I’ve Liked You for a Thousand Years

The Scene is up for sale. I don’t really have any grave opinions on that. If the current owners aren’t interested in running alternative papers, then by all means, they should get out of it.

But also, of course, the Scene is very dear to me and I want it to be okay. So, I’m hoping that someone who understands the importance of irreverent, smart writing steps up to buy it.

And I hope the people I care about are okay.

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There is No New York Times Cake

I kid because otherwise I’d have to sit with my pleasant feelings and just enjoy them and we all know how bad I am at that.

There’s no guide for this shit, you know? And I have friends, now, whose friends appear in the New York Times, who see the names in that paper and know those people and have their whole lives.

But my whole life, the New York Times was… I mean, if a small-town Midwestern girl ended up in the Times, either something very, very shitty had happened to her or she’d become famous. It just wasn’t otherwise a possibility.

I had dinner Saturday with some people who wanted to talk about being a writer and I realized that all the advice I had was insufficient, because you also have to be really, really lucky.

I am, in many ways, really, really lucky.

And I’m proud, too, that I’ve been working hard and trying to do good work and people have noticed.

I still had to clean the litter boxes last night, though.

Like with all formulations of “when x, then I’ll be happy,” the truth is that there’s no “x” that can do that.

You just have to figure out how to be happy independent of all the x-es.

Showing off

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I just like this so much.

This morning, the dog lied to me. He made like there was a squirrel he needed to chase, so I dropped his leash so he wouldn’t yank my arm off. But really he just wanted to run through everyone’s back yards while I got mad.

One of my neighbors was working on his car, down on the ground, under the car, and the dog plopped himself down on top of my neighbor. I repeat. This asshole saw someone on the ground and put himself physically on top of that dude. 120 lbs of surprise dog on a dude.

I had to take a break from writing this post after that paragraph because I’m so fucking mortified even just remembering it.

The guy thought it was hilarious. Thank god.

Coming Along

The last of the yarn came yesterday and so I expect I’ll finish at least the body of it this week. Two more panels and then I’m going to use the rest of the yarn on the border.

It looks like I’m going back to the Post for a couple of posts, but no one has emailed me back, so I don’t know what I’m going to write about. So, that’s a little fun.

I also emailed the dude from Someone Knows Something because I just wanted to know if my FBI experiences are typical or if there’s something weird going on.

I’m sure a lot of you have already read this piece from The Week. It’s not a new feminist position. Just of the top of my head, I think Simone De Beauvoir was getting at something similar as was Charlotte Perkins Gilman back in “The Yellow Wallpaper”–it’s demanded of us to take unnatural positions and perform them as natural in order to be “good and normal” and our normal condition is considered madness. And those unnatural positions are painful. And our pain is so expected, so normalized, we can barely see the scope of how “well, being a woman is being uncomfortable” permeates our whole lives.

But I think Loofbourow’s article spells it out clearly in ways we’re not used to seeing. And spells out the implications of that clearly in ways I definitely think we’re not used to considering.

Anyway.

That sucks.

Charlotte Pike Unsubstantiated Theory

There are two main explanations for how Charlotte Pike got its name: 1. It ran by Charlotte Robertson’s house; 2. It ran to Charlotte, TN (which was named after Charlotte Robertson).

Both these explanations have the same problem: they’re not true. Charlotte Pike did, yes, kind of run near her old house, but not even close enough to be seen from the house. It didn’t run to her house.

And while it’s easy now to look at a map and assume Charlotte Pike ran vaguely out along what is now 70 and then up 47, the Old Charlotte Pike rambles around in the hills east of Pegram and then hooks up with McCoury Lane. Also, if you look at the names of other pikes spoking out from Nashville and where their namesake villages are, you can see that the villages were fairly far away from Nashville on the east side, the side settlers came from–Gallatin Pike and Lebanon Pike and Murfreesboro Pike, for example–but look how close in Goodlettsville and Whites Creek and Nolensville, Franklin, Ashland City, and Leiper’s Fork (the old Hillsboro) are.

I think you can see a ring of towns around Nashville about a day’s cart ride from town. That’d be like Brentwood, Belle Meade, Antioch, Whites Creek.

And then another ring of towns the next day out. That Franklin, Pasquo, Leiper’s Fork ring. The distance Pegram is from town. So, if you were going to name that pike for where it went, Pegram Pike would seem to  be the most natural name.

But the old Charlotte Pike didn’t go to Pegram. The Old Charlotte Pike, when you’re two easy days or one long day from Nashville, is in the middle of nowhere. Up in the hills east of Pegram.

The Robertsons owned furnaces. One of their earliest ones was the Charlotte Furnace, named for the matriarch of the family. And I think if you followed the Old Charlotte Pike a hard day’s journey from Nashville, and knew how to look, you’d find that old Charlotte Furnace.

Time, Time, Time, See What’s Become of Me

I’ve been kind of feeling the itch again to write, to maybe delve back into the bombing story, to shake a few more bushes.

I got a call from a lender yesterday, or maybe a collections agency now that I think about it. My ex-sister-in-law had apparently put me down as a reference on a car loan and now they were looking for her.

I laughed. I laughed at the thought of her ever wanting my information associated with her. I laughed at the thought of anyone lending her money and thinking they were ever going to see it again. But mostly I just laughed because she has pissed so many people off in her life that I guess she had lost track of how much I hated her, because I have made it a life goal to not engage with her.

This is, I’m afraid, the drawback to wanting revenge. You’d have to spend so much time thinking about the person you hate and coming to understand them so that you can destroy them. I never want to spend that much time on her. So, I have never sought revenge.

But I did tell the woman on the phone they should just kiss that money goodbye because they’re never going to see it again.

They Tried to Kick Him out of Rehab

Well, my dad is getting kicked out of rehab, because it turns out that under the new Medicare regulations, unless you have some complicating factor, you’re not supposed to be “entered” into the hospital after knee surgery, but just kept there for a few days for observation and then sent home for outpatient rehab care. You aren’t eligible for residential rehab unless you’ve been “entered” into the hospital.

This, apparently, is new.

So, my dad is improperly in in-patient rehab and is getting kicked out today.

It’s hard for me to put into words how scared and angry this makes me. I mean, he’s doing pretty good for a guy who just got a new knee, but he just had his first shower in a week yesterday. A person had to be there with him.

How is he supposed to safely get in his house? How is my mom supposed to handle things if he falls? Like how is “send the unsteady, fragile 73 year old home where his only caretaker is his frail 72 year old wife” a good plan?!

They have to move down here. They just have to be somewhere where there are younger people who can help them.

I feel so helpless being so far away and I’m so mad.

The Best Joke

The dog wears a chest harness when we’re out walking, but a choke collar otherwise. I forget why we switched to this configuration, but it works for us.

Anyway, this morning when I went to put the collar on him, he put his head up and then at the last minute, tucked his chin. Then he put his head back up, wide grin, tail wagging and when I moved in again, chin tuck.

“Are you teasing me?” I asked. He slipped his face through the collar.

Sometimes, you laugh with someone and you feel a familiar closeness. But when I laugh with the dog, I experience a kind of intimacy that comes across so much distance. We have so few ways of really understanding each other. We map our own experiences onto the other. I anthropomorphize him. I’m sure he canidopomorphizes me.

But sometimes the maps align. We aren’t compassionately almost understanding each other by ascribing the motivations we understand to each other.

We are sharing a thing. A joke.

It feels like a miracle. This utterly foreign being and I are sharing a joke.

How are we so lucky as to have dogs?

Who Among Us Yet Again Doesn’t Have Enough Yarn?

I got my third panel on this blanket done.

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The third panel is supposed to be the halfway point on the blanket. Please note that it is barely half the size of a single bed. So, I need to go up to seven panels, not five. Which is fine, I just need to get some more yarn. I also think I have a fun border picked out.

Season 3 of Someone Knows Something remains brutally hard to get through. It’s only six episodes, but I often have to stop in the middle of one and take a break. The brother’s grief and rage is heartbreaking. But it ends up not being the Klan members that make me the most upset. They are what they are–evil, sadistic terrorists.

The most upsetting part to me is watching how the whole white society continually shifts around them to give them cover and room to work. How it continues to give them space to be free. The support network, intentional or not.

 

My Plan Worked!

I did walk the dog when it got a little warmer and then I suffered from unimaginable cramps and then I felt better! (Every month. I’m almost 44 and every month I’m like “What is this weird thing happening in my abdomen?”)

I feel like walking sets me right. Like it allows unsettled things–physically and mentally–to work themselves back into place. I know it’s “exercise,” but it doesn’t really feel like that for me. It’s more like sleep. It’s a thing I do so I don’t feel like shit.

ANYWAY, I think the Bauhaus blanket is turning out even better than I could have hoped. I think I’ve decided to stair-step the red down. I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a border. But there’s time to decide.

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I started making my way, slowly, through Season Three of Someone Knows Something, but it’s so hard. I just feel so much stress and anger. And the kids who died were my dad’s age.

I don’t feel like Trump is some anomaly. I feel like I was lucky enough to mostly live in a slightly strange, better version of America that I was sheltered enough to not know didn’t really exist.

Seasons of Therapy

Yesterday was my last day at the therapist, at least until I need her again. A thing she said and has said a couple of times which I’m mulling over is that I find incongruity in my life very hard to deal with.

Like, instead of being all “I’m accomplished in x, y, and z, so that outweighs the fact that I can’t do a, b, and c.” I’m all “I think I’m accomplished, but I can’t do a, which means that my sense of self is false and I am secretly a failure.” But really, I’d be happier with a belief of “I’m accomplished in these areas. I’m working on these areas. I haven’t yet tried these areas.”

So, I was recounting how worried my dad is that with this Fort Negley stuff, I’m going to become too prideful, like turn into this ego monster. But really, I have that problem in the opposite fashion. When I feel fear/failure, it becomes monstrous to me. My problem isn’t that there’s some “I’m so great” monster waiting to be unleashed. It’s that a “I suck” monster is always ready to trample the shit out of me.

My yarn came in, so I fucking started the Bauhaus afghan. I do not have the motivation to work on those stupid mermaid tails. “How’s this going to turn out?” is an important part of crocheting for me and I already know that the mermaid tails will turn out delightful.

So, these are my inspiration.

And here’s my start:

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I think I’m just going to do five panels–three this size and two larger–since I don’t quite know what I’m doing. And if it’s not as large as I would like, I’ll just add a border. I have a red, too, so each panel will get one red stripe. My plan is to make it the same height on the small panels and then down from that just a hair on the large panels so that it looks kind of woven. But something to draw your eye all the way across the piece and make sure all five panels are tied together.

I need to go do some shit today, but I don’t have it in me. I think I’m going to downgrade my goals to “walk the dog when it gets a little warmer.”

Bad Daughter

I might be obsessing a tiny bit over my parents’ fake daughter. I’m torn between feeling like it means that I have so failed them that they had to go outside and find someone who could do the things for them I can’t do and feeling relieved that it’s not me.

I brought the mermaid tails to work on when I was up there, but I was mostly too distracted to work on them. But I did finish the afghan.

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I didn’t do anything too fancy for the border, just a single crochet row of that amazing dark blue and then a row of half double crochet in white. That’s Scheepjes Stonewashed XL yarn and it’s really, really lovely.

And my favorite part is that it is that baby blanket I did, but in a bigger yarn. Same amount of squares. I did add two more colors–that blue and a dark green, but pattern-wise, it’s the same.

Here’s the comparison.

And it’s so cozy! It’s got a nice weight to it and it looks beautiful. So, I just need to finish up my mermaid tails so I can start on the Bauhaus afghan.

This World is Not My Home

My dad has a new knee. He’s already up and walking on it and doing all his exercises. I always thought the biggest challenge was going to be getting him to take it easy and not overdo it.

I felt bad for leaving my mom up there and relieved to get home. Eight hours in the car with a big dog is a lot.

But he loved the Midwestern snow with no ice. He would go out in my parents’ back yard for twenty or thirty minutes at a time. He’d try to convince you to go out there with him. I did and it was glorious. I think we actually played. I kicked snow at him, he zoomed around, and then leaped at me pretending to bite my hand. He even got down in play posture before he would zoom off.

But he and I were both very stiff from that much time in the car. I’m jealous that he’s going to be able to spend all day sleeping while I’m at work.

The cats both looked surprised to see us when we got home, like they had just come to accept that they owned the house now, with the exception of random spot-checks from the Butcher.

My parents have a fake daughter. She calls them “mom” and “dad” and they introduce her as their daughter. They gave her an afghan I made and told her it was from me. I hadn’t met her before. I hadn’t really realized the extent of the weirdness.

I kept waiting to get a scammy vibe from it, but if she’s trying to con them, she’s going about it very, very slowly. Or all she wants is for someone to occasionally buy her lunch, so the con has worked? I don’t know.

I think she was a little jealous of me and I was of her. But I can’t have the kind of relationship they want to have with someone because it would crush me, so, I guess, as long as it’s just weird and not exploitative, whatever. Everyone’s happy.

I still don’t like it. But it’s not my business.

I wish they lived closer, though not next door.

Crochet Days!

So, this was how I spent my snow days. I love that the afghan is literally the exact same thing I did for the baby afghan, just in a different size yarn. It’s very heavy, though. Like, when you’re under that afghan, you’re going to feel snuggled.

I’m using the left over yarn to make an afghan in the style of a Bauhaus rug, so like vertical panels of horizontal stripes, and I had been debating whether to do it in the Tunisian stitch or moss stitch, but feeling the weight of it, I think I’m going to go with moss stitch, because the Tunisian is super heavy. I don’t want the person it’s for to get pinned beneath it.

My dad’s having one of his knees replaced tomorrow, so the dog and I have to get up there today. I’m hoping for clear roads.

And they announced that they’re not going to put a neighborhood on top of Fort Negley Park. I kind of think there might have been a slight dig/hat tip to me in the press release, when they mentioned that even critics thought the development was a good idea, just not in that spot, which had long been my argument. But also maybe that’s just my ego talking.

Crochet Day

As soon as I can confirm that my 1:30 is cancelled, I have the day off due to the weather. I’ll be spending my day crocheting, of course.

And I think you guys know of my vast love for Tractor Supply, but I have to tell you, it has grown. I bought a heater for my garage, so I could keep it above freezing and not have to replace my water heater or washer again due to winter crap, and I tried to turn it on last night when it was still 65 here, but nothing happened because the garage was warmer than the heater was set to.

Dear Readers, when I woke up this morning, the heater was on!

I mean, possibly that’s what was supposed to happen. Probably. But I was so surprised!

Neither Brave Nor Unflappable

Tuesday night when I got home from work, it appeared that the neighbor’s shed was on fire. I went over to look more closely before calling 911 and it was just a fire in a barrel right next to the shed, which, considering that the shed has ordinary shingles, seemed like a bad idea. But I didn’t call the fire department because that would have meant interacting with the neighbor and, if it jacked him up? Well, he lives right next door.

But when I came home last night, there was a big moving truck in the driveway and he was going back and forth with a lantern on his head. It was too dark for me to make out if he was taking things out of the truck or putting them in.

But if he’s moved away, who will shoot my creek?

Maybe y’all saw that picture that went viral of the target against a fence with a house clearly behind it and the girl with the rifle about to go shoot? My neighbor’s propensity for shooting at my creek was not quite that level of stupid, but it was still stupider than I’d care for a person with a gun to be.

If you’re standing in the creek, which for some dumb reason is lined with concrete, shooting away from our houses, there’s a low hill in the pasture behind us and then a house, the roof of which you can see when the leaves are down.

Unless you’re a sniper, I guess I have a hard time seeing how you could hit something in the house, but it certainly seems possible to me that, if you got startled or, oh, I don’t know, slipped on the slick concrete bottom of the creek, right as you fired, the bullet could easily end up in those people’s back yard. And what if they or their dog were in that back yard?

Also, if the bullet hit the concrete sides of the creek, isn’t there a chance of ricochet?

The whole thing was just so stupid. But he was also very scary (or may still be, but I’m hoping the truck was a good sign) so I chickened out.

Plus, once he knew I knew he was shooting in the creek, he seemed to stop. Or become more stealthy about it.

I had a meltdown at work yesterday. I knew as I was doing it that nothing good could come of it and that, in fact, it would only lead to movement away from my goals instead of a hastening toward my goals, but I did it anyway, because I was tired of feeling like I was the only person actually worried about the thing going wrong.

I’m not proud of that. But also, I kind of am.

Do y’all still have an active fantasy life? Not a sexy fantasy life. I’m going to go ahead and assume you do. But I mean where you practice your Oscar speech in the car on your way home from work or where you go over all the ways you will let the dude you loved who didn’t love you back know what an awesome person you’ve become.

I have a fantasy that I come back to in various iterations, but the gist of the fantasy is that there are large forces working against me–like say the FBI and MI6 both want me dead because of my international terrorist deeds–and just at the moment when they think they’re going to reveal to me just how fucked I am, I instead reveal to them how all this time I have been playing them against each other and it would be far better for them to just let me go about my business–because, of course, in my fantasy, I am a good-hearted international terrorist just trying to bring some justice to the people–than to take me out and have all their various misdeeds come to light.

I think part of the reason this fantasy is so attractive to me is, sure, yes, I get to be powerful in it, but also I get to be very, very smart, the kind of smart that can think five steps ahead and place herself in a seeming position of weakness temporarily in order to have the upper hand in the long-term.

In my fantasy, nothing is mysterious to me. I am unflappable and cool. I know what needs to be done and I know how to do it.

In real life, I’m a tiny rowboat trying to get to shore fighting a storm coming in. In my fantasies, I’m a warship.

 

Endured

This seems like it’s just going to be the kind of week that has to be gotten through, not enjoyed. But, in spite of that, it was already the earliest part of dawn when the dog and I walked this morning, instead of being pitch black.

It’s been so long since it was light when we headed out that I didn’t immediately recognize what was happening. I was like, “is there a fire?”

Yes, a fiery sun.

Tofu

Last night, for the first time in my life, I cooked with tofu. And it was easy and wonderful and yummy. And I wonder why I never did that before. People have complaints about tofu, but I like the texture. I like how it holds sauces.

I really hate how all the cooking videos on Facebook that stroll through my timeline seem to be about making cooking as hard and ridiculous as possible. Make this cake that is a pile of rainbow colored crepes! First of all, it’s a lot more work to make a huge pile of crepes than just a cake, but second, if that does sound delicious to you, the food coloring is just color. You could make a big pile of crepe cake without it, without dirtying up a million more bowls.

I don’t know. I’m just being grouchy because I have to do this thing for one person next week that requires me to not be available for another person and this other person is already being weird and upset about it and came very close yesterday to asking me not to do the thing.

I’m overly sensitive to it, but I get very tired of people assuming that I ought to be available to them whenever they need, while they’re often busy playing when I need them. You want me to put your priorities first? Then at the least, I need to see you putting your priorities that involve me before your priorities that make my life harder.

Anxiety, I am on to You

This morning, as I was walking the dog in the cold rain, I became convinced that, if we tried to go over the hill, we would slip. But I immediately recognized this as anxiety and not real.

Over Christmas, when I was sitting in my parents’ van, I caught sight of some crepe-y-ness on my neck. This weekend, I saw it in my regular mirror. Also, an old boyfriend of mine is about to become a grandfather.

And it just made me think about all the things I haven’t done. And whether I want to do them.

For so long, I wanted to write fiction. I haven’t done that meaningfully in a year. But also, I’ve done that. So… I don’t know if that’s a success or I’m failing. Duotrope wants me to reup my membership and I’m just like “Do I do this anymore?” Is it worth the money if I’m not writing?

Am I succeeding or failing? And, if so, at what?

For the first time in a long time, I turned my TV on last night to something other than Law & Order repeats. The Golden Globes were on, but I watched the last hour of Spy instead.

Worked some on the afghan. It’s not quite as fast as it was in baby size, but it’s still going pretty quickly.

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I’ll be honest, I think a lot of my free-floating anxiety revolves around whether I deserve to be loved. And the hard part about it is that I want to believe that, if someone so awesome came along and loved me, then it would prove to myself that I deserve it. But I also know that I have pushed people away, awesome people, or held it against them for being stupid enough to love me. I think I’m better about that in my crepe-neck old age, but maybe not as better about it as I’d like to be.

But, obviously, the outside validation isn’t the issue. I have to figure out how to accept and love myself. And I guess this is bugging me so much because I felt like I had kind of come to a frail truce with my body. I had gotten used to it, even if I can’t always see anything so great about it. And now it’s like “Love me with this skin, too” or “Love me with these weird bumps” or “Love me with a hair that sprouts here.”

And I just don’t know if I can. I was already doing as much as I could, which was not enough.

There’s a moment in Spy when she’s going into the casino and she kind of puts on a Mae West “kill them with charm and audacity” thing and it’s very attractive. And I guess I need to figure out how to strike myself as charming and audacious.

Anyway, that may be too much honesty for a Monday morning.

Happenings

Some things are happening that I can’t yet talk about. But I find it interesting that I have moved, in some cases, from having imposter syndrome on a personal scale to having impostor syndrome for the world.

Like, sure, I am a better writer than I was ten years ago (though sometimes I read my old stuff and I’m blown away by how much better I was at it back then), but a lot of stuff has happened to me because I’ve been ready, yes, but ready and lucky. Like, I was just as good at the things that have gotten me opportunities before I got my lucky break as I was after I had that lucky break.

And I wasn’t alone in the pile of people who are talented and ready but haven’t gotten the opportunity.

I spend a lot of time feeling both very grateful and like, oh, a lot of this shit is also nepotism. Friends hooking up friends because that’s who they know.  The deck is stacked.

And I have to figure out how to do a better job of helping other talented, ready people I know get a foot in the door.

Cold

So, what I’ve discovered over these past few days is that I can walk the dog the whole way when it’s 17. I can’t when it’s 14. You’d think those three degrees wouldn’t make a difference, but they do. And there’s no dog-walks at all once it’s 10.

The dog doesn’t seem to mind unless the wind is blowing. He still wants to stop and rip apart all boxes and lick everything that once had a food particle in it.

I think I already said I’m giving my finger a chance to heal up before I get back to the mermaid tails, so I’ve been working on this afghan which is the baby afghan I did earlier but in bigger yarn.

So, this afghan:

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But adult sized. And with a few more greens and blues.

Here’s a good illustration of the difference in size:

Did I show you guys the baby blankets I made over break? It doesn’t see like it:

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Fun History Stuff

I wrote about an ax murder! It still remains my favorite thing about living here that you can read about stuff and the just go see where it happened. Not that there’s much to be discerned from going to see where this ax murder happened, but whatever.

On the Scene‘s facebook page, someone complained about the graphic image, which made me laugh, because I thought there was never a more chocolate-syrup-y looking bit of blood in the history of stage make-up.

Also, a reporter from the Washington Post is working on a piece about Isaac Franklin. I know this because a Franklin relative told me and the reporter contacted my editor to ask where the portrait of Franklin we used came from. I then contacted the expert on Franklin to see if she had contacted him. She had.

So, this isn’t about her. I’m looking forward to reading her story and it sounds like she’s contacting the right people. It’s really about my own ego, because y’all, I was so butt-hurt yesterday that she didn’t contact me. Like I’m some Franklin expert or have ownership of his story.

And the thing is, I want more people to be interested in history. I want more people to talk about the ways the past still influences the present. I want people to feel like history is available to them without them needing to go through gatekeepers.

And yet, my feelings were still deeply hurt and I was mad and insulted.

There’s no lesson to be learned from that, I suppose, except one we already know–which is that wanting to be recognized and valued and important are some of the wants that most easily cause you to get in the way of your own better impulses.

Pushed Back

My chapbook has been pushed back to late spring. I’m actually relieved. My dad is having his knees replaced–one this month and one next month–and I intend to go sit up there for the surgeries.

But more than that, I wanted to do a book trailer, but I need to find a place I can get fifty blue clawed rubber crawdads, and with the holidays and the kidnapping, I just lost track of wanting to do that.

But now I have time!

This Cat

You guys know I fret about this cat. He turns 18 this year and he’s in rickety shape. The Butcher and I had a long discussion where the Butcher admitted that the orange cat can’t go live with them, that it would just be too much to ask him to get used to being an indoor cat in a new house at this late in the game.

I don’t know if you guys remember how the tiny cat went. One morning she was bleeding from her mouth and I was trying to round her up into the carrier and get the dog back inside and it went like hell and she sprinted outside and was gone. My parents’ cat went the same way. He determinedly snuck out and went off to die.

These past few days, the orange cat has been feeling his oats again. Playing, running around, yelling at me when I’m in the kitchen, demanding a million head scratches.

But yesterday, when I got home from the grocery store, he went outside with the dog. I thought he’d come back with the dog, but he didn’t. I gave him a few minutes and then I started to worry because it’s so cold. I put on my coat and went out to the shed and called for him and he came out and meowed at me and we walked back to the house together.

This morning he dashed out as I was letting the dog in. It’s five degrees here. And he was gone. I called for him. Nothing. I tried to go about my morning, but I kept listening for him at the door. Finally, the fourth time I checked the door, there he was, strolling up, like it was perfectly normal for a rickety frail man to want to wander in freezing temperatures for twenty minutes.

Is this a part of his, as the Butcher put it, “New Year, New Cat” initiative? I kind of think that, even as he’s looking worse to us, he seems to be feeling better than he has in some time. I mean, he was motherfucking playing yesterday. And certainly in his younger days, he would have much rather gone to the bathroom outside, no matter what the temperature, than used the litter boxes.

I’m torn between trying to just enjoy this bout of young behavior and worrying that he’s at the age where even good news is bad news.

Also, can I just say, it’s 5 degrees here and my garage is 40? God bless that heater.