we are creatures through and through
thoroughly dependent on kind eyes
hoping each time raising our worried face
to get the pet on our puss we rely
always naked in front of you
at the corner of your eye
we push the past aside
for this moment is all we know
we were born to be present
and a present
to unharden a soul
cry not, for we don't cry
we purr inside your hug as we jump to the sun
at the end of time you will always be our blood
me: i love flowing water. there's nothing quite like it. the sound. the sound. rush. rush. it speaks to a kind of energy not found in me. an absolute acquiescence to nature, a synergy, never stagnant, never building up, no time for reflection, always releasing, an acceptance to raise your hand up and fall. give me a roaring river over a glass lake anyday. pools get dirty. pools need chemicals. almost done in there, babe?
my sister: hair day. sorry. they say splitting bathrooms is the key to a good marriage. a lasting one anyway. yeah so the whole tub is clogged.
me: looks like you've been pulling out your hair. that can't be good.
sister: i'm okay.
but the converted bathtub shower wasn't. it was stuffed to the core. there wasn't so much a pipe there anymore as one long tangled mocha braid. we had to, well she had to call the plumbers.
me: no skin off my back. other than dead skin. i think this was where i firmly committed to the no-showers thing. too much of a pain.
it was a doozy of a deduction. in her wallet. and to think this could have all been avoided if we had an unassuming little tin metal stopper drain no bigger than a nickel (do they still mint nickels?) inserted. 5 cents (cents sign) or $5,000. your call.
me: i'm worried about you, my sis. it saves me from having to worry about myself. you ate all the hardboiled eggs last night. i had just made a fresh batch of 6. they're supposed to last the whole week. i'll gladly steam them again in the lil' ufo, i don't mind, it's the one thing i'm good at. problem is, no more eggs.
sister: gotta go. sorry, but you like going to the Store, right? there's not many people this time of week. you'll be fine. get a job. get a haircut.
me: one is never any problem, mistah sistah. you shave my head every month. i was thinking maybe change it up and leave it for once every two months? bimonthly, that's right, right? yeah just to let it breathe a little. plus it's a pain having to clean up every single stray hair afterwards, gotta get on my knees and sweep it up into my palm before the cats lick it.
sister: saves me time. now i don't have to eat breakfast the rest of the week.
me: you're missing out. on our ceremony. you should fill in. help get you closer to the cats. they are family after all. first i crack open the shell on the rim of the delftware dish. in front of Trinity by the trash can.
Trinity: i honestly can't tell which smell is worse.
me: then i wash it.
Talia: i camp out in the sink waiting for my chance to drink. my cue to dunk my head under the faucet for a nice unplanned adult beverage.
me: then i let the cats wash it with their tongues. if it passes their smell test, if they approve, i eat it. i think of it not so much as mixing germs as coming together. the more you get used to their essence the less wild it is. have you noticed i'm sneezing less despite my cat allergies? my love trumped, sorry, thesaurus, discomfitted my disease. my natural penchant for illness was superseded by my desire for companionship. love wins. no cat saliva's gonna interfere with my taste buds. my nature inside is bested by my nature outside. at least do the feeding of the bacon pieces to them. the cats think they're toys at first. who eats their toys? much cheaper than the cat treats.
Trinity: and much more flavorful. bacon is like all-dressed chips, so full of different textures, from the buttery meat to the clingy fat. so infused with rugged life. the treats are cookies from a cutter. you can bloat yourself on cookies full of empty sugar and fat. why gorge on a gorgeous day? it's like having to eat birthday cake everyday. sororis doesn't like eggs. yet. when you're older. i lick 'em up.
sister: not the centercut bacon. are you writing?
sister: your application?
me: so mad at myself. i scribbled my brainstorm notes on the Burger King application. i got a callback!: they told me i was overqualified. i've come to know rejection. i asked for the paper back cos bright ideas for novels don't grow on trees, the trees are for the paper. but they said they shred all their documents before the feds can intercept. meanwhile the first line of my novel is never been married, never been to prison
sister: great title. same thing. count yourself a lucky one. MEANWHILE, i'm saying meanwhile out loud for emphasis, i have to go now. i don't know when i'll be back. big job. hold down the fort for me?
me: and it is a fort. i love the insularity of the wide arching walls of your place, sis, carrying the burden of the stairs on its broad shoulders with a grand grandiloquence. i crave closed walls. sometimes i stay more than i have to in the bathroom cos i love that small space. the raging winds outside barely squeeze into the tiny marble-tinted window in the upper right, but the creeping vapor is enough to flower the smell of my shit. i can truly hide there. but it is fun whenever the noonday sun comes and i get to upper the curtains in the middle of the day and shout out, "screw you, cruel world! bye!" there's at least one yellow delivery truck of kasutera that rolls by so i'm satisfied.
sister: don't you mean lower? oh next time you see that truck tell them my delivery of rice paper is late. carry the laundry basket for me down the stairs, would ya bro? my arm is acting up again. sharp pain. must be all this cold. i'm not as strong as i used to be.
sister: i'm gone.
me: don't say it like that.
and once again i'm alone in the house. but never really. when i'm alone it's too quiet. when my sister is here making girl noise it's all i can do to cover my ears and silently shout for silence. i'll do the chores after i break. i like to go outside to the backyard. not to meditate. to feel something again. i crave cold places.
me: (as i twirl around and around and around) it's a comin'. the winds are blowing angry today my friends. i know about the hysplit. that weather girl with the booty showed us her high split. i know of spaghetti models and plots. everyone is plotting against me to lose my plots. hassles are hassling my hysteria. heckling my hackles. i need some spaghetti to calm down.
me (in the laundry room): don't come in here, boy! you'll get stuck! don't come in here, girl! you'll get lost! who wears the same shirt everyday?!
Trinity: what do you expect? those are the brightest lights in the house! what's the wattage on those puppies? i go where the light is. it's not the same shirt, you washed your whites with your favorite blue shirt.
Talia jumps into the dryer as soon as i toss the dryer ball in there.
me: wanna go for a ride. i do it for the sake of sake. get it? i've never actually drunk sake, pretended in front of my anime-club friends to fit in. that was the education i took from college. funnest seven years of my life. undergraduate. changed majors. almost killed myself. everydamnbody pulling my arms and legs in all directions. at least match the arms and legs together like socks when you pull. like an obtuse octopus was i.
Trinity: come on, amicus, we don't like hearing you talk this way. and we are your family. in aqua veritas. you have to look beyond your current situation. we don't dwell on the past cos we don't. thank god we don't have to forgive. when you hold on like this, you eat a boulder.
i put myself on a clothesline by watching some tv:
me: (after Match Game) oh Debralee Scott, my first crush, my first fantasy, the one forgotten victim of 9/11. why does everyone have to comment on Tiger Woods? isn't that one Letterman wannabe with the glasses's snark enough? i mean are you really gonna get a better line about Tiger Woods from the local Wisconsin affiliate than from ESPfreakin'N? it's gonna be so sad when Bono goes. sadder than Prince. i don't want to live in a world where. anything permanent happens. i want an eternal out. you know the most beautiful instagram picture ever? woman and her greyhair? cat died and so did she. inside. blue. and so must i.
Trinity: it's gonna be okay, amicus. it's bound to happen. the Master has pledged. he's vowed. he's honored. we will rue his rumination. it will come when the countryside is lush with white dandelions. i love it when the yellow dandelions turn white, it's such a prettier side. we shall venture to a sea cave below the surface and speak with the Medici lion there guarding the well of souls. i'll take over his job as the mighty lion retires down the path of prime wine-colored Shisa to finally lick his paw wounded by a nail. he'll use his uncut nail to pull out the nail. but we'll never forget you when you're gone. how you cared for us. how you stepped outside yourself for us. you will live in the hidden places of our hearts forever.
me: (on the phone) hello LoanMe? i need to not work again. can you loan me $500,000?
LoanMe operator: how did you get this number? stop following me! two weeks is standard. i mean ain't nobody got egg and cheese here, man.
me: no? oh. well i need to get a mansion. my own mansion. can you point me in the direction of Sunny Day Real Estate? hello? Talia, stop hitting the blinds! no not again!
Talia had found her new window, the other window to the kitchen whose blinds had never been opened for fear of prying drones. but the noise was too great and i reluctantly pulled the blinds up. the cord hadn't been touched in so long it was a thousand celtic knots.
Talia: i won't rest till every hole is poked! i knew it! squirrel! squirrel!
and lo and behold there was a squirrel stationing himself on the near-collapsed partition of the fence chewing on some canna. Talia goes ballistic, bumping her tail against the glass and horning her trademark blend of gurgling meow and moaning whine.
Talia: HOOT! HOOT!
Trinity: calm yourself, young one, tis Gennady. fine fellow. wouldn't injure a fly, especially his wife, who's a fly. he's just scavenging for some grub and gathering supplies before winter, like you or me or any other being that must be hungry. you don't see, uh hear, him complaining now do you? take heed, child. head on a swivel. the outside world is rough.
so i heard every clear word of that cat conversation plain as day. but maybe i don't care anymore. maybe i'm tired. i lie down. on the grass?
Trinity: wait, amicus. raise your back. there, isn't it better with a blanket under you? more comfortable. less grassy. here, i took the liberty of getting you a Yakult from the fridge. your sister has tons of drinks lying around all over the place. much more nutrient-rich than your other messy water. hope you don't mind but i didn't cut my nails this month. such a pain. that's how i was able to open the refrigerator. here comes the airplane. now how bout we come inside.
the stuff tastes like medicine. it calms my stomach if not my heart.
the dry blanket protects me from outside moisture.
i was outside this whole time. i was watching tv through the window. good thing i didn't lower the curtain on myself. i hear a bloodcurdling scream. i know that horrible noise. i heard it once before. in the womb. when mom had me. it's the sort of thing only kin can appreciate. it's the call to family. no one else on earth would recognize nor care as much. it defines us. it's what signals the pack. it's our non-graphic identity.
the cat team half-jumps up the stairs to amicus's, uh, my room.
Trinity: quickly, kid, while amicus is distracted with twoleg matters. like i taught ya. hey girl, stop licking yourself. it's job time.
Talia: i wasn't, i'm chewing on my nails.
Trinity: sharp girl.
Talia scratches apart the casing of the socket and the two felines high-paw each other before taking that first steep jump down the tunnels.
Trinity: i should have been a mole. no broken bones?
Talia: no, i landed on my feet. didn't you?
Trinity: uh, moving on. ow. ouch. come on, before we both fall asleep. lesson one: survival...
i instinctually tumble down the hill like a rolling wheel of cheese.
me: ow. ouch. ow. ouch. SPLAT! broken bones? yep. well that's one way to beat the traffic to the beach.
i carry on through the pain. i have no guts, just a big gut. but this is my meal ticket i mean my sister..........i love her. she's my only other twoleg. by chance. adoption. i spy from the shore the mermaid waving to me, for the first time in her life participating in a non-sexual beckon. i leave a trail of red sand in my stumbling wake.
the lifeguard is bumbling over his words.
lifeguard: can't help you, man. it's either me or her. i know who did this. dumped like so much garbage. i'm going through a hotly contested divorce so i feel her. but i can't. it's the cartel, i mean swell! swell! swell weather we're having.
me: yes, nice and overcast and gloomy.
lifeguard: they have snipers all around. probably. i'm a dead man if i don't move. life, huh? i don't want to be called on so i keep my hand raised. look out, kid, don't step on that crab! IT'S A LAND MINE PROBABLY!
me: no don't step on that crab out of common courtesy. decency of the dominant race. which way did they go? i mean she go? nevermind i'll have to swim. i hate swimming.
lifeguard: never learned? thank you. you guys pay my salary.
me: no i can but it's such a pain. too much water in the world. and smart people say there's gonna be even more water. can't drink it all.
i find my sister floating in the dead middle of the dead sea. i race to her as fast as one can plowing the mud of the banks and set her on the dusty trail. it's that scent right as rain is about to droplet, a mix of wet grass and hot trash.
me: i'm sure the suffocating soil appreciates this but i'm not soil. y'know there comes a time. i will kiss my own sister because it's a breath of life such as my life is. it's all i can do. i'm all she has. my how the mighty tables have turned. all that stuff goes out the window when the laughter ends and the jokes are folked. life is life.
me: wow, you have auburn eyes. green like a bejeweled Egyptian cat. mane.
i guess there's a forced first time for everything.
i give my sister the heimlich maneuver too just in case. she slowly comes to as her heavy droplet-shaped eyes reemerge on the scene. she spits a gallon of water in my face.
sister: nice of you to notice. it's called hazel actually. i'm glad my death provided your breakthrough.
me: THANK god! i'm screaming but i'm also swallowing water so it's dulled. who did this to you, sis?! the rain is drowning out my vengeance.
sister: it's okay. don't worry. i expected and prepared for this. lesson. you should see the other guy. i did this for us. please say you'll do drugs. say it like you mean it. say it loud and proud.
the rain may have been the bucket my sister needed to wake up but it was causing my shredded-up ankle to sting like the motherfucking dickens, so i'm a bit delirious by this point. still my theatre training kicks it and i enunciate like there's no tomorrow. my old drama coach always had us imagine we were doing Hamlet in a hurricane. that level of projection. so with a voice equal to if not the better of the howling winds:
me: i do drugs. yes i do drugs. of course, of course i do. anything for you. anything. nothing has worked. it's the next step. enlighten mint. I DO DRUGS! I DO DRUGS!!!