Sunday, April 24, 2011

Five Minutes of Life - 10thDoM A Cat Can Look At A King

The wind easily whips her hair across her cheeks, stinging them so that her eyes water. This isn't a lullaby, she thinks, this isn't the way things are. Across the busy road, she spots a bench beneath a tree that looks oh-so-inviting. Making her way there is a careful process as cars and trucks rocket by her. She is terrified of being hit but starts a timid venture out into the sea of steel meteors whizzing by.

If she had an umbrella, it would be inside out by now. If she were wearing a skirt, it would be Marilyn Monroe'd by now. She loathes her long hair right now even though it's one of the few things about herself that she likes.

Twice, she is nearly hit. The timid, start/stop gait she has taken across the street has irritated many motorists and barely escaped causing a wreck. If she didn't know better, she'd swear that her heart would explode from the massive bass drum speed roll it's doing. The bench is nearly hers though, and she sighs and smiles at once as she balances on one foot, crossing the other over her knee to remove her shoe, then repeat to the other side with a bit of a wobble. It's OK. Today is a Monday. Balancing is always harder on Mondays, she remembers her yoga teacher saying.

The grass is cool beneath her feet, surely kept that way by the gusty winds, since the sun is doing his very best to smother the earth with his heat. The feeling reminds her of summer days back home, minus the wind. It never got this windy and this sunny at the same time back in small town, Alabama, or if it did, she can't recall.

A lump of something is on her destination bench, but she can't make it out just yet. She hopes it's not something gross and looks around for someplace else to go. There is another bench... Across the street she nearly just died crossing. It is not beneath a lovely tree though, nor is it sitting upon lush green grass. The bench across the terrifying sea of speeding steel is lonely, and she's tired of being in lonely places. She's tired of being lonely.

As she nears the bench, she can make out that the lump is furry and has a mini panic attack at the irrational thought that the creature inhabiting her bench is a rabid dog. She's terrified of dogs for no real reason she can recall. Once, or maybe more, she was attacked by her great granny's cataract-blinded demonic chihuahua, and for sure just once, she was attacked by a Great Dane. That's what she tells everyone, but if the truth were fully disclosed, she was afraid, or maybe just had a deep dislike, of dogs before any of those events ever occurred. At any rate, she dislikes dogs with a passion. Every time she reads one of those articles talking about how people who dislike dogs are not good people, she truly feels bad about herself.

Much to her relief, a lazy cat peeks his head up as she approaches. She's highly allergic to cats but loves them anyhow. As she gets closer, she notices that the cat is lying on a paper of some sort, and the cat, rather than closing its eyes and being aloof, seems to be staring at whatever is on the page, and she wonders what could be so interesting to a cat. For a moment, she watches the cat as its fur bristles in the wind.

She sits on the other side of the bench from the cat and pulls out her Nook, pressing the button on the top to make the scary forest screen saver disappear and the navigation panel light up. Surprisingly, the cat isn't skittish and doesn't move nor does it take it's eyes off of it's bed/very interesting paper.

After trying to read a book on her Nook and then playing a game of Sudoku but being completely distracted by the cat's uncanny interest in a paper and the whipping winds thrashing her hair about, she can't really concentrate on either. Finally, she carefully leans over to see what in the world could be so interesting to a cat. It's a magazine, she can see now, and it is open to a page about the deteriorating health of Rama IX.

She giggles out a little too loud, startling the cat enough that he takes his eyes off the Thai king's picture long enough to look at her with all the disdain a cat can muster. She smiles at the cat, satisfied to know what is so interesting, and as the cat returns its gaze to the king, her mind settles enough to let her enjoy a book on her Nook.


  1. Lies! You love Starbuck!

    Cute piece. Not liking the ending (subjectively... objectively, it's fine), but it's a good story.

  2. Yeh different for you and beautifully descriptive. I hate wind . .

  3. This poor lady has some problems, indecision being one of them.

  4. Yikes, has everyone had a 'cataract-blinded demonic chihuahua' in their life? ... -J

  5. ha! sometimes a cat is just a cat. cool