It seems to me that January has flown by. Does anyone else feel this way? It hasn’t really been a month that is just so good that it’s over before you know it. It’s been, for the most part, bitter cold. And, it hasn’t been emotionally devastating for me, but I have been plodding along, continuing to try to find some direction, hearing that jobs are closed, applying to new jobs, wondering what the future holds for me, wondering how I should use my talents and skills. It’s been the type of month that pushes you to look at yourself. And, usually if you have a lot of time to sit down and look at yourself, it ain’t all going to be fantastic. Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not in a depressive episode or anything. I’ve just been thinking a lot about who I am, who I want to be, my faith, and my place in this big currently cold world.
When it’s this cold outside, it’s harder to kick the cats out of the house during the day, but when they pee in the house twice in one week, those feelings of sympathy ease up a bit as you realize their chances are probably better against the bitter cold than with you when there are a lot of sharp knives in the house. This week, our younger cat Moises had the audacity to take a leak on the couch with Allyson sitting there. This is one of those rock bottom moments where you contemplate a lot of extreme measures. It’s a helpless feeling, because cat pee is awful. You can spend an hour cleaning it, then walk into the room the next time and smell it again. What did we do to encourage such a terrible, terrible thing. I wonder what someone would have to do for me to be angry enough to pee on their couch. I guess I have a few more options than Moises. But still, you better not cross me.
We discovered after a visit to the vet that Moises has a urinary tract infection, so it’s not just because he’s a jerk who returns all our love and affection with clouds of noxious urine. He will need special prescription food, and I will be stuffing a pill down his throat twice a day until they run out (which he actually takes like a champ). It puts it all in perspective for how sophisticated we humans are. If my bladder is hurting, I whine a little and ask to go to the doctor. Our cat whines, but that the same thing that means: “I’m hungry,” or “Pet me,” or “I’m about to bite you,” or “I’m trying to trip you.” So, to let us know something’s really up, he has to do something to REALLY get our attention. I wish I could teach him how to talk.
Running errands this week, I was walking down the sidewalk of Chestnut street, heading West with music playing on my ipod, and I experienced the tough-guy, movie soundtrack walk. I hope you guys know what I’m talking about. Those times you’re walking somewhere, listening to music and you picture yourself in a movie. The song is rock or hip-hop, and you can imagine yourself being watched by someone in the distance, hearing this music too, and you know they would be impressed. You’re John Travolta at the beginning of Saturday Night Fever. You just set off a bomb and a building is exploding in the distance, but you don’t look back. What you are doing is the most important thing on Earth. You are the only one that can do it. You dare not smile–it might throw you off your mission. Ah, for about three and half minutes, you feel like you’re really something.
I remember a wedding I attended with a few of my best friends. We were all dressed in button-up shirts and slacks. Stepping out of the car, I raised my wrist up and buttoned the sleeves of my shirt and then slung my arms out to stretch the arms with a snap of the wrists, then brought one hand up to my top button and adjusted my tie a little. Steven was wearing sunglasses. For some reason, Randall was walking with a cane (I don’t remember why, or maybe I’m just imagining). We walked in a straight line, looking straight ahead, like a set of gangsters. I don’t really like to get dressed up often, but I do like that feeling it gives you in times like this. There’s probably no one watching you, but if they are, you hope they think you’re as bad as you feel like you are.
At the beginning of the week, I went to visit my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. It had been since Christmas, so it was nice to catch up with all of them. My nephew Elliot, was playing with his toys and started talking to himself saying “Momma, Daddy, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet,” over and over again. Tracye (my sister) says he just started saying that on his one during a road trip to St. Louis. As she’s talking about it, Elliot begins to say, “Uncle Troy, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet,” over and over again. It’s now Tracye’s ring tone when I call.
Though the idea of people seeing you as an action movie character when you get out of the car is pretty attractive, it’s a hard persona to keep up. People eventually are going to realize you aren’t so tough, and you’ll know that as soon as the song ends on your ipod and you catch the person at the stop light giggling at you. There are, though, plenty of ways you can feel wanted and appreciated. You might find your name in an original song composed by a toddler. Or you might find your cat nuzzling against your ankle, laying on your chest, and purring because you’re there. But, there will be days that you walk into your kitchen and smell that awful odor and know there’s a puddle of urine under your stove. Those are the days it’s good to imagine yourself walking away from the house and tossing a lighted match behind you and strutting out into the world. Everyone hears the music. Everyone knows you aren’t to be messed with. Just think of that while you’re pouring the vinegar and wiping the puddle away.