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Category Archives: Miscellaneous
I’m at a Safeway in Aberdeen, Washington and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. It’s getting late and I’m starting to get tired and I’m searching the aisles for dinner and I can’t stop smiling. My legs hurt and my sight is blurry and I’m practically euphoric.
Maybe it’s because I’m seriously considering buying a toilet bowl scrub from a Safeway in Aberdeen, Washington.
I have my deli sandwich and she has her coffee and salad. We go back out to my car and the sky is a deep red to the west and a dark blue to the east. We are heading east.
We get in my car and my body can’t decide if it is sore from driving all day or sore from hiking all day. It is probably both.
She opens her salad dressing and it goes flying. Was it ranch? Blue cheese? I forget, but it is everywhere and all I can do is laugh. It is on the dash, the seats, all over her, and we just laugh.
Well, she wipes herself up too, but there is a lot of laughing. More so on my end.
We clean up as best we can, as best as we are motivated for after such an exhausting day, and continue our drive back. We are still a few hours from Seattle. I still have half a sandwich.
I talk about how the weather reminds me of December. Except warmer. And less snow. And more leaves on the trees. And the grass is greener. And it actually isn’t like December at all and we laugh about that too.
So much had happened that day. I was pulled over by a cop. I tried to fix a headlight. I navigated through fog. I was in the rainforest and I was in the snow. I was at the top of a mountain and at the edge of an ocean.
But here I am in a car heading down 12 and it is now completely dark and I still only have one headlight. We aren’t talking anymore, we had done a lot of that earlier. We are both tired. The only sound is her music playing that I don’t understand but enjoy nonetheless.
And I haven’t been this happy in many months. I am comfortable. I am content.
If there is one thing that makes you feel like an idiot while moving, it’s moving weights.
“Jesus, dude, what’s in this box?”
“Oh that box? Just heavy matter.”
I mean, the things are designed for one sole purpose: to be heavy. I can’t think of another item whose sole purpose is to be a force.
“Oh, your own weight set? You must use them a lot.”
“Nope, never touched them.”
They are like the physical representation of your shattered hope to get into shape. And the weight of them as you move, the amount of energy it takes to get them from your room to your car, the sweat pouring down your face, is the manifestation of just how far you haven’t come.
“Why don’t you just get rid of them then?”
“Well, you know, someday…”
You spend more time thinking about how to move them than you’ve ever thought about working out. Should I take them all in one go and risk wearing myself out? Should I strategically disperse the weights through multiple boxes, making everything slightly more difficult?
And, let me remind you, that their only purpose is to be heavy.
“Oh God! There are more weights!?”
My solution is to have my friends help me move.
My urge to write fiction is growing. It has been much too long since I’ve been able to dedicate myself to writing much of anything. But I can feel “it” coming.
I hate writing about not writing, but sometimes I guess I just have to do it. It is like a clog in the drain that just needs to get worked out or else nothing is going to come through.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but for these past many months I just haven’t felt like writing fiction. My life has been complicated on more levels than I could have possibly imagined a year ago. I’ve barely been reading, let alone writing. It seems that the only time I have wanted to write is when I want to vent my real-life problems. And for as much as I do that here, I try to keep that to a minimum.
But recently, very recently, as in these past few weeks, I’ve been able to read more. And reading always gets my creativity flowing. Ideas percolate. Little strings appear that, if I pull on them, just might lead to something greater. And I can feel that starting to happen again.
I’m not sure when I’ll start posting more here, hopefully sooner rather than later, but I will. It is not an exaggeration to say that I think of this blog everyday. I certainly haven’t forgotten about it. The passion hasn’t gone away. Unfortunately, in tough and confusing times, motivation dwindles and the bitterness of reality takes over.
Maybe I’m stabilizing, or maybe I’m not, but for one reason or another I can feel “it” coming back. And hopefully “it” is worth it.
My girlfriend and I were in Glacier National Park. We were hiking on this beautiful trail. One of those trails where every time you take a corner it is even more beautiful than the last. It was a long hike, but fairly flat. We were brainstorming what we were going to name our cat.
We had decided that once we were settled in a place for awhile we would get a cat. She had wanted a cat forever. I always joked about how we could barely support ourselves, let alone another living mammal. Even so, I like cats and am a sucker for stuff like that, so we had decided we were going to get one once we got back from our trip.
We wanted our cat to have a unique, yet nerdy name. While we hiked through the mountains we listed off obscure characters from fantasy and science fiction. We blew through a lot of Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica, but that didn’t seem right. Although someday I would like a pet named Odo. We started listing Lord of the Rings characters. She was practically an encyclopedia for that kind of stuff. Then she came up with Quickbeam.
Quickbeam, as some astute readers may remember, is the hasty ent in the Lord of the Rings. It had been a joke between us that Quickbeam was my favorite character and completely underrepresented in the movies. I wish I could say I thought of the name, but I didn’t. When she said it though, the discussion was over. We were naming our cat Quickbeam whether she liked it or not.
Luckily, she liked it.
A few weeks later we were at an adoption center, surrounded by nearly a dozen kittens. I was pretty sure my girlfriend was going to die of cuteness overload. Somehow we had to pick just one. I personally wanted a male cat, because in my experiences they are just more relaxed. She was okay with this, because she just wanted something cute. That narrowed the pool down.
One little guy really stood out though. He was this small, black little cat with just the right balance of cuddliness and playfulness. There were a few “Are you sure?”s back and forth, until we eventually decided that he was our cat.
His name was Horace. I almost wanted him to keep that name just because of how ridiculous it was for this tiny little kitten. But alas, it was not meant to be.
For he was Quickbeam.
We brought him home and got him set-up for the night. He had his cardboard box turned into a kitty bed and a few toys. He was much more curious about exploring the brand new room. We let him roam about freely for awhile to get his bearings. He got tired pretty fast.
I can’t recall if it was that first night or the one after, but for whatever reason I had to be alone with him for an evening because my girlfriend had obligations. That night I played with Quickbeam, trying to wear him out as much as possible to he’d sleep through the night. I eventually wore him out pretty good, so I laid down on the couch, covered myself up with a blanket, and plopped him on top of me.
He began trying to nurse from me. He laid there on my chest, pawing the blanket and sucking trying to find a nipple. I had become his mother.
Time passed and we experienced all of those cat hijinks that ensue. He was incredibly playful, sometimes violently so. We were probably to blame for that as much as him. I had my fair share of deep scratches and bites. But he was also super loveable. He liked people, liked cuddling in your lap, loved sleeping on your head at night. He always wanted to come under the covers and sleep between me and my girlfriend.
He was a good cat. I’ve had a few cats growing up. I liked all of them, but they certainly have their own personalities, their own quirks. I certainly liked Quickbeam the most though, because he was mine. He was my first child.
When my girlfriend and I broke up, Quickbeam was one of those many sacrifices I had to make. For as much as I loved him, I knew he wasn’t mine to keep. There certainly wasn’t any debate over that.
And for as terrible as I felt about the whole situation, the thing that shocked me the most was how much I missed Quickbeam when he was gone. When all was said and done, I had only had him in my life for a few months, but hell if I didn’t get used to his constant presence. I got used to always having him there, even when I was the only one home. I was never alone when he was there, and now he was gone. That really surprised me.
My now ex-girlfriend called me yesterday. We hadn’t spoken on the phone in over 5 months. I was in class and couldn’t answer. She left a message. She told me that she had bad news about Quickbeam and that I should call back.
My heart immediately sunk. She certainly wouldn’t be calling me just because he was having a bad day. I assumed the worst. During the next class break I called back.
Quickbeam had developed feline infectious peritonitis. A fatal disease. Incurable. He had become lethargic. He wouldn’t eat. His stomach was growing large with fluid. She’d brought him to the vet twice. He was going to die.
I went over to her place today. This was the first time I had seen her since we broke up. Quickbeam was lying there in a blanket. I could tell right away he wasn’t good. His face looked strange, his eye was messed up, his stomach disproportionately large. I could tell he wasn’t all there either. He wasn’t very attentive. His movements weren’t graceful.
I pet him a little bit, but he seemed really uncomfortable. He sort of stumbled away. Eventually he hid under her bed. I’ve always heard cats are private like that when they are dying.
Part of me always imagined being on better terms with my ex-girlfriend in the future and being able to see Quickbeam frequently again. I imagined coming in and having him run up to me like before. I never stopped thinking he was my cat, only that he didn’t live with me anymore.
Tomorrow she is going to bring Quickbeam to the vet and put him down. And that is what he needs. But that doesn’t make life any more fair for him. Or for her. He is 9 months old. If that isn’t bullshit I don’t know what is. The only lesson I can take away is that sometimes life just sucks. It isn’t always fair. It is random and uncontrollable.
I don’t regret getting Quickbeam for a second. He was a good cat. He was my boy.