There’s something wrong with Rory

Not really. But really.

We suspect ADD. Or CADD, since he’s a cat.

Whatever issues Callie has, Rory has the opposite.

If Callie accidentally falls over just walking through the living room, Rory does an accidental somersault and lands on all four feet. On a table.

If Callie struggles to figure out “how to drink water from a bowl too small to stand in”, Rory helps her out by tipping the whole thing over and rolling around in it.

Then Callie licks the water off Rory.

He’s pleased as punch about it.

She’s happy to have such a nice brother.

If you come over, Rory will wear one of your shoes. If you were to take them off, of course.

He will also probably take a nap on your lap. Whether you want him to or not.

Rory has object permanence. If he were to get in trouble attempting to eat a nickel and I take it from him, he will watch where I put it and wait until I am asleep to retrieve it.

One night, I caught Rory halfway up the bookshelf. When I turned on the light to find out what all the ruckus was, he looked at me over his shoulder as if to say, “We could’ve avoided this if you left the jar of buttons where I can reach them,”

With Rory, no means go.

Stop means the game has begun.

With Rory, go also means go and the game never actually ends.

Until it is time to nap.

If it is naptime, he is asleep in a shoe or on a lap.

He will say, “Oh, hey, hi, I see you’ve brought your nap lap, that’s so nice of you, thank you very much,”

And before you are able to do anything about it, he will be asleep. Snore-purring. Snurring. Hugging your arm, resting the back of his head on your face

If there is actually something wrong with Rory, he will never be convinced.

But if you ask his sister, Callie, he’s almost purrfect. (She reserves the title of “total purrfection” for their other brother, Captain).

Currently free-balling

Without ADD meds.

Because 1. I’m not working. Don’t need to worry about focus in that department.

2. I’m not in school. Don’t need to concentrate for that.

3. My fucking driver’s license expired. Don’t need to concentrate as a passenger.

4. The entire country is “temporarily out of stock”.

I wondered if there would be withdrawal symptoms.

So far, I now take three naps per day and eateveryfuckingthinginthehouse.

But… I remember shit.

There were some fucking perks to ADD I forgot about.

Like the fact that my brain is returning to the, “every character from Charlotte’s Web” status from before ADD meds.

In my head, I am fun af. And Templeton really will eat anything. It’s my idio-idio-syncrasy. Because I am Some Pig.

Stream of consciousness writing is going to get wild, y’all.

I am supposed to drive with a DMV dude, (DOT dude? I never get those right, on or off meds).

In order to get my driver’s license renewed, I have to drive with one of those people with clipboards who checks off “stupid shit this bitch did while driving”.

Because, I accidentally let my driver’s license lapse for TWO YEARS past the expiration date.

In my defense, I didn’t notice because 1. I don’t have a car and 2. I don’t go anywhere and 3. I have ADD.

Then one day last month I thought I’d look up how long I had before it was time to renew my license and to my surprise but no one else’s, I was informed, I was so overdue to renew I had to prove I was still me and I’m still alive.

Because, obviously, someone who hasn’t renewed their driver’s license in two years must be dead.

I took the written test and passed on my first try.

Which is excellent news since I’ve had a driver’s license for 84 years.

I even got my picture taken and I fucking hate that. They didn’t let me see it though because I have to drive with clipboard guy first.

I think it will be in everyone’s best interest that I take my ADD meds the day I drive for clipboard guy.

I’ve already postponed it twice.

Because 1. I don’t have a car and 2. I fucking hate going outside.

But I have to go or Mr. Arable is going to sell me to Homer for six bucks.

And I have no spider friends.

There is something wrong with Callie

But she is the happiest kitten I know. We suspect there might have been a shortage of oxygen for her at birth. We have thought maybe she is deaf or hard of hearing or blind or all of the above. But, regardless, she is precious. And she is ecstatic to be alive.

Trajectory is a thing that happens for other cats.

Callie watches them, her siblings and her parents, jump up onto the couch or the little cat-climber we have rigged up for them to look out the window in the living room.

She watches them jump, forward and onto things and she jumps, straight up and right back down in one spot. And then she falls over.

We built little stairs out of different sized boxes for her to climb up the cat-climber and look out the window.

The first time a bird flew by, she fell over. She continued to lay there, looking out the window. I was relieved she did not fall off but I am learning not to help unless absolutely necessary (with animals and with humans).

We put a footstool on the floor between her bowl and her brother’s bowl because she refuses to eat unless she is under it. We don’t ask why anymore.

Once, when she realized the footstool was like another step she could climb up onto, she was so happy about sitting on top of it, she ate from up there. Her bowl was on the floor. She looked like a duck. Her butt was up in the air and her head was in her bowl and she ate like that until she fell over.

Then she went under her footstool to finish her breakfast as if nothing happened.

The other cats run and jump into the bathtub. They like water. Callie watches them do things and thinks, “This is a thing that I should do,”

For a full week she would run at the bathtub without jumping at all. She’d run right into the side of the tub, and fall over.

Then she learned how to stand up like a meerkat and peek into the tub.

That’s when I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to help.

I picked her up to put her into the tub with her siblings and she did this thing- her front half spun one direction, her rear half spun the opposite direction. Just when I thought sure she’d come unscrewed, I put her down, her little toe pads felt the cool of the tub, she stopped spinning, and fell over.

I watched and waited because, no way was this confused, happy thing getting out of the tub by herself.

But, I was wrong.

She lay there for awhile, watching her siblings. Then she got up, drank some water, and learned trajectory. Sort of. Sometimes. Basically, only in reference to the bathtub.

Ever since Callie experienced tubby time, she is constantly in and out of it. In the tub, out of the tub. In the tub, out of the tub.

She plays until she is tired. Then she climbs her little stairs and sleeps. Not in the window but directly in front of the television. She thinks the TV is a window her people watch birds out of, so she gets low and small so she doesn’t block our view.

Because, although Callie is clumsy and slightly crooked, she is a conscientious girl. And maybe there’s nothing wrong with her at all.

Not Whistler’s Mother

Since I got dentures, I can’t whistle for shit.

Since I got dentures, when I say shit, it sounds like thyit.

Before I got dentures, I was an optimist. It was, perhaps, a long time before the dentures came along. In the spirit of the new year coming up, I am trying to remain positive.

I am positive I can’t whistle for thyit.

I can spit like a champ. Except, it is more like random acts of drool. And it is pronounced thpit.

My ch’s now sound like a Welsh double l. For some reason, my Welsh double l sounds exactly as it should. As if I have an overabundance of thpit.

My voiceless alveolar lateral fricative is perfect. Thank you very much.

Sadly, this means I won’t be drinking much in Germany. Not that I wouldn’t want to. I just wouldn’t be able to ask for it. Dentally.

Alkohol in maßen, I can say. Alkohol in massen, I cannot. To be more accurate, maßen and massen sound exactly the same now. Thanks to these teeth, even if I wanted lots of beer in Berlin, I would only be able to ask for it in moderation.

My sibilant sounds are arrogant. Show-offy. Bigger than their britches and too old for shorts. Please don’t ask me to say shorts.

Dentures and optimism have led me to believe now is the time in my life to learn Gaelic.

Dentures and pessimism have led me to believe I should just shyut up.

Gaelic wins.

Would this kitten still love me

If he knew how many kittens I have called mine?

He plants his warm toe beans on my hand before he falls asleep as if I’ve never loved another cat.

He stares at me as if I’m pretty.

I am not.

He purrs in his sleep on my belly as if I am the only home he’s ever known or will ever know. He thinks he will live forever and I have always been here.

He doesn’t know how short his life will be compared to mine.

If he does, he doesn’t mind.

In the basement, his mother cries. Looking for his litter-mates who have gone on to new homes.

He has forgotten her.

He doesn’t hear her.

He no longer looks for her.

She cries as if the loss of her babies is the end of her life.

He snores as if he was born from air without a mother and not a cat but a part of a human.

A part of me.

He is not.

There are no more parts of me. I cried for the loss of my kittens until I was empty. I cannot love him like she loves him.

Because he does not love her like she loves him, there are no more parts of his mother. She howls herself out into the house where she cannot find her babies.

What I know and sometimes forget is there will be many moments of remembering. They feel like death. What she remembers right now is there should be four babies who come when she calls.

Or were there three?

I remember my two.

And then there were none.

Eventually, the thing that is missing will feel like an empty space in the middle of things.

It will become unidentifiable.

It will become a thing.

Eventually, she and I will just be things. Hollow vessels, empty of howls, near one contented kitten.

One contented, stupid kitten.

It ends

If you (or someone like you) had told me, in the midst of my children’s childhood, my children would be grown and gone someday I’d have called bullshit.

And I’m sure you (or someone like you) did tell me. But when you’re in it, it is all you know.

When you’re in it, there is now. There is this. There is laundry and dinner and bedtime and oh shit, you’re going to be late for school again.

There is what is this stain, how did this thing melt, what was that thing over there before a kid happened to it.

When it is happening, it is now. It is now and it is now and it is now and there is nothing else but now.

And then it ends.

This becomes then.

That overwhelming immersion in this is my life I am living it and it is busy but it is never boring and it is fun and frightening and glorious and heartbreaking and beautiful and a complete envelopment of you with your offspring and it feels like forever and so, so long.

And then they are gone.

Some of them will like you. Us. Me. Sometimes mine like me.

But, mostly, they are gone.

And you, us, we, are supposed to be happy about it. Rejoicing in a job well done.

Or, for some of us, a job done.

We are supposed to go back to being the separate, independent beings we were before them. If we don’t, it gets weird.

There are all kinds of classes for parents. Parents who are expecting, parents of toddlers, parents of preschool kids, parents of elementary school kids, tweens, teenagers, soccer players.

But there are no classes for “parents of children who are grown and raising children of their own”.

Unless therapy counts.

And, sure, people (who knows who) say, Enjoy the freedom. The You Time. The getting back to the core of who you were. But there really needs to be a class for parents learning how to stop being a parent.

And I’m going to use Newton’s first law of motion as my excuse for being inert.

An object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I am an object at rest without an unbalanced force in my vicinity.

Because, it fucking ends.

ADD is a bitch

But she’s never boring.

I just attempted to Google capitalism ideologies and spent 20 minutes reading about some Australian dude who claims to be the long lost love child of the new C & C Monarch Factory.

I learned nothing valuable.

My idea was to go on this, “let’s write a theme paper like we did in our college days,” and, well, honestly, it ended pretty much the same as those did. I excelled much more on theme papers I wrote for other people. Little side gig.

I wanted to prove possessions are temporary so money should essentially be valueless in the grander scheme of good vs evil, yin and yang, the soul and the ephemeral. That’s not the word. Whatever.

That led to money being, “the root of all evil,” and I had to listen to Ugly Kid Joe and that reminded me of a certain orange turnip who shall not be named, and there I was, trying to remember what I was Googling, staring at my home page and the top article suggested for me was the whole Australian love child guy and now I wish the Queen had been my grandma. I’d have made cookies for her.

Because even my big butt is temporary.

Temporal. That’s the word I was looking for. 1. From the late Latin, temporalis/tempora, meaning, “the temples”. (Of the head, not the church). 2. Related to the concept of time.

As opposed to temporary. You know, the opposite of permanent.

Like money.

And my train of thought.

I’m sorry Mr. Lennon

But I think you were full of shit. Life isn’t what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

Life happens while you wait.

Kids spend their entire childhoods waiting until they’re bigger. Waiting for Halloween. Christmas. Their best friend’s birthday party.

Teenagers can’t wait until Friday. The game. The dance. Sleeping in tomorrow morning. Graduation.

Young adults look forward to making money, getting out of their parent’s house, getting their own, real life started.

Pregnant moms-to-be wait for their next appointment, finding out their due date, learning what parts their little darling will come out with.

Parents with young children can’t believe it’s already time for Kindergarten. That might be the fastest wait there is, the wait from when a child is born until they go to school. That wait goes by in a flash. You just don’t realize how fast it’s going until you get to the doors of the school.

We wait for winter holidays. Spring break. Summer vacation.

Test results. News. Pay raises. Job evaluations.

We wait for events. Activities. The score.

We wait for our order, our bill, our procedures.

We wait in waiting rooms, our cars, our living rooms.

We wait by our phones, for messages, for texts, for emails, for contact.

When someone you miss says they will visit, you almost forget how to wait. You can’t remember what to do with yourself. Where to rest your hands. What to look at (out the window).

You clean up a little around the house. Take a shower. Feed the cats one too many times (cats hate waiting).

You listen for a car to pull up. Or a motorcycle. Maybe a truck.

You get annoyed at the mail carrier for interrupting your waiting by not being the person you are waiting for.

You get annoyed at John Lennon, Saint of Saints, for saying, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,”

Because he was fucking wrong.

Life happens while you wait.

The person who came up with, “Waiting is the hardest part,” was wrong too.

Receiving bad news is worse.

Someone not coming home is worse.

Not getting a phone call, a visit, or a good fucking test result… all worse.

Sitting beside your mom’s bed, holding her hand to let her know she’s not alone as she waits for the very last time- bad.

Your mom dying- worse.

But sometimes life has other plans.

Of all the things I miss

I’ve lost my mind the most.

Normally I don’t write two journal/blog/diary thingies in a week, let alone a day, but I’m sitting here just realizing, there’s no one left to talk to. (I don’t always pay attention but when I do I’m still very wtf).

Is that pathetic? Eh. Maybe. Do I care?

Fucking obviously, here I am journal/blog/diary-ing twice in one day.

Wtf do people do with the second half of their lives?

My kids are grown, my grandkids are off doing whatever this years version of, “Too cool for you, granny-o,” does these days, the hubs, literally, cannot stand the sound of my voice (he looks at me as if my face will come unhinged and bats will fly out my mouth) (they fucking might) and everybody else is dead.

My C8 disk is ferked because I slept wrong.

Active sleeping is too much for me now.

L3/L4, L4/L5, L5/S1 were already ferked so I can’t even active sit-up-straight without my left arm turning into pins and needles, my left ass cheek feels like I rode Ragbrai all month, my sciatic nerve makes its presence known all the way down to my left pinky toe and my right ankle randomly stops acting like an ankle and does an excellent imitation of, oh, I dunno, something without bones.

There is supposedly a federal program or two that non-working people and/or physically ferked people and/or mentally ferked people (I can say these things because I am all of these things) can apply for and get, Oooh, free money! (that all us working stiffs actually paid into for decades so its not actually free, you bananahead) but a person has to be terminally ferking ferked to actually get paid any of that money so early retirement it is.

Woo-hoo! Two dollars a day for the rest of my life.

Okay, that is slightly exaggerated but only just.

The bad news: There’s nothing for dinner. The good news: There’s lots of it.

“No one wants to work these days,” they say.

Well, toots, point me in the direction of a job that will pay me to sit waaay over on my right ass cheek with my left arm above my head and my left leg bent under me like I’m about to pray to the 50-yard-line while yelling praise the lord through goddamned ill fitting lisp-enhancing ugly af dentures and I’m your gal!

Pay me to blog, bitch. (I can say that, there’s no one really here).

Or buy me a soda. (Seriously).

Or let me read this really funny thing to you I just read to myself because there’s no one to ferking talk to. I would take that as payment. Just let me rattle on at you for awhile. But, you have to be really good at fooling me into believing you find me interesting or I will unhinge my jaw and barf up bats.

One of these days I’m going to drive my mind out into the country and leave it on a gravel road.

Just watch, it’ll beat me home.

And it will still be craving nicotine.