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I’m ill. But I have memories of being well.
I remember once after a pleasant day of being out, I returned home to find a spray of blood in my hall bathroom. It must have been Sara; even as a kitten, she had allergies like me. This led me to wonder, hm, she’s been sneezing that hard for several days now: where else might she have sprayed bloody nasal mucus around my otherwise clean home? That my favorite colors run to wine and coral tones would not help in this matter. My old cat used to spray urine toward “the end”, and that became fairly obvious to find.
Don't ask why the west wing of my house is now painted harvest gold.
When I found these two new ones, Sara and Lucy, the nice people said at the shelter, “Let them come to you…let them pick you,” and I guess these two saw a sucker coming a mile away: “Let’s pick that one, over there, the stupid looking one. I bet she’ll let us shit and fart and vomit and spray blood all over the place. And hey, you know that trick when you get all tangled up in the plastic bag and you pretend to be scared so you take off running and you pee all over the place because you pretend to be that frickin' scared? Yeah, she looks like she’ll let us play that one at her house.”
For fun one night—and again, this was years ago, because I’m sick now and nothing good has happened in five days or maybe even five years, I can't remember--I put the kittens to bed and took nude pictures of the backs of my hands under the dim light of my desk lamp. That is to say, I photographed them and then zoomed in to stare at the veins popping up under my hand skin. I tried to interpret them.
On the left, we had the bald person in Edvard Munch’s The Scream, with a bat’s wings spread in the background. On the right, we had the headless figure of a woman in a low-cut dress.
I know this isn’t really funny. I want it to count as situation comedy or observational humor, but sometimes it doesn’t count like that at all.
When you’re having a bad day or a bad time of it, when something in your life has gone wrong, some people will try to make you feel better by saying, “Hey, it could be a lot worse!” And then they will go on to list certain horrible things that would indeed make your situation worse: Not only are you bipolar, but your car could need new struts too. Not only are your fingernails peeling off, but your AC could go out. Not only is your house in foreclosure, but you could have acne too. Not only do you have impetigo, but you could get a DUI. Not only are you an asshole, but your personality could be a complete blank. Not only does your house have termites, but you could have been born in Indonesia like the tree man, whose condition absolutely dwarfs any physical malady I personally have ever run across.
And then you might have double the number of termites.
So think about that the next time you complain.