My hair is wild with it.
My feet are damp.
I was walking from my car
and happened to look down.
I saw the shiny spirals,
saw the flesh.
There's been a lot of rain lately.
He looks like a 'he' to me. He looks pretty disgruntled. Like he's barely keeping it together. If he could talk, what would he say? What does he want or need that he isn't getting? What's boiling his blood? Maybe he doesn't like the others in his heap. Maybe it's the lighting. Or that he's still there, unpurchased, waiting... I guess we'll never know. And if we did, would we help him, or keep shopping for whatever it is we came for in the first place?
Checkout display at RiteAid. Asked the sales clerk if he'd tried it. "Nah," he said. "Better ways to get that kind of rush." He laughed. I can't argue the point. I didn't check the price. It's the packaging that caught my eye first. The color and shape, like rows of mouths pouted for a kiss. Then that shiny text, advertising some sort of magic concoction. You can chew and soar, pop one in your mouth and boing! you're awake! ALERT I think is the brand name. There's something on there about fruit, which I guess is the flavor? Fruit flavor? Which fruit? This is a lot of packaging for a pack of gum, assuming it's a pack of slices and not some sort of nuggety things. Wonder if there's a warning on the back. Maybe next time I'll take a closer look. And yet, there's a part of me that thinks ALERT CAFFEINE GUM is dangerous and ought to be avoided at any cost.
This is Whisper. He's almost 13. He's an indoor cat. And one of the smartest cats I've ever known. His intelligence manifests in how interested he is in the way things work, and by his extensive vocabulary of English words and phrases. I can send him flying to the window by shouting "chipmunk!" I yell "kitty!" and not only does he rush to see, he's already blown up to twice his size, anticipating a confrontation through glass. He's a nervous cat, too, distrusting thunder, men with loud voices (told you he's smart), and anything new that hasn't been identified with a word yet. Outside words include bunny, bird, big bird (turkey and goose seemed too infrequent for specificity), doggie. For inside, we have closet, armoire (for jumping in and sleeping on the sweater shelf), towel boy (ditto, bathroom), spoon, can (as in food), help me pick? (as in can of food), soft blanket, jump, do you need help? (that's how I get him to do it himself; pride goeth...), water, and many more. He ignores the word "no" because he's a cat. "Hungry" of course is an easy word. Roast beef, even if we spell it. His version of get up and feed me right now includes plaintive meowing, poking me repeatedly in the mouth and ear, and if all else fails, trying to lift me by the forearm with his teeth. Those of you who are cat lovers are likely smiling while running comparisons through your head with your own cats. Those of you who are not cat lovers are possibly tempted, or feeling superior. The photo above is a combination of tall boy, a phrase that acknowledges his pride in having made it to a high place (he fell out of a window at 2 and has pins and a plate in a front arm/leg/paw, hence caution), and jungle boy. Jungle boy seems to make him especially happy. I believe he feels stealthy and ferocious like one of the big cats. That makes me prey. It's a scenario we're both good with. Neither of us forgets we're animals, co-existing in time and space.