Posts Tagged ‘Cat’

I just finished burying my belovéd cat Kanji beneath one of the great eucalyptus trees in the garden at Edgemont Place. I had to do this once before with the Murdoch family cat, Frodo, in 1997, after I moved him in with my first wife and our four cats Kalvin, Anastasia, Hobbes, and Atari on Sutter Street. Frodo was over 16 years old, a canny outdoors cat with a penchant for rubbing so vigorously on the edge of roofs that he’d almost fall off. He had never been away from the fiefdom on Amiford, but the people who were leasing the house while my parents were in Canada were “allergic to cats” and didn’t want him around. It was only a couple of months later that he quit eating — even hand-shredded warm chicken — and I knew it was time for him to go.

 


Frodo

 

When I took Frodo to a highly impersonal 24 hour clinic to figure out what was wrong with him, the diagnosis was swift and sure: kidney failure. He wouldn’t miraculously heal and start eating and beating the shit out of the younger cats when they wouldn’t leave him alone like he was doing last week. It was clear that it was time, and when I looked into his eyes when I put him down, he was so much wiser and greater than I could ever be; he thanked me with a wink as he slipped over the edge and was no longer there in feline form.

I had no cat carrier at that time, so I took Frodo to the clinic in a paper ream box with a lid. As I took his body home in the same box, driving west on the I8, the clouds poured sunshine through a halo-like hole in the sky over the ocean, and I had to pull over to let the tears course down my face and to scream how unfair it is that I am left behind with all of this grief and a hole in my heart. I went home, got a shovel out of the shed, and drove to Monaco Street near the Amiford residence. I hiked up the drainage ditch I used to play in and around as a child, struck off into the depths of the old acacia bushes, and found a spot under a tree that I thought Frodo would like. And I buried his body there, in the wilderness behind the house where he would disappear for hours and sometimes days, hunting, napping, sunning, and doing whatever it is cats do when they go adventuring. Performing this ceremony made me whole over time: I knew I had done the right thing and done it with power and grace. It is not an easy thing to do.

 

Kan*Ji

the Japanese Kanji for Kanji

 

It doesn’t get any easier the second time around.

The week before this one, on Thursday, I woke up with Kanji curled up between my legs where I had fallen asleep on the couch. What puts this into perspective is that Kanji does not like to come inside the house. She’s always been like this; I am certain her previous owners didn’t allow her inside, and it was hilarious to watch her at Saratoga — where I inherited her — with an open door and a bowl of wet fud just inside enticing her to cross that threshold. When I moved and took her to Panorama, she stayed in my room for two weeks straight, terrified and freaking out that I had moved her from where she had always been. After she ventured outside, she found the spacious basement and spent her time sleeping in the rafters, only emerging to demand fresh kibble and occasionally sprint halfway up a tree when chased by the native cats Brother, Jedi, and Vader. She would continue to sleep at the foot of the bed every so often; a pleasant morning surprise keeping my feet warm and blinking her big blue eyes at me as I would be sleepily slapping the nightstand for the snooze button. At Edgemont, Kanji quickly took up residence under the house a

 

somebody is dreaming...

Kanji abed

 

gain when I let her outside and removed an anti-rodent mesh from the sub-basement. Over time, she found many hidey-holes, but spent most of her time curled up snoozing in the beat-up garage, sometimes on top of my carpeted DJ coffins or speakers. She did get used to coming in the house in order to feed and water, though, so I got used to her occasionally showing up inside, although she much preferred to enter via the window rather than crossing a doorjamb. So it was unusual to have Kanji curled up next to me, rubbing blood and pus all over my comforter from her ruined nose and ear because she just couldn’t quit being a kitten and, well, she wanted to communicate with me that she needed me.

I spent the last week with Kanji as an indoor cat. She had gotten skinny — skin and bones, really, so I plied her with wet fud and booted Brother out of the house so she could eat in peace. Lots of time was devoted to scratching her in all the right places, and gently, so when she would encourage me to rip the scabs off of her nose and ear to drain the grisly shit that was going on underneath, my fingers could dance around it. She peed on everything and I didn’t give a fuck; that Thursday she came in the house, I promised her that I would take care of this once and for all, and so we hung out hard-core: nerding it up while I solved Halo: Reach on Legendary mode with her next to me for good luck; watching Netflix Kung Fu movies until 4 in the morning on school nights; hand-feeding her American cheese slices and black forest ham on her Mexican blanket on the couch and hearing her little “om nom nom” noises; waking up in the middle of the night as she decided that she wanted to sleep closer to me, so she would carefully crawl on to my chest or between my calves and pretend like she had always been there. Kanji was fiercely independent, but she knew better than I what time it was.

 

Handsome Girl Modelling School pose #113

Kanji on the back of my couch

 

I took Kanji to Heather at Cabrillo Vet four or five months ago to find out what was wrong with the persistent scabs on her ear and nose. Heather and her whole staff, by the way, are the greatest lovers of animals on the planet. Referring to me as “Dad”, Heather told me several months ago that this was fast-moving, untreatable skin cancer, and as tears welled up in my eyes, she informed me that Kanji had 1-6 months to live. Today I took Kanji back to Cabrillo and Heather to put her down. Over the last week, I would come home from work at GreenHouse, drop my heavy backpack of tech, and go looking for her. I was worried that Kanji would try some disappearing bullshit on me. At first, I would find her laid out on the couch somewhere, but as this last week went by, I would have minor panic attacks and search the yard fruitlessly, thinking that Kanji either couldn’t get back in the window or that she was trying some dumb “I’m just going to disappear” ploy. She was always inside the house, but these last three days, she was so embarrassed with her incontinence and appearance, she found a secret spot in my back closet where she would hide until I coaxed her out of it and encouraged her back to the couch. Usually, this involved playing Lady Gaga tunes and putting fresh food in her bowl; she loves teh Gaga while she delicately ate while trying not to bang her scabby nose into the kibble.

So the second vet visit ever was to put her out of this misery. I am comforted that I spent good time with Kanji and have lots of pictures and even a little bit of video (where she got excited and tore the crap out of the back of my hand). Heather and Cabrillo are very efficient; I signed some paperwork and there was no wait. We went right back to the exam room, and they gave me a scant two minutes to let Kanji out of the carrier and let her freak out and run around a little. As I put her back on the table for the procedure, I got one good look in her big baby blue eyes, and saw them change from fear to resignation to trust. I trust you. I. Trust. You. And that is how Kanji went forth into the great beyond.

 

This is where I buried Kanji

This is where I buried Kanji

 

I’m an Eagle Scout; I pride myself on being prepared and being good in the “clutch” situation. As I drove home with Kanji’s still form in the cat carrier, I couldn’t help but look at her as if she was just sleeping. When I got home, I didn’t like her body in the carrier, so I carefully pulled her out and laid her on her circular cat-tower-throne that she liked when she was sunning and sleeping. She looked like she always did, sans an infrequent mini-bath and look around while squinting and licking her chops before resuming her nap. I found my shovel under the stairs and dug a deep hole next to two of the massive eucalyptus trees here at Edgemont place. Curling her up in that hole, and arranging her limbs to cover her eyes and give her the semblance of a nap reminded me of doing the same thing with Frodo. And that’s when I knew that it doesn’t get any easier the second time around.

As I updated Kanji’s Catbook profile to provide how long she had been loved, I realized that I have known her since 2008. It is 2010; that is two years. But when you love unconditionally — something I have a problem doing with humans, but rarely with animals — that is a lifetime. I have received many beautiful expressions of sorrow and understanding from my friends and family, and I appreciate them all; however, none of them goes as far as a simple meow from Brother: “Are you OK? I love you. BTW where’s Kanji? Can I have her fud?”

Kanji is physically gone, like so many other cherished pets and loved ones, but that does not relinquish the responsibility of playing it forward: lives are spent setting examples, and I remind myself constantly that this is why they were here in the first place: to move and inspire me now. Even after I have laid one of mine to rest in the cool earth. Kanji is not even a girl; Heather took one look at her and laughed, stating “that’s a boy-kitten, Dad.” Having known this for over four months, I still could not quit referring to her as a girl; Kanji didn’t care about the context — only the tone of voice and the love contained within and that there was Fancy Feest involved if he/she acted cute enough. This is unconditional love, and I can haz it with cats; human beings, though, I am not so sure about. Kanji was like that: suspicious of “hoomins” — this is, perhaps, one lesson that is worth remembering; and, that once alleviated, love is all I have to give to you.

I took my cat Kanji to the vet because her ear wasn’t getting any better. Ever since I have known her, she’s had problems with her ears being mangy. I’m a pretty live-and-let-live pet owner — no collars and indoor / outdoor freedom, occasional wet fud and cursing them for being filthy fleabag dirt-tracking loveable spoiled brats — but after neighbors and girlfriend insisted they would cat-nap Kanji to take her to the vet, I had to act. And I knew that Kanji would hate me for it.

I inherited Kanji from the legendary six-month residence at the OB Saratoga crib. When I was forced to move out by unforseen witchery, I sat down with this cat that came with the property and explained that there were two options:

  • Stay here and find a new owner after I have spoiled you rotten treated you like the princess you are, or…
  • Come along with me and my ride

It was pretty clear, if you were there, that she chose me.

Scrapbook Kanji

Scrapbook Kanji / photo credit; LdlN

Kanji is an OB alley cat. She doesn’t take shit from nobody; she expresses discontent with bared claws and a wicked repeated paw whipping to feline, canine, and human alike. Moxie is her middle name. At her home at Saratoga, there were raccoons, skunks, dogs, opossums — never mind other stray cats — and Kanji would just sit relaxed but warily on the top of the porch table and let these creatures do whatever they came to do, as long as it wasn’t bothering her.

So Kanji decided to throw her lot in with me. When I had to move, I hauled her down to the Panorama Compound in La Mesa kicking and screaming, where I kept her in my studio for about a week before letting her explore outside. She spent most of her time either curled up on my futon at my feet or in the Mithril mines under the hosue itself. There were three other cats already on the property — Brother, Jedi, and Vader — who she decided were irritating and unworthy, so she would pointedly ignore them as much as possible. She loved the 1.1 acres of land to explore, yet seemed happiest curled up in the dark spaces beneath the house or — when she got used to being inside — being inside my room.

When I moved to Edgemont Place, she was furious with me — again — and although I kept her inside for a couple of days, at the first opportunity, she absconded to the beat-up wreck of a garage on the property, eventually becoming master of the rafters. Kanji would emerge when she heard the sound of my 1993 Nissan Truck engine after I would come home from a day of work at GreenHouse to miao and follow me to the house where I would have to open the doors for her so that Her Highness wouldn’t have to jump through the open window to get in and get some fresh kibble. If there is anything Kanji loves more than me, its her “fud”.

I eats on duh tables; dose udder onez kin eats below decks

dose udder onez kin eats below decks

git mah wet fud, hooman!

git mah wet fud, hooman

Handsome Girl Modelling School

Handsome Girl Modelling School

Because I have no idea where Kanji came from, originally, I also have no idea how old she is. This is just a strange fact that you just learn to accept. Also, she probably likes it that way because she’s a girl. The hoodrats around the Saratoga Party Palace called her “Cloud”, “Ghost”, and other nicknames because nobody really knew what her real name was. I forget who it was, but one of the older neighbors speculated that she belonged to the original owner of the house I was renting who had moved to a facility; apparently I was renting the house from his or her daughter. I think it was this neighbor that seemed to remember that her name started with a K. Kanji came to mind when I was playing with her; after a couple of years, she knows her name when I call it. It has taken equally as long to work on our relationship; she is still skittish and very particular about everything, especially touching her (she likes her butt scratched and if you don’t scratch good enough or long enough, she will bat your hand and tell you to get back to work).

That is why I never took her to the vet before. Every time I have to stuff Kanji in my truck or in a carrier to go somewhere, I lose her for about a week as she sulks and spits and swears she hates me. It’s a lot like having another girlfriend. I knew she wouldn’t run away, but I could always feel her eyes glowering from the shadows of the shed or the garage or from under the house shooting laserbeams of control into my head like some sort of feline Onceler: “you will put three open cans of warmed Turkey and Giblets wet fud, a diamond tiara, and a QP of White Lightning catnip in the bucket or I will eat your eyeballs out while you sleep.” Kanji is the master of making you feel like an abusive husband, looking at you reproachfully and measuring out her trust to you again by the spoonful. She is very intelligent and unlike many cats who can be memory-wiped with a can of Fancy Feast after a traumatic trip, Kanji will not forget the embarrassing and totally inappropriate “you-don’t-put-your-hands-on-me, my-FATHER-doesn’t-put-his-hands-on-me” treatment that vehicular transport entails. It is totally against the way a graduate of the Handsome Girl Modelling School is supposed to be treated. I love this about her personality, and I will very rarely overstep these boundaries and devastate her pride by forcing her into a 1′ x 2′ box to be taken to a strange person who is going to stick a thermometer in your ass and feel you up in the harsh light of a vet office.

Kitty Love-Love

Kitty Love-Love Kanji

It is indescribably awesome and horrible that I can walk out my front door, which overlooks this beautiful canyon that my brother Kleptus is guerrilla landscaping with native plants and find Kanji curled up peacefully on one of these old wooden Adirondack chairs half in and half out of the sun. The cancer that is melting away her left ear and left nostril is due to SUNBURN. Melanoma, essentially the same thing that humans (and dogs and even horses) get when sunshine is dangerous. It can’t be helped, except by keeping Kanji inside 24-7, and I won’t do that. Is it her fault that she wants to sleep in the sunshine and the long-term result is that she is going to die. Relatively soon. Every time I can touch her while she is alive is facing the fact that I am going to watch her face get eaten off by cancer, and I am directly responsible for her quality of life QoL). That is, until I make the awful decision for her that enough is enough, and it is time to go.

Wear sunscreen, sheeple. And how about we fix that ozone layer. I don’t have children, but I do love my cats as my kids. I have godchildren I adore. If you cannot get on board the “save the planet” bandwagon, then I think you give up your right to be on this green Earth.

So when does it transition from Kanji enjoying the sunset of her life and me having to decide QoL for her? She is still audacious and strong, she eats like a pig and mugs for attention like a kitten. At the urging of my girlfriend, Lilith de la Nuit, and my neighbors, Dawn and Jenne, I took a half-day off and stuffed Ms Thang in the cat carrier. I took her to Heather at Cabrillo Vet Center for Kanji’s first visit ever to the vet to check out this ear and nose thing. Now we know what it is, and what we can do about it. Heather was extraordinarily kind and sensitive, even though she was in the office with walking pneumonia. She is that dedicated to animals and their “Moms and Dads”. If money was not an option, there is pretty much nothing that can be done to save Kanji’s life. It is a matter of QoL for one to six months from June 15th, 2010. And this decision is mine.

Kanji humbles me with her bravery. She knows she is dying, and yet manages to ham it up and act like a kitten

Kanji-licious

The Duchess / photo credit: LdlN

and squeeze all of the attention and specialness she can out of her situation. When she mugs for some love, and you give it to her, she gets so corny that she wants to rub up against everything — including with her torn-up ear, where she rips the scab off and then shakes her head, flinging blood everywhere. It is ghastly and somehow beautiful that she does not care but for the moment. And for love.

[later, August 10, 2010]

I have had this blog post in draft for over a month and a half now, and I have realized that I can’t finish it just yet. I can just post what I have and do a Part 2 later on. Kanji has almost a whole ear missing and her nose is halfway gone, but she does not seem in pain or too much discomfort. It pains me to hear her sneeze occasionally, and snuffle a bit, but her big blue eyes say that it is not time yet. I am comforted that she has already beaten the odds of the low end of her possible time frame on the planet, and frankly, she is keeping me company, maybe more than I am doing service to her.

Every day when I come home from work, I whistle for her, and she usually comes trotting from the garage where she sleeps, or out from under a piece of lawn furniture with a raspy miao. She’s been waiting for me to arrive because I am reliable like that, and Kanji wants to point out that her special on-the-table fud bowl is empty. And that she missed me.

I will miss her, now and soon.

Here’s the backstory: currently on Facebook, it is all the rage to use your Notes application (read: blog) to write up 25 random facts about yourself, then “tag” 25 other people to make them have to do the same thing. Personally, I think that this was started by the Facebook people themselves as a way to introduce people / drive traffic to the Facebook blog functionality, and since my WP imports via RSS to FB, I figure I’d do it here so that people can get their fix and stop tagging me.

Original rules (as in, I didn’t write this schlock):

“Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)”

25 Random Things:

  1. I am a better human beat box than Justin Timberlake
  2. If you ask me what one word describes me best, I will always reply with “lucky”
  3. I still suffer from ADHD just like I did when I was a child, but I am better at masking it; I do wish, however, that my metabolism had kept up with the rest of the handicap
  4. I have always been in love with being in love, with music, with friendship, with my family, and with you
  5. I have been known to embellish a story or two, but usually it is due to my tendency to describe my friends and acquaintances as movie-worthy comic book heroes, which is born from a deep respect for their individuality
  6. I often wonder what would have happened if Monster Zero had accepted the gig to open up for No Doubt on their first West Coast Tour in the summer / fall of 1990
  7. I would be happy if I could just listen to music, select cool tracks, and play them at loud volume to interesting people all of the time
  8. For some reason, in some election I was not made aware of, I am the de facto communications hub for a bazillion people; you look up Murdoch if you want to randomly communicate with someone who you lost track of years ago, and somehow I have some sort of last known contact info
  9. Possibly the greatest thing I have ever done is the eulogy I gave Chris Feher after he died doing what he loved: rock climbing Half Dome in Yosemite by himself
  10. I hate children, especially babies, but apparently, they love Unkle Mike, and this fact never fails to humble me
  11. Speaking of luck, I was lucky enough to be adopted at birth by the best parents in the world — Diane and Gordon — and what I can piece together about my biological parents is pretty crazy: Mom was from Massachusetts, married, and had three other children, aged 8, 9. and 11 when I was born; her husband was NOT my father; she was short, Swedish, and had blond curly hair; my dad was an Italian steelworker, son of an immigrant shoemaker who woke up one day to find a note from his wife that she was leaving him and half of the closet was gone; Mom’s husband had a nervous breakdown and was committed; this explains a lot of what is running around in my genetic pool — don’t blame the Murdochs
  12. I am the best party liaison this side of Van Wilder
  13. I have three home-produced album to my name under various alter-egos (see Pus & Zero Boy) and one professionally released 12″ single called “Everybody” that I did with Grant Goad and Andres Mijangos
  14. I am still very proud of all the work I did to become an Eagle Scout
  15. I wrote poetry every day for almost 15 years; most of it is available — tagged and searchable even — on my WordPress blog; my current favorites are “Cellardweller“, “I, Ape“, and, of course, “Froggacuda
  16. I often wish that everyone else could hear the soundtrack and audio effects track that accompanies my life
  17. I am a pack rat, especially for things that provoke nostalgia; for example, I still have many of my childhood toys — Legos, Transformers, Micronauts, etc. — and a box full of the stuff I had pinned / nailed to the walls of my room when I was in high school, such as Fishbone ticket stubs, a referral from Coach T (R.I.P.), and extra pictures of hot chicks I had crushes on from Yearbook class
  18. I have always owned a “strange” pet as well as my beloved cats ever since Linda Nickel bought me my first Emperor scorpion; currently I have Tuonetar Mac Mordenkainen, who is the third Mexican Red-Knee tarantula in a long line of wonderful arachnids I have loved
  19. I don’t code Web 2.0 anywhere near as well as I did Web 1.0
  20. I love jackets; first and foremost is my ska-patched black jacket, which used to be a bomber, but out of all the clothing you can wear, nothing beats the right jacket for the right occasion or situation
  21. I have been a true (4 elements, y’all!) fan of hip hop ever since seeing the Sugar Hill Gang perform “Rapper’s Delight” live on Solid Gold 1979; this seminal moment changed my life forever
  22. There is nothing better in life than having a good conversation filled with enthusiasm, a meeting of the minds, and laughter
  23. Being rejected in junior high school by the popular white folks as a glasses-wearing, uncool, too-smart nerd has served me well; I have good friends and strong cultural ties to non-white communities who have accepted me for who I am from then until the present day; this is one of my greatest sources of pride and what makes me wince when I have to choose “caucasian” on “optional” survey information
  24. I love language, especially since the world is made of it (see the collected works of Terence McKenna), and I have a fierce propensity towards sesquipedalianism just because long, multisyllabic words sound cool and are sometimes the key to doing what Salt & Pepa, Madonna, and Dr Dre during his NWA tenure said best: expressing one’s self
  25. There is nothing I value more in life than my friends; they are the Desiderata of my happiness, the real value in social networking, and many times, the only reason that I keep on keeping on, because I can’t do it all for myself

There we are: 25 random things about me. Feedback — as always — is very welcome. Have at!

I.
There was a woman
Who I loved with all my heart.
It’s the only way
I know how
to love.
The problem I have
With falling in love
Is that I just keep falling
And falling on through.
It’s a perpetual autumn;
Storming leaves of memories,
Possibilities,
Skeletal trees.
And turning my collar up
Against the cold of this world.
Holding my hands out
To the warmth of the fire
That we had kindled
To keep the darkness at bay.
Every time these things end
I look up from the glow
Of the smolder, the embers,
For the ignition of a smile,
That familiar, beloved synching
Eyes to eyes:
It’s just understood
We’ll revel in the work
To pile on more fuel
From our common woodpile.
But nobody is there
Across the coals from me;
I’ve fallen through
The bottleneck of the hourglass
Along with all these ashes.

II.
Songs get tied
Like complicated knots
Around my feelings;
They remind me of how
I used to think about forever.
Some are bright blossoms
Stolen from yards
On the way to your window
In the middle of the night
To kneel and present you
With a moonlit bouquet,
My Juliet.
Another is the crosshatching
Of spray painted poetry
Hanging in midair
Amongst the tree branches
Between the shadows
Of the stars that were ours;
Witchcraft and wizardry
For an unrelenting passion.
Tapestries of smoke
And of tie-dyed freedom;
Soft paws of haloed kittens,
The chocolate and the champagne
Of the once in a lifetime.
Threads on a magick loom
Synchronicity unparalleled,
Spiderwebs like a hammock,
An embrace as if I was coming home;
Touch burning like the fire of a faerie,
Or the resurrection of the phoenix,
Tracing sigils in the sky,
Re-ignition of belief
Like a firestarter
Or finding a soulmate.
I am haunted
By the breadth of my music
And the depth of my commitment.
The failure
of my eyesight.

III.
The carnage is absolute;
A battlefield strewn with my corpses,
Beer cans and shrieks and cigarette butts,
The best of intentions and
The stench of taking things for granted.
These raw wounds
I have sustained over my lifetime
Of loving how I should have been loved
Never seem to heal;
They just ooze and pulse
Making heartbeats painful;
A crazy accumulation of luggage
Like owning an airport carousel
Of baggage you can’t strip off.
It just grows with you,
Older and less attractive,
Smelling faintly of urine and gangrene
When you can’t bear
To perform the required surgery.
It hurts too much;
I’ll excise memories I want to keep
Along with the decaying flesh.
Retrospective or post-mortem;
It’s still the death of a relationship
That I thought would live forever
As if I had infinite chances,
Infinite quarters.

IV.
I was pinned to a mortarboard
Like a butterfly from a caterpillar,
When I had to eulogize my friend;
My brother, my partner-in-crime,
Someone who understood
By the merit of not being female
The depth of love and an enduring relationship.
I don’t ever want to do that again.
It is the same with love;
I know I can, and it will be better,
But the pain of losing someone to provoke that work
Is too much to accept;
Besides, who the fuck will do that for me?
The answer is as clear as hindsight:
20-20.
I listened to my voice echo hollow through a church
That he wouldn’t have appreciated
To the people who were left behind,
And became even more haunted.
I did my best to represent,
Tell tales, romanticize, believe
And I went home with ashes in my mouth
To cry, cry out, want to evaporate,
Disappear, erase myself from existing
Because I had lost something precious:
A true friend.
It’s a lot like losing your love
Because you have lost a friend.

V.
The light switch is off.
This is the eye of the storm for me.
Now I deal with the still shatter of leaves,
The cold of being alone,
And shoving my hands into the campfire.
There is no warmth.
This destroys the fabric of memories
That took deep commitment
And sweat equity;
Deeper resources than I had without you.
And I see them all retreat,
As if they never existed;
Vanish into the thin, thin air
That I breathe.
Flatlined.

VI.
To move along,
Because there is nothing to see here;
It’s a pretty penance,
My cross to bear;
One that gets weightier
The more years I carry forward,
This boulder I am pushing uphill.
It’s that lost luggage from the carousel;
It’s those old wounds from the battlefield;
It’s those lyrics of happier times
When I would write, compose, sing
Of how I loved being in love
And how I expected forever
But you only had right now to give.

VII.
Perspective is a function of wisdom,
Which is a byproduct of experience,
That is what happens when you live and die
Through these things.
Perhaps they build character;
Actually, they create defense mechanisms
To try to prevent this from happening again
And again.
Expectations collapse
And you lay bricks and mortar in the fortress
That you think will keep you safe
But not sound;
You all are quite persuasive.
Certainly isolated
In the aftermath
Of bequeathing your everything —
Heart, mind, soul —
To your everything
Around that campfire
And you look up and discover
That she is long gone.

Clarity and Closure

Posted: December 2, 2008 in Rant, Writing
Tags: , ,

“I don’t think this is working out…I don’t see any future with us.”

This is how this heartbreak goes down: on the phone, during a conversation about something totally unrelated. I heard her go outside, heard her light a smoke, had been hearing all of this for the last six months, but somehow — being a child of the 80s and listening to all of that Depeche Mode and Cure — I didn’t hear this one coming. Damn me for being me: having faith, thinking that love can overcome all, thinking that God has a sick sense of humor and boys don’t cry, believing that patience is appreciated when the vines are withering and it is some sort of Constantine Industrial Light and Magic thing that is going on outside my vision.

I am not known for having good eyesight.

By the time I had gotten back to my laptop to check in on Facebook, her relationship status had changed to “single” and I was left in a “complicated” relationship with no one. Good Lord, is this how we communicate in the 21st century? Hey, we should get together and figure out this divorce stuff, since that is obviously what needs to happen. She is out of town this weekend; she’ll call me next week when she has some free time. Brutal, but probably honest — that factor is always in question now — and I guess I’ll do some more waiting. What’s another week or three on the end of this wreck, anyways? Could we at least get this done by the end of this piss-poor, fucked up year?

I had to wake up my friend Kleptus just to cement the information received on this phone call to the time and date, so I can move forward with clarity and closure. He was wonderful enough to look me in the eye and let me know that limbo is not a place that you can effect change or move forward. I am stunned by this revelation that she is gone, yes, but moreover, I am relieved that this game is over and that I can move on to whatever the future holds for me without having to continue to pretend that there is a chance of her coming back. All that remains is the legal paperwork, the separation of bank accounts and credit debt, and all that other shit that I have done before, and here’s a fuck you and have a nice day.

It’s divorce #2; I have practice.

So it is what it is, horrible delivery and all. Obviously premeditated, just like several events leading up to this: a trip to San Francisco, a talk on the front porch the last night we inhabited Saratoga Street, the lack of communication since we separated. It doesn’t matter now, because it is what it is: annihilation of our relationship, repudiation of the time we spent together, and a new beginning for each of us. There’s a little cleanup to perform for both of us, but then we’ll be moving right along with our separate lives. With clarity and with closure.

The Forefront of Your Head

Posted: April 3, 2003 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

Write these things
In the forefront of your head
And criticize later
When you have no clue
What you were thinking
If you dare.

Open the floodgate
Of the pen to the paper
And be damned the results
When, for years, being careful
Begat reams of blank paper
And the idea you can’t anymore.

Believe and stroke;
Think Cat’s arched back
And silky hair throwing sparks,
Altogether, the choir of legacy
Something bright, worthwhile
The curtains of the show that went on.

Musing

Posted: April 11, 2002 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , ,

If you would only punch out my heart
An spin my head right round again
With that electrical discharge of brilliance,
That revelation of ultraviolet split-second,
When the idea’s dagger is buried
And the closet door is opened,
Contents spilling like freed puzzle pieces,
A mess I can just shake my head at
Just reaching for the paper,
For the pen,
The muse.