The cat wades through my parent’s comforter, like some great feather-filled forest. Each paw-print is carefully deliberated, before being set down with dignity. She curls up on my dad’s lap. My dad simply rests his electronic reader on her back and continues scrolling through his feeds. Blinking lazily, the cat surveys me from my father’s knees. She knows who is boss here… the feline.
I wonder what cats think about, I mused.
I don’t think cats think like us, my dad said.
What do you think cats think about, I asked.
I think they think about being a cat. And about what parts they’ve licked.
I rolled my eyes. the cat narrowed it’s eyes into sleepy slits and gently purred. Her silky fur tensed as my dad readjusted, then relaxed back to a languid puddle of cat contentment.
I think of the people I follow online and what makes their content interesting to me. These I then try to insert into my own work, so people will follow me and find me interesting. For all that this blog is for myself; to sort through thoughts and feelings– I selfishly want more readers and more comments. Recently I got a badge from WordPress saying I had gotten two hundred ‘likes.’ All those little clicks had accumulated into something I am quite proud of.
For YouTube, especially (my media time-sucker of choice), it’s important to upload often. I appreciate when artists and content creators post often, say once a week. Sometimes they have a consistent upload schedule, where on the day of the week promised, a new video comes out. I admire that. I don’t think I have it in me to replicate it, but I am setting a goal to write more often.
Writing is what I do. Most times, I feel like writing is doing me. That’s when my best work flows from my fingertips– when the words just use me as a conduit to the keyboard. Posts practically write themselves.
The rest of the time is a little harder: I have to think about the words, deliberate about what I’m trying to say; and often it’s still garbage. But! Practice makes perfect.
So I must practice, practice, practice.
“I’ll show you the ocean,” he said.
“What?” I asked.
“We may be a little late,” he scratched his chin with his right hand, while his left held the wheel. We were in his older sister’s car; and Johnny Cash was crooning through the bluetooth from his playlist labeled: “10.” The night was a little too cold to have the windows down, so we sat in an aluminum bubble gliding down the highway. James made a right turn. “Definetly late,” he mused. “It would have been better five minutes ago. But you can still see it.”
I fiddled with my purse strap as I watched his hand rest on the gear stick from the corner of my eye. He had such nice hands. “Alright,” I said. “Show me the ocean.”
We rumbled past the overlook where we had first held hands, the road noise comfortably filling the space between us. I looked at his hands again as he fiddled with the music. He liked movie soundtracks, just like I did; and we’d spent some long drives transported not just by his car; but the faraway lands the notes created. But it seemed tonight was a night for gentler music.
“You remember the ocean.” he said. I turned to him, waiting, but he offered nothing else.
“Yeah, I remember the ocean.” He had told me about it while he was teaching me to drive manual. As we lurched and rumbled and I wrecked his transmission, he had laughed and told me how to find the ocean in the middle of our desert. “It has to be just right,” he told me. I cursed and hit the clutch. “Just after sunset. So it’s hazy and blue. The lights of the city are the stars; and you can– ease up on the clutch, and throw it in gear– and you can see the waves, at the horizon.” Gripping the stick with white-knuckled hands, I asked: “How?”
“In the sky! You turn your head upside-down, and there it is. The blue ocean with a starry sky above it.”
So tonight, after our movie date, he drove past the turn-off to my house and continued up the mountain. The sky was filled with freshly washed clouds, wrung out and drying in the cool night. Below them, the valley twinkled. A hazy blur of mountian crags dipped up and down between the two. I turned my head to the side, curling my shoulders up to my ears.
“I see it! I see it!” There was the ocean. Blue fluffy waves crested up to the jagged shoreline, blurring upwards into a starry city sky. “It’s the ocean!”
He grinned, one of his soft, slow smiles. “Next time I’ll take you to see it, we’ll get here the right time. It has to have just the right conditions.”
I grinned a sideways smile, curved like the moon in the sky waves. I looked forward to it.
My mood expands and contracts like the universe. Exploding blooms of purple-hot anger, and long stretches of bleak, empty blackness that follow. Nebulous unamed feelings drift in noxious clouds. Sparkling twinkles of little half-thoughts fllit and flash, never in one place long enough to be categorized. The neurons in my brain fire thoughts and pain down long winding webs, stretching from one loadstone to another. When will the Big Bang come? What will happen when it does?
How to Build your own Fairy Garden in Many Easy(ish) Steps:
- assemble plants. Get ones with pretty colors and interesting leaf shapes. Don’t bother reading the tag– whether or not they can withstand full sunlight or like lots of water is unimportant. You’ll figure that out yourself in a few months when they die. THERE IS NO ROOM IN YOUR PLANT KINGDOM FOR THE WEAK. ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE
- meander around the huge garden warehouse. Make sure to keep your elbows out as far as possible to keep everyone out of your space.
- spend 77 dollars on all the plants. Cry a little inside at how expensive plants are.
- Take the plants home!! You can vacuum the dirt out of your car later.
YOU WILL NEED:
- gardening gloves! Venture out into the dark and scary garage to get them. Bonus Points™ if you find a matching pair.
- a trowel, or a gardening spade. (These are fancy words for a small shovel.)
- fertilizer! Crap, you forgot it in the scary garage. Trek back out to get it.
- dirt. This is relatively easy to come by, but if you’re picky you can pick up Dirt™ at your local Gardening Center©®™.
TIME TO BEGIN.
- figure out where you want all the plants to go. Consider height and color while arranging your plants.
- dig a small hole with the trowel. Watch as the dirt falls back into place. Give up and use your hands. The dirt still falls. Remember the that in the end everything is pointless and life has no meaning, so really it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- struggle to take the plant out of it’s little plastic pallet– try not to crush the roots!
- brush the dead spider away from your knees. Scoot forward so you can put the– IT WASN’T DEAD ABORT ABORT ABORT
- sprinkle some fertilizer in the little pit. Swirl it around a little in the dirt, because you remember your grandma saying something about plants not liking fertilizer touching it’s roots directly.
- hear a buzzing sound. Is that a bee? It had better not– IT’S A BEE IT’S A BEE IT’S A BEE IT’S A BEE IT’S A BEE IT’S A BEE IT’S A–
- put the plant in the hole!!
- cover the top of it with dirt. IMPORTANT: Do not cover the ENTIRE plant with dirt. Cover the roots only; (they’re the wiggly white things) up the the stem. (usually green, but can vary– usually where the roots end and the pretty part begins.)
You have Successfully™ Planted™ a Plant™©®.
Now repeat those steps as necessary.
The result is: your Very Own Built it Yourself Fairy Garden!!©®™
Now comes the fun part.
ARRANGING YOUR FAIRY FURNITURE:
- remember fairies have delicate feet. They will need stepping stones.
- seating! For little tea parties! Don’t expect to be invited. Fairies are rude.
You did it!!!!!!!!
The splattered red was sprayed onto the concrete, dragged a few feet, then twirled through an intricate death-dance. At the end of the line lay the deer. Legs akimbo, as if it’s partner dropped him in the middle of a do-si-do: the partner change came too quick, and death grabbed a little too hard. The deer’s ribcage was crushed as it was flung from the path of the car, as it was flung from Life. Now the broken skin-sack was left to dry and turn to dust on the side of the highway.
It was filled with red, red that had turned brown and been burnt onto the pavement. More red trickled out of a soft muzzle, speckled fawn skin torn and smeared against the hard ground. I imagined I could see God’s thumbprint in the smudge-that-was-once-a-deer, squished like raspberry jelly on the 12-AB exit ramp of I-15; collapsed like rising dough that’s been punched, collapsed like a telescope slammed between two palms. Swollen and bloated, left on the side of the road.
Hello. You may remember me from the batch of 1997’ers, smack in the middle of July. I just had a quick question, if you’ve got the time:
the gal who cried at the sight of that dead deer