Mamie and I have a new game. She emails me the song playing on her mental jukebox and waits. Sometimes, nothing happens.
Mamie: I’m listening to Mandy Moore sing [Insert Mandy Moore song].
Tata: Sorry to hear it.
I win; life goes on. Sometimes Mamie wins – or more to the point, sometimes I *lose.*
Mamie: This morning it’s Bryan Adams’ “One Night Love Affair.”
Tata: DAMN IT!
The wandering mind is a bitch. It goes out into the wide world and comes back with fleas. This morning, I woke up next to Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, and thinking of a man I loved ten years ago. He moved in and moved out a handful of times; why he bothered I’ll never know. I thought I’d die of the grief. In any case, it’s really difficult to lament a still painful loss while a very, very happy cat plays hopscotch on your ribcage, purring like an outboard motor. If you haven’t cut the cat’s nails recently, you arrive very suddenly in the present. “Good morning, Larry. Ow! Ow! I – ow! – love you, too! Ow! Shall we – ow! hey! I use that! – go look at your food bowl?” I forgot about that man, though.
Sometimes I think I could go on collecting paychecks and perfecting my pedicure until my number’s up. I feel like a ghost. Hey, at least I’m not Bryan Adams. I bet that’s song’s stuck in his head *all* the time.