Wednesday, when I see my therapist, the sun is out, spreading a gleaming, rock-candy light over the green hills. We talk about my cat among other things, to be recounted shortly. In this to-come recounting she observes, in that forceful unarguable way that is never your mother, that I know cats, have always had cats, live in synergy with cats, can find somebody to watch them if I ever become decisive enough to visit San Francisco, as I have claimed for the past three weeks. She tells me to get a cat, in so many words. I leave feeling better than I have in days, weeks, forever, emerging into sun.
Wednesday evening I have dinner with a friend. We talk about David Rakoff, who she adores, who passed away while I was in New York, where the action is, where his last action was. You haven’t gotten a new cat. No. You feel disloyal.
I haven’t gotten a cat. Thursday I wrote all morning and planned to visit shelters, but moments after typing the last word was flooded with job business: calls, emails, impenetrable questions about previous work experience. Yesterday, Friday, I take two hours downtown to face a parking ticket I got Tuesday while talking about a job. The judge becomes a different person upon saying the word job. Tickatickaticka: she types a blur. I’m going to dismiss this. The shift in mood is abrupt as explosive decompression. I float out of the gorgeous stone and glass super LEED building into the stone bluster street, walking blocks to luxuriate in the time left on the meter, stopping in the brand new retro Seventies main library because libraries must endure.
Yesterday afternoon I can’t decide if I should take a quickie job, take a nap, have a panic attack. I read a brilliant Harper’s essay that causes me to look up high school shootings, of all things, which makes me internally hysterical in that male way. I am eternally grateful to the friend who calls. Among other things, she wants to know what the therapist said. She said I should get a fucking cat. Yeah, that’s what I’ve said.
In the enclosing autumn dark, the shelters were closed. I go for a short walk. The Elysian Brewery, which sends malty fermented smells into the neighborhood, is hosting an Oktoberfest; twentysomethings swirl around in pumpkin costumes, the women wearing knee-high boots. I see an arty movie, Detroipa. I go to bed not unreasonably late. I do the ocean breathing I’ve learned in yoga, and go to sleep without taking something for once.
I wake up. I brush my teeth, look at my email while sucking the foam in. A little junk, and this.
I gave a stamped envelope to the vet over a month ago, when I picked up the little purple bag. All they had to do was sign it and mail it in. I presumed they did. I only had a little money left, but in the end, the living gots to get paid. I click the link. They are paying out everything that’s left to pay.
I don’t feel sad, or angry. Truly, I don’t. I am glad they have paid out the last benefit I had left and not discounted anything. I am glad for efficient machines that do their work and let you know at two in the morning.
The sun is out. The humane society opens at eleven.