Cat Ghost

Ophelia

she woke me up one gray morning
back from the dead
seeking answers from me
why
two years before my death did you
create upheaval
invite noise and chaos
test the limits of my anxiety

Rage

There’s no other word for it.

But the coffee was better and more substantial today, probably because I used hotter water. I read Camus’s The Stranger, and was angry, though it engaged me more than John Updike’s Run Rabbit, which I started last night, and didn’t particularly feel like continuing.

I did yoga, and was angry. I meditated and was angry.

But I can see Bi Long Temple nestled in the green hills across the freeway from my father’s desk, and the cool island breeze is familiar now when I open the window.

Day 1 of Quarantine

Started the day at 5:30 a.m. with French Press coffee. Brought my own coffee grounds and French Press because I can’t leave to get coffee at 7-11 or Family Mart. I know my own dependency so came prepared. Haven’t made French Press coffee since Ana showed me in 2009, when I visited her in Greensboro. It really is a bit smoother, but also lighter.

Paperwork and so much bureaucracy before I can see my dad. Nothing to do about it. So I billed almost 8 hours and did squats and pushups and yoga (too impatient to finish the whole video), played guitar (wasn’t feeling it, after 2 songs).

I always love looking at old picture albums.

Read so much on the airplane, my eyes almost fell out. Therese Raquin in its entirety, finished most of Mating in Captivity, and got through the first half of Interpreter of Maladies. Will pick up one of Dad’s John Updike novels tonight.

 

 

Scenes from Quarantine: Furniture

We moved back to our old house after shelter-in-place was instituted, and found furnishing a bit of a challenge, with so many stores shut down. However, being stuck at home and having a little extra time isn’t always a bad thing. Working from home definitely has its perks: no commute, and lunch hour can be put to use doing household stuff. I repainted a 15- year old Ikea chair.

I put together a couple of shelves for Vale’s room, spray-painted a chrome toilet paper holder that was rusting, and also painted our rusty gate in the side yard.

Furniture stores were largely closed, so we surfed Craigslist and Facebook market for used dining tables, but ended up going another route: custom built. This is probably more typically used as outdoor patio furniture, but we like the look. The next step was chairs. Ikea was closed for an extended period of time, and their online/delivery service was straight-up incompetent, so we waited…and waited… and waited on chairs…

Until the very Ikea chairs we intended to buy came up for sale on Facebook market for $10 each ($25 new). They were already put together, which was a bonus, and were very easy to sand and spray paint.

I also bought an unnecessary but complementary side table for our master bedroom from Facebook market for $5. I wasn’t really looking for a table, but it was only $5, and spray painting is fun. I rather liked the result after sanding and painting, along with a new knob from Home Depot (for only $2).

Fiona too, is enjoying the new furniture, along with beautiful fresh cut roses from our yard.

Cousin

sometimes when I put on a little too much makeup
drink a little too much
and smile in a certain way
in the fuzzier hours of night
I see her face in mine
at first a shock but then I welcome it because
I find
it’s the closest thing
to bringing her back to life
from the dead

Black Fiona

sometimes in the afternoon sun
I catch my black cat
out of the corner of my eye
in the magical recesses of periphery
and I see instead my
dead
black
cat
gone for over a year
slinking toward me
her claws tapping the cold kitchen tile
fat
slow
and so endearingly ordinary
looking for solace from
the grating existence of all people on earth
the source of her eternal anxiety
or maybe seeking out
just one more cheek scratch
before taking her final leave

Boredom

Well, I said, sipping cold coffee in the sun

Your hero –

He could stop neither time nor his sister’s moral degradation and

You two look like a couple of washed-out whores. You gonna make some money tonight?

You see?

Here we are

Two decades later

Also unable to stop time and our own moral decay

 

Joe

Was the last straw

They used to chain smoke together on her balcony and laugh at the morning dew

Make cocktails in the early evening and talk about the future

I used to watch them and think

Maybe this is it

But he inevitably disappointed her

With his bad cocaine habit

Joblessness

Unreliability

Weight gain

She said no one would play with her like he did

I said better men were everywhere

But she did not believe me

So she took her mango salsa recipe

Homemade curtains

Bread baked from scratch

Her psychology degree

Left me in Los Angeles

And went home to the country

Where disingenuous city boys could not find her

And her friends had more to offer than drowning her bruised, bloody, young heart in whiskey or sitting by the toilet at the end of the night

Eric

He was irritated, she could tell, and she said not to worry, but I have actually slept with 69 people, as of this day, June 9, and can you feel the syphilis eating away at your own brain?

Myself, I have less thoughts these days. All the better as I deliver this morose letter to the front door of a fraternity house, to a boy who cares less than he should because he does not know any better.

As she stood on the front steps of the house, contemplating his stupidity, it suddenly occurred to her she was once in his shoes, on the receiving end of an over-zealously maudlin letter, which she hardly cared enough to read; she half listened as her roommate rattled off pages of complaints, heartbreak, and insult, and might have even laughed. The letter ended up in a trash can under her desk. This was but a fleeting thought when he came to the door to accept the missive, and she turned to leave him to his poor choices and to comfort her friend in a night steeped in cheap whiskey.

Tim

I heard them in the bunk above
didn’t like the way he said her name but
she liked it, giggled until her cheeks were pink and eyes were bright
Until two weeks later he said
He was driving across the country with his ex girlfriend
Mary
And I fed her whiskey all night
then held her chestnut locks
while she cried into the toilet