little things

My cat

Is laying here with her head curled upside down and hidden under a paw. When I lift the covers, she crawls right in and nestles next to me, head laying on my arm. She knows what makes me happy. And somehow it makes her happy, too. That’s a cool thing.

My fingers

Know how to type and my mind knows which direction to get home. I know how to get there. All it takes is savoring the little things. Remembering the beauty. Making more beauty as I go.

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Poo Poo Trance

1345546-largeA long time ago I was teaching at a college in Fairbanks, Alaska. I had a student named Jake who was very angry. Very angry!! At least once a few week he would announce how much he hated people. Just about the only people he didn’t hate were his own family. His grandkids and his wife. Everyone else he hated. The weird thing is that he was always trying so hard to get people to like him. He would make everyone cupcakes or he’d buy everyone pizza, but then the next day he was back to announcing how much he hated everyone.

What’s also strange is that he was funny. Funny because most of what he was saying was generally what 99% of the room was thinking. Like one day, he walked in and the room was dead silent, and he couldn’t stand silence so he told me in a (loud) hushed whisper, ‘What’s wrong with everyone? Did someone just die? Why do people pay all this money and then never open their mouths at school? It’s just stupid!’ and I agreed.

He had a weird look in his eye. Almost like there was no emotion behind them. Expressionless. Or rather, the same expression all the time. Like a deer in the headlights. When he smiled or laughed, his face changed but then it was always back to the same empty look.

But he was nice.

I appreciated having him in class. At least he opened his mouth. At least he had a point of view. There’s nothing worse than a roomful of silent people when you’re trying to teach. The blank stares. Nobody willing to stick their neck out. At least he was willing, even if his neck was extremely negative, at least he tried. I appreciated that. He showed me how not to give a shit. He showed me that it’s better to say something stupid than nothing at all. I know many would probably disagree, but I think he’s right. It’s better to at least try to take a stab in the dark, even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re stabbing at. It’s better to make a fool out of yourself and at least almost make it, then get stuck in your own poo poo trance.* [‘Poo poo trance,’ by the way, is a made-up family phrase denoting a cat that has gotten stuck scraping the litter box incessantly because they smell shit but can’t remember whether they covered it up or not so they keep scraping the box mindlessly despite the mound being covered.]

I’d much rather open my mouth and make an ass out of myself then sit in a silent poo poo trance.

Willow the Fat Pillow

If I learned anything in 2016 and that I will carry forth into 2017, it is this (sorry people who were hoping for handwritten blog entries…I WILL get back to writing those…I just need time to work up my finger muscles. It’s like playing piano after not playing piano for years. Pretty sloppy sounding. Thusly, my handwriting is sloppers, too, and I don’t want to put you through that misery. At least not today. Oh, and by the way, if I sound different at all today it’s because I am channeling the comedic genius of Maria Banford who I have been listening to non-stop for two days since my friend – the most amazing mechanic I’ve ever met – recommended her.  With Maria, I have found probably the most kindred spirit in comedy that I’ve ever seen/heard and I can’t believe another human being exists on this planet who thinks/writes even remotely similarly to the way I think/write).

Ok, so here is what I learned. Nothing compares to the kissing of my cats. Well, within reason. I mean, I love my dogs. And I truly do. But there is something about my cats that is beyond compare. I think it’s the plethora of fur. It’s hard to nuzzle your nose into my dogs’ fur. Other people’s dogs may be fluffy but mine certainly don’t have enough. However, both of my cats, but especially Willow, have this bountiful rug of fur that is just bottomless. Delightful. There is virtually nothing as good as a good cat nuzzle.

I mean, Gizmo (the half Chihuahua/half-we-don’t-know-what-but-maybe-Corgi dog) is snuggable for sure. But his breath is pretty bad so if you get too close the fun of kissing his forehead starts to dissipate. And Daisy is deliciously delectable. Her fur is so soft. It’s as soft as it was the day we got her as a pup about a year ago. But it’s soooo sleek that there is just not much to nuzzle. I mean, it’s there but you can’t bury your nose in it the way you can Willow. Willow has girth and softness and a good smell that doesn’t include bad fish breath odor. I don’t know why she doesn’t have it but she doesn’t. Maybe she doesn’t open her mouth a lot. It makes sense. I mean, she’s not trying to lick me all the time like Gizmo so that’s probably why.

There are many reasons why I think more people should have more fluffy cats around to kiss. It would be hard for me to list all of the reasons why right here. I mean, I’m guessing eventually somebody might get bored. So let me just isolate one. Hmmmm, let’s see… I think the most important reason why is….. hmmm….the smell. Yup, it’s the smell. I mean, okay you know when you know a smell so well that it feels like home? Like, you go away on a long trip and then you come back and suddenly smell your house the way it truly smells but you don’t really ever notice that smell anymore because you’re in it all the time? Nevertheless, you recognize that smell. Something inside of you recognizes that smell as HOME. You know you’re home. That’s what Willow’s neck smells like. Home. Comfort. Home. This is where I belong. She is mine and I am hers. Home. We belong together, here. Maybe not always in this house but yup. She’s my cat. Our cat. I love her dearly. I can’t even imagine not having her someday. It’s not even possible. She’s just going to go on living ad infinitum. Yup. That’s it. There will always be a Willow. Whenever life gets to be too much (good or bad), all I need is a whiff of the space between her neck and her cheek and I’m fine again. Willow. The fat pillow. Willow. Phatty Fatmeister. Willow. The love muffin. Yummers.15578010_1403006176406266_3670842509605832641_o