So. This is me trying to be all artistic and shit with the photograph, when all you really need to know is that last week was LIST TIME.
The original ink was the phone number to takeout pizza and a note to get a UV pump for the old pond (algae bloom there, too *sigh*). The next day, cat litter and Zombie food. The last, Thomas food, but I also picked up Lilly food. No, I’m not organized. Shock, huh?
I do have a point to all this and since you’re here and all, this is how today began….
That’s Thomas, also known as my grandmother’s cat, Socks, or “fat bastard” as the occasion calls. Yes, he does love the taste of mini-blinds, thanks for asking.
That’s where Lilly is right now. Do you actually think my hands would be free to type if she was awake? And, no, I do not know what the hell the fuzzy thing is on that blanket because if I go over there to find out she will wake up.
That’s Spike. He’s eleven years old and missing most of his teeth.
2.5 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal.
He’s over on the bed, hiding from Lilly because she tries to eat his brains. His new nickname is Shark Bait. Notice, I had no note to get him food.
Speaking of brains, Zombie will come when I call her now, but still won’t let me touch her, and she thinks pictures will steal her soul, so there are none. Silly, superstitious cat.
I woke up, walked the dog, sat down here and, looking at my wrist in the dappled sunlight coming through my other set of cat-eaten mini-blinds, became inspired to blog when… I looked outside at the koi pond.
Fuck me. Really?
Foam. Foam bad. Foam not good for fish. And there’s a leak in both boxes?
Good thing there are no fish in there, but where the hell are all the nutrients coming from that’re making the damned FOAM? And what the fuck is there a LEAK about all of the sudden?
I look at my wrist and pick up my green pen – so I can differentiate between old notes and new – and stopped. There’s fifteen tons of things I need to do – the foam is just the crowning fucking glory – and I don’t mean want to do, I mean need to do, but if I start writing on myself, I thought, I’m going to end up with another sleeve. I threw the pen down on the desk and gave my imaginary goatee a rub, then brushed over the throb at my temple. (That’s Esteban surfacing, yo.)
I’m acutely aware of why I’ve been so scattered lately. Many of you regular readers may think it’s obvious, but it’s more than just losing the fish babies.
It’s hurricane season, and it’s July.
In less than ten days it’ll be the two year anniversary of the last time I did this:
That’s my last view from a balcony overlooking Frenchman Street, and the splash-banner for my blog. And the last time I did this…
Which would be watched a storm roll in over New Orleans.
That would be one mother of a storm in the very early morning of July 23rd, 2010.
The good thing about it? It wasn’t a hurricane, and everyone on the trip was asleep except me.
I watched the storm coming for miles, watched the clouds boil overhead, watched the one light spot in the center form over the Quarter, and took this picture. The rain came down, I ran inside not because I didn’t want to get wet, but because the camera in my hand was worth a small fortune and I did not want to have my ass kicked when I got home. I went back outside and just stood there and let the rain fall.
What went through my head was the most peaceful feeling I’d had in years, and yet it took me a year to act on everything I felt that morning and start this blog.
Yesterday, as I was jumping out of my van and making a mad dash into the pet store for the Lilly food on my list, there was a storm brewing overhead. A long, dark front crawled through the sky over the building, full of gray clouds, deep blue streaks and white wisps of wind trying to escape… and I immediately thought it’s not the same.
At the check-out line, the clerk commented that the sound of rain on the roof, the fact that it could be heard inside this monstrous store, was a bad sign of a bad storm. I smirked and swiped my card, thinking, It’s not the same, chica. You have no idea what a bad storm is.
((If I said out-loud everything I thought in my head, I’d probably be arrested or in a straight jacket.))
I made it out to the curb and, yeah, everyone that was trying to leave was standing there, waiting. I looked up at the now solid mass of dark blue-gray and thought…
It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
… and stepped off the curb.
I only had maybe fifty feet to walk, but I walked with slow, carefully measured steps. I could swear I felt every pelting drop, even the ones that hit my baseball cap. Everyone else that went for it was running; I was smirking. I was soaking fucking wet when I got home. And I needed it.
At this point this morning, the sun has moved so there’s no more dappled light over the ink on my wrist. It doesn’t stand out as blaringly as it had a bit ago. The dogs, the cats, the koi, all of it will be fine, I just have to take it one step at a time; check off one thing on the list at a time.
It amazes me how easily I forget the storm lesson from one day to the next.
But it’s July; it’s hurricane season; and I need a list, so I’m writing that saying at the very top.
Just… not on my arm.