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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cats, Catfish & Cars

The desperation stage hasn't arrived yet. I'm still not so tired and twitchy that I am slamming around the house in frustration. I lay in bed downstairs for an hour, rearranging my pillows and my position on the mattress, placing my hands on my belly, then at my sides, staring up into the whirling blackness where my ceiling fan spins, turning to face the windows, then the wall. I wandered upstairs twenty minutes ago, where the daybed now sits between the bookcases in my office. Last night, I was finally able to doze off here--and then the cat bounced around nipping my exposed toes at dawn. When my alarm went off, I rolled out to stagger a couple of feet to my desk chair, which screeches whenever I lean back in it, and Trixie tore off in terror from her perch on my pillow, where she'd been comfortably purring while I dozed. She hates the sound of the chair's creaks and squeals. I could probably quiet them a little with a generous application of WD40, but I don't want to drip grease on my rug. And the sound serves as a mechanical proxy for voicing my editorial frustrations. Instead of cursing, I rock back in my chair and pump frenetically on the treadle (my desk is constructed on an old cast-iron Singer sewing machine base). This is also an effective strategy for dealing with writer's block.

Suggestions for my upcoming South Korea trip have come in from several directions, and include everything from dating advice (hah, as if!) to tour recommendations (most useful). A coworker said she sees me meeting a nice childless Korean widower and getting married--I told her if that happens, I will fly her over for the wedding! Seriously, I am looking forward to visiting the DMZ, Namsan Tower, taking the cable car, going on a hike, and eating lots of good food. 

I interviewed a second cat this evening, but he is too young right now to be adopted. Five week old kittens are so absurdly tiny. The five I saw were wee fuzz balls with stiff short tails and clumsy movements, like animated toys. There were two calicoes, a tortie and two dark tabbies, one with a tuxedo chest. The little guy I liked looks to be a miniature version of Trixie--ye olde standard brown tabby, sans white. So much for variety. But if similar coloration implies a similarly mild character, there is no reason to deviate from the tried and true.

I bought a laser pointer. Trixie is not immune to the siren call of the uncatchable red dot. It's much easier for me to encourage her to gallop from the dining room to the bedroom this way than it is by trailing the cat wand. I'm less likely to trip over her or my own feet while shining a light from a standing position than when jogging.

Petra and I went out to eat at a fish camp in Edgefield, SC, this evening. They have the best grits I've tasted. It had been nineteen years since I had last been--a dreadful evening which I spent mainly holed up in the ladies room, miserable for having broken up with my boyfriend. They serve their sweet iced tea in mason jars, and the ice is the size of BBs--I don't usually have sweet tea, but theirs is delicious. Goats and geese and ducks roam the ponds and paddocks around the building, and on the porch was a single black and white tomcat that waylaid the two of us as we left with takeaway boxes--I offered him a pinch of fried catfish, which he enthusiastically devoured.

Petra's new car is plush--like me, she's a Honda girl, and she'd driven her last one until the locks had broken and the only way she was able to enter was through the passenger side. She had briefly considered getting a used vehicle, but then had been called for jury duty on a major drugs case--and learned that big-time cocaine runners had been making a practice of renting cars, secreting kilos of drugs in the tires and driving hundreds of miles to exchange the goods for cash, which was put in the tires on the return trip. She couldn't help but wonder thereafter if the year-old models on the market (which weren't so much cheaper than brand new) had been used for such nefarious purposes, and since she works in public education, she had visions of the campus drug dogs pinpointing her vehicle as suspect for that reason. So, she bought a really new car, reasoning that she'd get her money's worth out of it just like she had the last one.

My own car is starting to make unpleasant noises. But my mom is out of town at the moment, and besides, the glass people are coming to fix a chip in my windshield tomorrow, so I cannot take it to the shop until next week. My uncle finally got the key to the house where we're setting up the estate sale for his friend's mother, so that process gets underway this weekend.

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