Infinity in a Box With a Cat


“There was a brief silence in which the distant echo of Hagrid smashing down a wooden front door seemed to reverberate through the intervening years.”  ~   J. K. Rowling

Stars. Autumn carries a promise, innate and compulsory, that sooner or later the temperature will dip down to the freezing point. I don’t know if anything is freezing right now; it’s dark outside. But Autumn’s promise has been fulfilled; and it’s not even October yet. There will be protests. Don’t get me wrong here, I have compassion for Summer Sunshine Superman peeps who enjoy Summer so much that they want it to stay, but I have to admit that I will rub my metaphorical hands together gleefully. I lived in the sub-tropics for 23 years. Season’s are good. And yet, at times, I think I may have left my head in the sky in the islands. Best yank it back here, and now, I’ll have use of that head in the coming months. Fully functional at work, I find that I am pretty danged slack at home, but there is that compassion again, this time toward myself. I’m an introvert. Keeping up my brave face, game face, whatever, takes a lot out of me, and after a few swigs of the afterwork beer I find I have little else left in me than the ability to watch Seth Myers or Trevor Noah on Hulu. Hulu is my TV; no cable, no satellite. But Trevor and Seth give me the laughs I need when I finally get alone again after a long day in the marketplace; not just laughs, they give me depth of the human kind, and perspectives that I shoulda seen coming twere I not adrift in my own head so deeply, so often. My bad. Oh, yeh, Jimmy Kimmel too. He’s a hoot. Sitting with my friend the other day, there in the side yard outside the coffee sip, there along US 64, I noted curiously that I was speaking openly and passionately. Hey, I just used three words in one sentence that ended with the letters ‘-ly’. I’m not sure you can do that. Whatever. It’s a writer thing. I’ve not spent much time at all with my friend, not in a casual setting. We worked at the animal shelter together. I lasted longer than she did because she was one of the ones who got chewed up, and spit out, early on, during that nasty and unnecessary controversy two years back; just like the good doctor. I took my hits later on, and however metaphorically bruised I became I toughed it out by climbing inside of boxes with cats when things got difficult. No, not really in boxes with cats. Sigh. Well, I was known to poke my head in a box if it would fit. Cats have wisdom. What I basically did was to keep close to them critters when the cleanup was done and all were fed. I was sad and scared; just like them. Now, moving forward, my speaking openly and passionately with my friend came as quite a surprise to me. The conversation was not all a rehash of the nasty things in the past. We talked about life and writing and stuff as well. I listened down deep into my surprise at my openness and found that the nasty times at the shelter were maybe the lemon in my lemonade  .  .  .  no, wait .  .  .  the pearl in my oyster?  .  .  .  the prize in my box of Cracker jacks?  .  .  .  ummmm, never mind. We live, we grow, we sludge and stumble through hard times. I get it, I get it. Move along, there are no droids here. But listen  .  .  .  what do we really do with the past? Fence it off with barbed wire like the old ruin in the opening photo? I don’t believe in linear time, and I don’t see time as rigid. Time can be bent, and events past are still happening any time you give then awareness. But I do get it: do not dwell. Now, here’s a non-sequitous segue for y’all. Cats in boxes are the clearest image of infinity that you will ever find. It is a Universal constant. That is why I wanted to be in them boxes with them cats. They allowed me to hide in a timeless place whenever  .  .  .  hey, let me just say one more thing. This is what really hurt. At one point  my immediate boss put me in a position where I could no longer counsel people and match them up with cats for adoption. The admin had just praised me for my adoption rate. And just then my boss took that away from me. That’s what pissed me off. That wound will be some time in scarring over. Forgive me please me my seeming inability to move on. I’m a writer, it’s a great story, and it hurts. Ya gotta trudge through that pain, and share the stories that reflect , as David Foster Wallace said, “how it feels to be fucking human”. It’s all good.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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