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The last few mornings, I’ve been awakened by thumping noises outside my house. It always happens around 4 a.m., and the first time I thought: Finally,my murder. I’ve been expecting this for twenty years. Now that I live in a downtrodden area with foreclosed homes surrounding me and the one burned down next door, thugs are coming to get me. Thugs are thumping on my walls. Don’t you do that when you’re looking for a stud? No stud in here guys. Just me and my cats.
I bet they knew that. Such an easy victim.
After a few days of continued living, I knew that the thumping must be from something else. I went outside to feed the birds yesterday morning and was practically mowed down by a flock of fat pigeons flying off my roof—right over my bedroom. I stood there covered with feathers, a cup of birdfeed in my hand. I thought, Why is feeding the pigeons so romantic in England, and here in my yard it has turned grotesque. These pigeons aren’t cute anymore. They’re hopping up and down on my house.
I need to get one of those fake hawks or owls to scare the pigeons away, but I’m torn: the pigeons were always about entertaining my cats through the windows. I had been using them, and now: a traitor.
It’s always easy to make me feel bad, but when I’m down—as I have been the last ten days with something like pneumonia—it’s even easier. All the should-have’s haunt me as I go for naps three times a day: I should have raked my back yard. I should have been better to a friend. I should be grading faster. I should be doing something about those pigeons. Anything but napping three times a day.
Like my sinuses need more pressure.
I had a dream last night that I squeezed something on my face and a yellow root vegetable popped out. I identified it as a parsnip. I dreamed that my cats were entered into a beauty contest for buttholes: mine had the prettiest, because my cats’ butts are always clean. I got lucky that way with Lucy and Sara: they are clean kitties, and I lave them for it. I know these past ten days or weeks or years of whatever sickness has befallen me has been hard on them.
They don’t sleep around, but they’ve been sleeping around me. I open one eye and get two black ones back: Meep! I mumble something about love, and hope that some of my facial drippings count in the bigger picture of the love pool.
I would like my voice back, but even more, I would like my rituals back, my mornings and my afternoons and my nights. My cats would like it too: Normalcy, Mom. Could you just provide us with normalcy? I would like to be heady with love, not beheaded. We all would. What a better choice.
And then a friend threw this into the mix of sickness, “If you like sleeping alone, and you like your privacy, and you like keeping your own schedule, that’s fine. But you’re sacrificing intimacy.” This has been ringing in my ears: am I sacrificing intimacy? What is intimacy?
Maybe I’m incapable of it. My ears have been ringing for ten days, and that’s when I’ve been lucky to hear anything at all.