46. Oddly and Completely Off

Off. I joined the laptoppers today. Seems my 9 year old desktop was just not cute enough any more. So Sam fixed me up with a clone of something else for $500. I am getting used to the flat feeling of the keyboard and the finger doodle mouse. I am mobile now. I can fit in with the regulars in the coffee shop and act like I know what they know. Till now I hid behind an empty pizza box just trying to camouflage myself. They kept their distance.  Now we’ll see who’s packing the pepperoni! Look out, Jake.

Offer. Wait a second, the cat is meowing at the door.  Her name is Annie, Orphan Annie. She wants to come in so later she can meow to go out. Ten years ago my daughter Grace and I were jogging one summer day when this grey and orange kitten jumped out  of the corn. Grace has a soft heart and began the “Dad, can we keep her?” routine. I said “No”. She began negotiating. “What if Erin (who was in college in Philadelphia at the time) took her to school?”  “Okay, but we are not keeping a cat!”  Surprisingly Erin accepted the proposal and took Annie to college… for two years. Then, when she moved to New York, it was our cat.  I did not follow the logic when years later Erin adopted two kittens. Anyway, we’ve had the cat since then and, wouldn’t you know it, the cat has a weird one way crush on me. She sleeps at the foot of my bed each night and sometimes  tries to curl up in my armpit and face. It’s wrong just on the hygiene level.

Offerest. Our last cat was named Kizzy, and she was a plant peeing tabby cat. I don’t know how it got started, I just know that we covered our inside  plants with plastic cling wrap, and the dang cat would find a way to pee or poop anywhere except her litter box. But Fate smiled on us one day. We were at the vet’s for a guinea pig or a bird or a lizard ailment, and this old lady was sighing next to us in the waiting room. Sighing! Her cat had died. We sympathized and then seized the opportunity to offer her a living cat, one Kizzy the plant peer. She was so pleased to be getting a new, used cat, albeit without a warranty. I drove home as fast as I could, threw the cat in its carrying cage, tossed in its food and litter, and tore off before the old lady changed her sweet little mind. Whew! God I hated that cat.

Offinsomuch. I should probably write something memorable now. Problem is that I just spent a few days at the shore and my brain overheated, melted and drained into the sands of Delaware. All I have in my skull now is the white noise of waves lulling me into a trance of relaxation. I don’t have the energy to fight it. Summer vacation is like a beautiful woman who seduces you. Not that this has ever happened to me, but I can dream. And she encourages languid lounging, deep sighs of satisfaction, and lazy lolling about. She’s a potent opiate on a humid day. A big woman, Queen Latifah’s range. And I can’t move, can’t argue, can’t quit her. I’ve got those Big Woman, Feels Like an Opiate, Humid Day, Summer Vacation, Cat at the door Blues. It feels like I should be on the Gulf Coast of Florida, though, with a gin and tonic, just waiting for the evening thunderstorm to cool the day off.  But storms won’t come; I don’t drink; and it’s just a still summer day with an ocean of unbending corn standing like a billion green soldiers.

No cats, no laptops, no memories of big women and opiates. No. Just let’s call this completely off. As Billie Holiday sighed, “Let’s call the whole thing off.”

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