She says her favorite month is May, when spring’s grip is tightest, but most of all she cherishes the rain. She is intimate with the rain, there is a privacy that only she can concede, if she wants. She can take a drop of rain and it is hers alone, she need only share it with the sky, it is always clean on her tongue. She may borrow rain from the trees, catch it as it slides from leaves, or watch it slowly tumble from the eaves of the house she remembers from childhood. She loves walking barefoot through fresh fallen puddles as it washes bitter memories into the willing earth.
I’m not a gambler, never have been, knowing the house always had the odds and every play was a sucker’s bet for sure. I might kill an hour on a business trip to Las Vegas going through four dollars at the nickel slots, one play for each original nickel, winnings set aside for rolling.
Twenty-one years ago today I hit the grand jackpot standing nervously on the steps of an Indian restaurant, and my good luck has never changed so it’s fitting that today I draw a perfect 21 even if there is no casino to make a payoff on my winning.
Driving to the car dealer yesterday for what I should have known would be expensive service, not because I hadn’t had my car serviced in over a year, simply because any trip to the dealer for service is expensive, Q.E.D., I drove by Easy Street.
I thought of stopping, perhaps looking for a small house to keep for the occasional getaway, I mean who doesn’t want to live on Easy Street.
Sadly the homes were run down and the neighborhood was spotted with half empty strip plazas, so I had to conclude it iwould be hard to live on Easy Street.
The cat is stalking around the house, wary. She gets this way after coming back from the vet. She actually likes the vet, and not only for the treats she gets, and the pawdicure. But she must stalk and be wary so we will be remorseful for having taken her to the vet. And she knows we will be, given enough time and back turning. We are so predictable. She wonders if we were like that with our children when they were young. Probably, but we must have forgotten. So she will go on with our training, for a cat must bend humans to her will. That is an unwritten law of nature.
The dog refuses to walk around the house and check the driveway, and so the shells will rain on the village as they do each time she senses fear.
She has a sight beyond that I can fathom, curled under the heat vent, as though the cries of children carry in her dreams, her tail dances against the grate.
On most nights when she makes her final trip, the automatic light over the garage flips on and we can all sleep peacefully until we realize that God has chosen a furry surrogate, lives resting between her paws.
I set out this morning with my large dictionary to find the perfect word to describe the sky, the sun just peering over the roof of a distant house, the few clouds aflame in a silent fire.
I knew there was a word for what I saw in the dictionary, for there is a word for everything if you search long and hard enough, but after a while I gave up when I realized I could no longer recall what I had seen that set me off on this search.
During the Presidential debate the other night the inevitable question was eventually asked. I have to say the answers were much as expected, exactly as scripted, and while “correct,” each candidate missed a golden opportunity. “On January 21, what will be the first thing you will do as President?” Most of the world’s problems made the list, immigration, climate change, wealth inequality, you get the picture. It was never mind that almost none of the things listed could be solved by an executive order, their hearts were in the right place. But no one hit the real mark. Ask me and the answer’s simple. My first act as President is to appoint the official White House herpetologist. It is a two for one appointment, after all. I get someone who can help me deal with Congress, members of both the Senate and House. But better still, when it hits the fan, and we all know it will, repeatedly, I have an expert who can explain that yet again, it is all the snake’s fault. That one has worked since Adam, and even the evangelicals and Catholics must agree on that one.