Wednesday, April 9, 2014


he sees all, knows all, is all. he looks at you and instantly you know things, the secret tomes, the forgotten truths, and you spend the rest of eternity justifying that look at you from him that pierces through your soul into the next one.

it's still raining. in fact, it's pouring now, coming down hard. i remain on the ground, soaking but so soaked that i don't feel it any more, the waterlog is the new normal, outside by the recycling bins. i'm still terrified, but less so, time has a beautiful calming influence the more it accumulates, even the terror of a gummi gecko will dissipate in *time*

in fact, this is exactly where i want to be, where i should be, why shun fate? it's always a losing battle, especially for a lowly human like me. when in doubt, go with the flow, it's all a human can do in these times. this extended wet holiday has afforded me time to think, time to meditate, time to relax. under the thick blanket of droplets pounding my flesh, i'm able to....sleep. precious sleep, that's all i want, all i need.

"it's just a myth," my cat Triton teaches me the next morning as he scratches the worn post of my sofa to complete his morning ritual. the post is no longer a post, it's a collection of strings of fabric in an explosion pattern, "i mean, sure, there are black cats around, in fact there's one on our back lawn right now, but it's not a Master."

i never noticed. i turn my head and instantly an invisible force forces my gaze to lock onto his...there he is and he hasn't missed a beat, his white demon eyes are lasering on my own, this black cat stands tall in the middle of the back lawn, his black silhouette against the light green of the grass is striking indeed, nature stops to recognize his presence and stare against its will. the black cat doesn't make a move, his paws and tail are quiet, his face is stoic, he doesn't even breathe, he is here but not of this world, he is of something more, and his only purpose in life is to stare at me. it's only me and the black cat, there is no other world outside of this silent exchange of looks.

the way my mornings go are usually the way the rest of my days go. this morning, the ants got into a most unpleasant crevice of my life, as is their wont. i was swirling blue mouthwash all around my puffy cheeks and my tongue, have to to get that tingling feeling on my teeth when i spit out. afterwards, as i move to put the ridged cap back on the mouthwash bottle, i peek inside the cap and see two dead ants lodged squarely into the inner ridge of the cap. i try to excise them from the cap using a tissue, but no luck, they're really stuck in there. great. this is payment for something i did, i know. those two buggers will remain there under my cap forever, two dead reminders, reminding me of something, something about my nature. i just hope they won't eventually spill off into the surface of the remaining mouthwash liquid in the middle of the night. i'm gonna have another bad morning when i wake up to find the two dead reminders floating in my mouthwash. this message must be drilled into my mushy mind. messages are created in the middle of the night as i sleep unawares, something forming about the nature of me.

"why are you cuddled up underneath my covers this morning, Triton? not that i don't love it when you feign love."

Triton tried to look cool, but it was clear even the great worldly confident Triton was scared. "it's not about the black cat outside. it's, that, um, you know, you're not a bad master, i like being beside you."

"better than the Master outside, the one with the capital M, huh?" i queried lackadaisically. boy, would the mood shift in a hurry before the day was through.

"i told you, it's just an ordinary black cat. legends are legends for a reason. i mean, sure, he's the very cat of the devil himself, but did you know that one legend has him scratching the eyes out of the devil and essentially taking over the underworld? i mean, how silly. he's just an animal, he couldn't possibly be more powerful than a supreme entity."

"whoa, comrade," i intoned shocked, "don't let the other animal comrades hear you talk that way. i thought animals were kings and the humans were duped into thinking they were the kings. i thought your god was the real god. so is your Satan the real Satan?"

"that's not funny, man," Triton peeked his head out from the blanket fort to say, "these are not stories anymore, not idle chatter, this is the real thing. you haven't looked into the eyes of him: that is true evil, that is centuries of evil, a force that washes away my cherished lifespan and your puny lifespan with a single glance, a glance of eternity."

"i have actually, i saw him, and he saw me," i said.

with that, Tritin fell unusually silent and pensive.

"Triton," i tried to change the subject, "do you love me?" that'll get him out of his funk i thought, mushy talk from the ol' master with a lowercase m, he couldn't resist but to respond to my inane blather.

"not now, man," was Triton's reply, his standard reply, but then he thought about it, licked his paws, chased his tail for a bit before realizing how futile that was, then calmly perked up his long pointy ears and touched his tabby striped fur like it was dusty or something. through his long whiskers, my cute little tiger spoke: "all in all, you're not bad. for a human, you listen, which is the most important thing. that's the problem with the other humans, they never listen to us, to the small hidden sounds all around them, they don't hear us, they don't hear nature telling them what to do and where to go, so eventually nature takes all humans to where they are to go. you at least are willing to learn, you're teachable, which is all i can ask of you i suppose."

i was in the mood for a bottom line. "so you're saying that you love me, too?" i asked.

Triton: i...

me: *smiling face*

Triton: well, i...

me: *happy face, waiting face*

Triton: after analyzing all the known data, my conclusion is such that it's, i suppose i do in fact...

me: *anticipating face, my tongue hanging out like a dog* you.

my face is now sullen. perhaps the dog tongue was too much, threw him off his cat senses. suddenly, i felt very alone, very alone and isolated and lonely and depressed and separated from the world indeed. Triton was all i had, i had no one else, no other human to cuddle with. i wondered if he would ever stick up for me if the occasion arose. i knew i would. i would die for him, and that isn't an exaggeration or silly boast. it was simply true. real. love is strange, you don't always find it where you think you will, and it comes to you in messy forms and unexpected packages, but you must fight for it wherever it lives. beggars can't be choosers, it is what it is, cliches are cliches because they are true. everyone does what they must to survive, if not to thrive.

the black cat was there on his spot in the center of the back lawn the next day, making eye contact with me the second i was within view. his tail formed a larger-than-life shadow. i wish he would just speak, even if it was a guttural prayer to Satan or something. huh, then again, maybe not. silence is golden in this case. the funny thing was, i was too tired to be scared today, so i sauntered over to the edge of the sliding-door glass which protected Triton and me from the outside lawn. i really took a look at "the Master" this time, i wanted to actually see what was there in reality, not what i imagined him to be. those silver eyes of a black cat are so demonic, they are so creepy, not the normal safe green or brown eyes of my Triton, green and brown, the colors of leaves and dirt, the colors of life. his silver eyes were otherworldly, they came from space, from spacedust, they spoke of the heavens above, or the heavens below.

but this morning, the black cat seemed, appeared to me, to be...cute. if you didn't look at the eyes, everything else but the eyes, the cat was just a normal cat. he was small, powerless, just standing there not in a commanding trance but because he was scared to move, maybe he just wanted a saucer of milk from me but was unable to communicate that and froze. yeah, that's it. i mean, honestly, this little kitten might as well have been Triton painted in black, he was the same size and shape, sans the stripes and white underbelly and general overall tabbiness. my imagination turned to play, not horror. i imagined the black cat wearing a cute black pointy witch's hat, like you see the cats-who-are-really-people-or-spirits in anime wear, so disarming. that disarms the supposed frightful witch from whence it came also, i mused.

it was the third night, or the third day, or perhaps just the second night. would i see the black cat for the third time? yes, all neatly in threes. a crow crowed three times. it happened, i read about it. i read a lot of books nowadays, that's all i do, Triton doesn't want me leaving the house anymore. a faint low hum is pervading the house, the hum of activity all around me, the ants under the house, all in my area, forming and creating their gigantic homes, their nests under my home, ready for that one day. the hum becomes just as low. it was time to take out the trash, first time i was ready since the gummi gecko. i think. it was still light out, guess it was the afternoon still. on the black cat spot was instead a dodo that wasn't moving, seemed to be a relic of the past trapped inside a forcefield, an old old very old ancient movie of the past, when dodos still lived wonderfully on this earth, the dodo is so happy moving and playing and surviving and living, the movie starts to blink out. two majestic peregrine falcons with brown wings swoop into the forcefield area and turn off the tv. they gather around the Master's circle and wonder as well why the Master isn't there. three gorgeous bald eagles fly in and shoo the falcons away. time for my human duty, my chores. i take out the trash and gather up the recyclables for the bins outside. i go down those two steps into my man cave, and i open the thin door from there to the outside.

nature is all around me, was always around me when i was born, fills the air in me now and forevermore, the hum remains low and out of earsight. i love you, Triton. i'll pay for this later. this is how i always imagined it. i take out the trash, i'm vigilant but see nothing, there was never anything to see, except for the black night. black cat. i deposit the cans and bottles with no incident, and i return to the man cave and shut the door fiercely. were the lights always turned off? they are now. the outside night has filtered into the night of my man cave. man cave. how silly. human cave. ancient human cave where the first humans saw the first animals, the buffalo, the horse, the domesticated horse, the wolf which turned into a dog, a pet, a cat, the earliest humans paint the first painting of a buffalo on the cave walls, man cave, bison drawing, it's so so so dark in here, as black as midnight, i stumble around for the light switch...find it...turn it on...nothing. where is up and down and left and right in this place? i need to focus my eyes on something so i can predict center again. my eyes lock on...something...please? something?

white eyes, silver eyes, the silver eyes of the black cat, he is inside my man cave, inside me, my sanctuary, how fitting, the Master has penetrated my very castle, my very home, my very heart. my eyes are scared as they laser into his, or rather the reverse, he has all the power of course, and he never has to say a word, there is nothing left to say after all, his presence speaks so many volumes they become the stars in the night sky. his experience caused the Big Bang, when he killed Satan he unleashed the first atomic thrust. that was the ultimate act of proof, that granted domination of animals over humans for eternity, dominion over the gods themselves. that's why their gods are better.

i never heard the fight, never heard my struggle as i scrambled to dodge the scratches and the cuts and the swipes of the Master against my skin, his punctures with his claws through my heart. i am paying and praying for something, for everything, for humanity itself, i am humanity's lowly but designated representative, for i am the standard human. the loud screeches and mews and roars with my yells are all scrambled together and muted, they all mix back into the low overriding hum. i don't remember much after that, except i remember it all. the knock at the man-cave door. it is Triton. he mouths something to me then races to attack the Master. a cloud of white smoke like in cartoons follows between the two feline warriors. i love(d) cartoons. i measured my entire life against cartoons, they were all i had, my only reference, i never talked to anyone. i love you, Triton, my beautiful loyal furry companion.

this is how i imagine it. like in an anime. with the background music and everything. the beat. i am tasting the clouds, the white smoke inside the dark room gives way to clouds, high high clouds, as high as the farthest sun, the invisible star i always knew was there, the meaning i sought was there all along, i knew animals could talk, i taste the clouds. they are not necessarily comforting, but i make them comfortable as i close my eyes to open my eyes, with




Jules said...

What a fabulous picture.

And so is the one you painted here.
nature stops to recognize his presence and stare against its will. " A superb line.

Clearly the black pussy recognises the force within you.

Jules said...

Wait? WTF? When I first read this it ended at the cat staring at you. There's LOADS more! What is this trickery?? Excuse me whilst I continue...

Jules said...

Ok, I finished properly. I love how the glass door protects you and Triton from the lawn. I love how your words are like a kaleidoscope in my head. Of course that cute little Tiger loves you. You are the master with a capital M....and two steps. ;)

the late phoenix said...

juli: thank you so much! even though the story doesn't continue, the story continued just this morning when a circle of ants had invaded a dirty dish i left out on the breakfast countertop. well, for my part, i do definitely recognize the force within the black pussy...

Cheeky Minx said...

Your prose melts my mind... I will never be the same... "i am tasting the clouds, the white smoke inside the dark room gives way to clouds" is utter perfection... Time for me now to float away... Meet me up high in the ether... Let's taste...

the late phoenix said...

cheeky: that Dilla beat is transcendent...and yes, new Boondocks soon!