Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Sadness & Pets

I’ve been sad for the past few days. I have a friend who’s very ill and another who becomes someone I don’t like when he drinks—and he drinks, it seems, every night. Plus, the rain is back, and it comes with a foretelling of eternity indoors, too much darkness and limited contact with friends.

People say: Don’t you love this time of year! Fall is my favourite season. I always agree. I hide my seasonal sorrow as best I can. 

It feels like I’ve taken a strong drug. Long, long ago I tried mescalin. When it licked in, I could feel my body pulsing, flushing, and all anxieties melting away. I hallucinated beautiful visions, but I couldn’t snap out of it. It was in control. I had to wait for it to fade away on its own. And that’s how my sadness feels. It’s in control. I’m flat. All I want to do is sleep or be on the couch watching television. This will pass, I know. I hope it passes quickly.

When I woke yesterday morning, I decided that if Dwight called, I’d not answer. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide things from him, so I didn’t want to talk to him. But when he called yesterday, I answered, and the rest of the day felt much less of a burden to bear. He’s coming to visit after Beth’s and Shari’s visit.

I have several friends who, like me, are single, and we all have a person in our lives with whom we speak almost every day. These “talking almost every day” relationships are strong, intimate and vital for each party, but especially for someone like me, living without familial relationships. That’s Dwight for me, and he’s coming to discuss my will and ideas about my future … and his role in it.

All through Summer, I keep the front and the double-doors in the dining room open day and night. The front door has a screen door that has cat-proof latches. It lets fresh air and light into the house. The double-doors open into the screened porch where the cats’ litter box is, and assorted furniture for them to rest on. Fred and Ethel live in the porch all Summer.

Now all the doors are closed, and the cats want to be with me. They join Sheba and I in bed in the mornings, and they have taken over Sheba’s place on the couch with me every evening.

When the shit hit the fan for my parents back when I was nine, I was left on my own. I raised myself in our home, cared for by a housekeeper, Mrs. Forester. I’d have meals in the dining room sitting at the table looking out a wall of glass opposite me. Often, I’d see the Blanche’s white cat Aleck outside their home across the street, crying to get in. They never let him in the house, and I ached for him.

One day, Mrs Blanche came out her back door with Aleck in her arms. I was at the table having my lunch and I watched her walk across Leyland Street and come up our driveway.  I opened out front door and Mrs. Blanche said, “I talked to your Dad, and he said that you and he would look after Aleck. We’re moving to California.”

She handed me Aleck and he was the first love of my life. We, the unwanted, bonded instantly. He was my first experience with mutual commitment. My emotional life began with him, and from him I discovered what was so sorely lacking between me and my parents.

He’s why I got Sheba, Fred and Ethel within a month of moving here. Every day it gets better between us all. The three of them are my best medicine. I’m thankful that when I get my seasonal funk, my four-legged friends want to come in close.

Today, after the morning dog walk, I’ve resolved to put plastic netting over a front bed where Deer have been eating the Ivy I planted. I’m also going to Doug’s and Gisela’s house to pick some plumbs.

There’s lots to do in Pinecone Park, but I’m disinclined to do it. I’ve decided to get started with a ‘one-step-at-a-time” approach. 

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