when I was a child of about ten I helped my little sister, who longed for a cat, by writing little notes for our parents petitioning her cause. I myself did not have any strong feelings about cats, I wanted a pet pig (which was trending at the time) but recognized my ideal in animal companionship to be a bit odd, and it was like, we were already getting made fun of around the neighbourhood for our rusted out car. so I wrote our little petitioning notes and my parents must have known our hearts were true because when I was upset and didn't feel heard I would also leave them little notes about my feelings.
after weeks of looking at buds I gave up on the bees (where are you, bees?) and fertilized my roma tomato plant by q-tip. pretty much instantly the plant was dripping with little green fruits. if only I knew why the cherokee purple tomatoes that were so leafy and lush last summer are now my little stragglers...
In the mid-1950s, six months after escaping from an insane asylum "thanks to the negligence of two or three guards," a young Louis Wolfson decided to devote himself wholeheartedly to the study of languages. He was in his mid twenties and living in Brooklyn with his one-eyed mother, who had called the police to have him committed. This period of his life, dominated by his fixation on language, became the subject of his first book, Le Schizo et les langues - which was written in French and printed in part in 1964 in Jean-Paul Sarte's journal Les Temps modernes. Referring to himself in the third person throughout, Wolfson uses ironic phrases such as "the schizo," "the mentally-ill young man," and "the schizophrenic language student" to describe his condition prior to his linguistic obsessions:
for one afternoon I had a Persian boyfriend. we had drinks and then went to a secret restaurant. "we could stay up all night," he said. we were having a really fun time. he was tall, broad shouldered, and completely serious. I had not sorted out any kind of relationship between sex and my feelings. I was seeing someone else, although our relationship felt loose and complicated. it was a courtship, it was painful and worry-filled. I talked to him as a friend. I called my boyfriend and went home. the next time I saw him, months later, he invited me to a wedding. all boundaries in one place, few hard lines in the other. looking back it might have been a missed opportunity, but he had lied to me and my trust was at best faltering. I needed to say no then, and he was leaving at the end of the summer.
I had sex for the first time by accident. I was in someone else's apartment and couldn't figure out the thermostat so suggested moving under a blanket. we had been laughing at star trek and kissing all night. he took his clothes off and I felt obliged. on account of this obligement I later convinced him to let me meet him in new york, so having to go to the pharmacy for plan b was just a humiliating coincidence. I was stiff and worried and didn't have as much fun as I did smiling at data getting kissed. the next day my boyfriend called to see that I was okay and I accidentally hung up on him, obliging him to call back and me to say I was fine. it took me approximately 36 hours to work up the courage to go to the pharmacy. my boyfriend said that he was the devil (I blame his father, the minister) and I was afraid of our potential demon child.
my boyfriend had the nicest skin I have ever encountered in my life. he was smooth and soft, lean, nut brown. the hairs on his arms made me crazy. he liked to take my shirt off and wrap himself around me. that's where I was happiest, all the time, to be wrapped up with him. he had a tactile vocabulary that left me feeling mute. I ran my fingers over his broken collarbone, the only place he was imperfect, trying, trying to find a way in.
I thought of all the things I was going to say and then I fell asleep. I thought of how I had tactile hallucinations with my last boyfriend and at the time thought I was just really into him touching me. meanwhile I would get so anxious I could not think or form sentences and would just stand there smelling like sweat. there are no relationships in my prospects but I think about boys and am terrified of the biochemical chaos that one might unleash. I move warily.
my housemates are in a tiny medieval town in France drinking four euro bottles of wine. between three foot wide walls. also, apparently eight hundred year old universities do not sell objects with their name on it, so short of shimmying up a drainpipe and chiseling off bits from the front of the building...
I was so worried about choosing a birthday book for my three-year-old cousin... but he liked it so much he read it four times before bed tonight. the book is "bugs in a blanket," by Beatrice Alemagna. the pictures are all done in felt. little fat bug has never seen another bug before, so he invites the other bugs living on the blanket on the chair at the bottom of the back yard to his birthday party in the hole in the middle of the blanket. when they show up he is surprised! there is sweetness, repetition, a theme of accepting other people as they are, and a dance party. when I was a kid I hated stories about bad things happening so that was how I chose.
in the end it's summertime. the jasmine is flowering and if I rub the leaves of my cardamon plant they smell amazing. i have a friend who with genius level powers of conceptual organization and great kindness will help edit my paper. my cat chooses me. I can think of four drinks involving bourbon to choose from while I cook. life is not too bad.
is it fair that I feel shitty to have found out that the neuropsychologist I was referred to was convicted of sexual assault? when my paranoia and delusions were sexual in nature? seven charges by two individuals. he was creepy and asked questions he probably didn't need to and I gave him leeway. he did his time ten years ago.
I feel like I need a new doctor who won't refer me to creeps.
I think the reason I write continually about the cat is that there remains an aura of wonder around the fact of our relationship, as though I do not believe that I am an animal person, though I am, more to the point, this animal's person. in between twisting my brow over philosophy and writing a bit all day I have been sitting in an empty house (housemates are on vacation) drinking antioxidant green tea with a cat and dog who are friends, coaxing love back under the cat's fur, and I find that I am happy. we are all in a little room and the two animals are sleeping.
my cat. fell out the window into the dark dark night. i lept up in my nightie and proweled the street barefoot with a flashlight, calling. there were noises of cats getting into squabbles. the cat did not appear.
he appeared in the morning, wedged between fence and retaining wall, returning the vocalizations of the dog and I. he has not been the same since. he does not want to go out. he does not purr. he wanders away from where the people are. his pride has been sorely injured. i make offerings of treats, which he accepts, and cuddles, such as he will stand for, but he is a dispirited cat and it is very sad.
I ran into the girl who sat behind me in grade eight math while getting iced coffee. she is now a documentary filmmaker. I saw her film about a girl with cf and her internet friends, during the film festival and on tv. she has been flying back and forth to India for eight months making a film about children who are taken to faith healers and get sicker because the Indian government has not yet agreed to pay to cure them. she is very happy, except when her heart is breaking, and I am happy for her. tonight I cannot concentrate because I am psychotic, because I get this way when I see my peers succeeding and I can't.
my sister points out that the cat is very happy and comfortable, as he spent several hours lolling on his back. I point out that such is an efficient cooling posture for the cat, and that he seems to enjoy having lots of people around.
two nights ago I talked to a three year old, the modern-day medical miracle boy, for hours. he has a very short attention span. unless you are reading to him curious george, in which case he will listen for hours while the grown ups talk. we got to talking about the pictures, and how sad george looked there, and then he told me stories to cheer me up. and he hit me and then kissed it better. and he snuggled up. i like boys who snuggle up and read books.
only 3.2% of a cat's brain is frontal lobes, as opposed to 29% in humans. if a cat is upset you can be sure that you will know directly and not have to wait through a lot of plotting and psycho-social torment otherwise engaging organization or oversight.
Proust is so charming because he brings to your attention other people's annoying and asocial qualities and renders them charming and sweetly funny. I wish I had M. Proust with me to render charming the moments when I want to scream, "executive dysfunction" amidst my family.
"she wants a little sister or brother but labour with her was really difficult, I thought I was going to die."
"I like having one but we had all those complications and he was only two pounds."
the baby was in fact starving inside her and had stopped growing at six months. She only found out during a routine ultrasound near the end of her pregnancy and had to be taken directly into surgery and gutted like a fish.
carried my three year old cousin around the farmer's market this morning. a little boy named Oscar fell down in front of him and my cousin started talking to him, telling him it was okay and asking what was hurt. he's a well brought-up kid. then we went to the playground and he slipped running over sand on rubber mats and bashed his head.