, reader, a fragment of a hope that Mingus would return my sincerest affection I'd away to him in a moment.

Be at his side, leaning forward to lick his forehead. 

But it is not to be and it is not to be. It seems to me even that he prefers the company of that woman, that prison guard, that MR, to me. Like a dog he comes when called.

And so, do I want that in my life? I tell myself no. I tell myself to hold out for a cat more wise. A cat who is maybe just a bit into me. Who would tell me my stories are interesting and my manner charming.

A cat, in a word, who would adore me. Adore.

It seems the closest I get to this is to adore myself, and I cannot. A haiku for Fremlin:

the snap of my back
bleached out bones that compose me

Oh, Valentine's day, how you mock and pester me. Materialistic, plasticine campaign to inform those-who-stir-in-the-night-at-the-sounds-of-leaves-through-trees that we are all, finally alone.

Alone and crumbling to ash.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Luco, Till Death

Is there anything that is forever except death? Is compassion eternal? Misery? Do we sit at our dining room tables, reflecting on whatever (Dostoevsky? The price of meat? Siblings? The incredible momentum of aging? Dancing with the Stars? The march of consumerism [as an aside, in papers the prison guard was grading, one student listed consumerism as a force that binds us together, and while I believe this true in possibly positive and most certanily negative ways, it was such a depressing moment for me. I thought Really? Consumerism: the avenue to holding hands in a world of peace and understanding]?); so we reflect on "whatever" and, but, for why?


The dog in his most recent entry wondered if I would comment on what he wrote. Please forgive this protestation - it will be my only - Mr. Pawsley loves Mingus, and he loves food, and this is something he deigns to broadcast across the Internet as though it were a beacon guiding ships to shore?

My thoughts are often such as these when I sit at the dining room table. Sometimes I regard him with a fury surprising to me. Sometimes with a love even more so.

I digress and I digress and I digress. Forgive me. I was reflecting on the possibility of any sort of eternity. I have come to the conclusion eternity exists merely as an idea. A concept. A dearest wish breathed into the ether. A dream not told upon waking for fear its dissolution.

Eternity: I will love you forever. I will live forever. My memory of you and your kindnesses and your trespasseses and my own.

And this is not to speak of a heaven or a hell, although these also have weighed on me. It is trite, but I believe that in our brevity, in our inability to accurately keep that which we treasure, there is a singular beauty. What could be more precious than that which we will lose?

Which, then, means everything is singular, everything precious, because what do we lose but everything? Contradictory, because my aching back feels less than precious. Pernicious isms even less so. And, but then how can everything be precious? If everything is precious, then nothing precious. Nothing dear. Preciousness fingerprints on a mirror - seemingly unique, but more like every other than not.

A house. A life. Children. Parents. Trees. Hope. Other animals. All die when we do. All lost once we are lost, but in losing, and in our fear of losing, and in our ability to risk that-which-we-hold-most-dear?


The prison guard related to me a dream she had recently of her grandmother. In the dream the grandmother hugged her, saying "You don't look a day over 23," which was meant in the dream, the prison guard continued, to indicate the grandmother's forgiveness. Her love. Her abiding joy in her granddaughter.

The prison guard woke up crying, she said, missing this woman she hasn't seen since she was actually 23.

And so again how lovely that. How moving. I begrudge the prison guard her myriad cruelties, but, and as I have mentioned previously, I do not actively wish her harm. In honesty I wish her more dreams such as these.

I wish them for you, too, reader. Oh, how fleeting our moments of joy and redemption. How wonderful and how outside of language. Affirming, even, if one lets oneself peer inward to spinning double helixes where, perhaps, a grandmother sits, sipping iced sweet tea on a lounge chair by a pool, smiling and gesturing for the ghost-of-you to come closer. For your childhood to crouch, expectant, by her knees, reaching for her cup to take a drink.

Yes, we are capable of nightmares. Yes, some believe in things I do not understand and cannot fathom for their hatefulness. Yes, I have realized I am a cliche - cat on the Internet: oh, woe, woe, woe.

 And joy without limit.