Sweetpea wore at least as much pink bismuth as she swallowed, but then she and I sunned ourselves on the porch and she let me brush her smooth. Later, she quit hiding and curled up on our bed. That cheered us up a little, though we could see Sweetpea felt like crap and wouldn’t drink water. We never saw her pad upstairs to the litter box either. An hour ago, we gave her water flavored with the cat gravy Georg recommended keeping on hand for kitty emergencies. I wore as much watery gravy as Sweetpea drank, but she’s lounging on a window sill now. We’ll give her some more water before we go to bed and hope for a quiet night. I’m trying to stay calm and think clearly. In her role as Narrator, Topaz keeps trying to tell me something.
You could watch this video.
But why? DEVO explained Paul Ryan to you decades ago.
Yesterday’s Star-Ledger, which apparently does not screen for crazy, contained this letter to the editor that made my brain feel like it was full of soda.
So the world didn’t end on Saturday. As a card-carrying member of American Mensa, allow me to try again.
If you assign a number to each letter of the names Barack and Obama, such that A equals 1 and B equals 2, etc., Barack sums to 36 and Obama sums to 32. These two numbers share something in common; they are both even submultiples of the number 576. For example, the Obama number, 32, will sum to 576 in exactly 18 steps. If we now introduce Obama’s “essence number,” which is 5, the number numerologists have identified as the number of “change,” and multiply Barack’s 18 steps by the number 5, we get the number 90. If we then add this 90 to the single number that links his first and last names, the number 576, then we get 666.
So there it is. Barack Obama is the Antichrist and America is headed straight for hell.
– Thomas Clough, Maplewood
Yes, I transcribed that. No, I didn’t change – numerologists say 5! – even a single comma. The only important newspaper in New Jersey printed that as you see it. I couldn’t find a link or I’d absolutely demand you go have a look. Absolutely. It’s the kind of thing you should see for yourself and slap me if I’m lying.
Speaking of crazy, which I can because I play for Team Crazy, have a look at this picture from General Hospital.Here we have actress Brianna Brown standing in front of a locked door in a scene where the actress on the other side of this door is acting out pretending to be locked in this basement – and not because I’ve phrased that incorrectly and union regs prevents anyone from actually being locked in anything. No, the other character in this scene knows she’s about to be rescued by the character who plays her husband. That makes six people – three of them actors and three figments of our imagination – who haven’t noticed what I notice every time I see someone locked into something on a soap opera. Look at this picture again. Know what you don’t see? Hinges. That’s right. The hinges are on the side where the tiny, helpless woman being held captive is. That means the door isn’t actually locked in a way that would prevent her escape. It is rather securely fastened on a temporary basis, especially since it’s a basement door and a basement is where most people would keep tools.
The crazy part is you’re not supposed to know that because you’re a woman, you soap opera viewer you.
To my abiding shame, I’ve found Saturday Night Live funny recently, so long as I was looking at one Lindsey Buckingham at a time.
Two more miracles and I’m set for eternity.
Fourteen hours later, Pete and I return from our weekly golf clapping at the health food store where the produce is so beautiful it looks like Vermeer painted it during one of those periods when he didn’t doubt his own existence, and found a car parked with its bumper blocking our driveway. Pete started swearing.
Pete: Rassin frassin pix atuny hibbity bapf!
Tata: Do you know whose car that is?
Pete: It’s the rassin frassin kids’ next door.
Still swearing, Pete got out of the car, walked to the end of the driveway, looked at the bumper and marched across the lawn.
Pete: Pakka bibblix quobboparep bu bu bu flibbit!
I gathered grocery bags, let myself into the house and from the living room, heard him standing on the neighbor’s porch, swearing.
Pete: Kekka woo bob wrokkup pibbiloque!
I threw the bags on the floor and realized the reason I couldn’t breathe was that I was laughing hysterically. Pete threw open the front door, found me draped over the kitchen island, gasping for air. Still swearing, he stomped up the stairs, where I could hear him marching from room to room, swearing.
Pete: Dappa vitchiy gik pooder mos libberdiffy poodicles!
My knees buckled. He stomped down the stairs again to the spot on the floor where I lay, howling.
Pete: Whatcha doin’, sweetie?
I finally took a breath.
And howled for another ten minutes.
That’s strawberry-rhubarb pie filling. Working up your own recipes for jarring is supposed to be very bad juju, fraught with perilous peril, unless you’ve been jarring since before you could tie your own apron strings. Thing is: sometimes you can go from book to book to book and find recipes filled with crap you’re not interested in eating; such was the case with rhubarb pie filling. I was not at all interested in including thickeners other than sugars, since I couldn’t find anyone making a case that the additional ingredients affected the pH and I would prefer my jarred pie fillings not congeal in the jar. Dude: it’s hard to get gelatin out of a quart jar and I develop needless hostility for delicious fruit. No, I want to open a jar of fruit like peaches, toss that into a pie crust, open a jar of pie filling and pour that on top without a fight or unnerving SLOOSHing sounds. Then I want to roll out a top crust, crimp that bad boy and bake it until it sings to me because, dagnabbit, in January, pink pie might save your life. Back to my point: I found recipes for rhubarb preserves and strawberry preserves, both of which included only fruit and sugar, that’s it. So I macerated the strawberries, macerated the rhubarb, cooked them a little, put a tablespoon of lemon juice in each jar, and poured in gently simmered fruit. The jars processed for half an hour, which seemed sensible. The flip side of working up a recipe is that I have to be prepared to accept it if I’ve fucked up. So okay: if I open a jar and the pink pie filling’s turned a startling fuzzy blue I have no one to blame but myself. If it’s tasty, though, I shall be impossible to live with.
Topaz is curled up in my lap. She and Drusy came to live with me a little over four years ago now. It’s been about sixteen months since prickly Topaz threw caution to the wind and climbed into my lap to cuddle. After awhile, it’s time to get over what was, what we did, who we might have been. If Topaz can, I can, too. Today, I looked up the video for Fake Plastic Trees, which I’ve never seen.
For fifteen years, the memory of this and and depression were enough to turn me inside, but not today. I waited for a feeling of familiar devastation that didn’t come. Waited. Waited. Nothing! Then I felt stupid for expecting to feel small and broken.
Well, whaddya know: I might be over it. Whaddoo I do now? If I am free, this is a new life.
The cats freaked with people in the house. Their fur stood on end and they went Full Kitty Invisible for a couple of hours. I later found Sweetpea in a spot behind the couch where I’d looked for cats and did not find them, but Topaz and Drusy’s hiding spots remain mysterious. As I write, Topaz crouches on the dining room table, blinking slowly at me. The noise and the hubbub were too much for them, which makes them cuddly and suspicious now. Sweetpea snores softly on the couch and Drusy crunch-crunch-crunches kibble in the new quiet of the kitchen.