Last night, sleeping on the floor of my study with my hand resting under the chin of my aging cat, I had a visitation dream. You know the kind, the dreams we see in movies or read in books, during which all of the details are so vivid that it seems real, it must be real … and then we wake up.
Our other cat came to me in this dream, our beloved mackerel tabby Torgi, and head-butted my face repeatedly, just as he did while he was alive. He brushed up against me and walked over my legs and flomped down next to me, at once distracting me from my distress over Zen and reassuring me that she would be fine. That we would be fine.
When I woke, I felt his presence lingering, the distinct scent of his fur, and the space by my ribcage still felt warm. As an avowed skeptic, I started to file the experience under “Moments My Subconscious Mind Doesn’t Suck” – a thin file, indeed, by the score of nightmares I have experienced. Then I reached for the paw of my still-living cat and let the feeling of the inexplicable wash over us both.
Writing from: a quiet study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “When I’m Small” by Phantogram.
It is raining lightly as midnight approaches. The temperature has dropped slightly over the past few days so it is no longer ridiculously warm for January, and now only stupidly warm. As soon as it is brisk once more, I will post a photo of myself in the hat that made me make the “I want” face.
Something troubles my waking life and my dreams. I wrestle with the concept of responsibility, now that so much of my life is occupied by the intersections of strangers. Much of my job is perfect, but the moments that aren’t so perfect aren’t just dissatisfying; they can be downright upsetting. It boils down to this: most people want to do what they want, when they want. They want to talk on their mobiles at their preferred volume and location. They want the answer, the exact answer, immediately and without any trouble. They do minimum work and expect maximum benefit. They are not afraid to yell, hiss, spit, call names, threaten, or even hit.
And still I love what I do, and I believe in it.
But boy, are we a country of self-serving egocentric assholes or what?
Now we have a president who seems to know the game and have the competence and ethics to handle it. Will we follow suit? Will we stand up and take responsibility? Will we pick up the $20 that someone drops and run to catch them to return it, or will we slide it into our pocket with justifications on our tongue?
In my dreams, the stage is different but the play is the same. In my dreams, I am a monster with the power of invisibility. I am hunted, but all I try to do is sneak around and catch people when they stumble down stairs.