Friday, May 22, 2020

My Morning

It’s day whatever since this whole virus lock down thing started.  I’m lost in a dream that I’m in downtown L.A. in line at See’s Candy and when I get to the front it turns out they don’t have any assorted chocolates.  I leave the candy shop and have no idea how to get from downtown L.A. to Tarzana.  I find a transit information booth run by a bunch of hipster guys.  They’re no help.  They think Tarzana is near Costa Mesa. For anyone not in Southern California, the two places are probably 50 miles apart.  The hipsters send me to a restaurant called Dough.  The people are very nice and say they’ll help me figure out what bus to take, but they get confused by all the maps and charts they have.

I get back to Tarzana, but only by waking up.  The dream leaves me feeling groggy and I go to the kitchen thinking about a nice cup of coffee. There’s something else on my mind.  I’ve been working on a proposal for another series for awhile and the beginning sucks.  It’s strange, but if I can get the first paragraph right, all else seems to follow.  In the back of my mind, probably when that dream was going on, a new beginning popped into my mind.  I think it will work and the rest of the first paragraph is suddenly there too.  I want to write it down before I forget while I drink that coffee.

 One of the cats likes to sit in the kitchen sink and drink water from the faucet.  It’s the same place I rinse out the coffee pot and fill it with water. He sees me coming across the house and he races me to the sink.  He wins.  I turn the water on a trickle.  While he’s drinking, I see the canned cat food my son put out for them the night before and it is now covered with ants.  It’s trash day and the garbage cans are all out by the street.  I’m not dressed so the yard is as far as the ant covered cat food goes for now.

Inside there are ants all over the floor looking for the cat food.  I spray them down with my trusty bottle of water and peppermint soap.  But now the floor is slippery and I slide my way to the kitchen table. The cat has had his fill and vacates the sink.  I get up and rush across the kitchen forgetting about the wet floor.  I slide and leave footprints.

While the coffee drips into the pot, I get back to the kitchen table.  I always have different size yellow pads there, but can only find a small one.  No matter, I ‘ll simply use more pages.

As I’m writing, I notice ants on the sleeve of my night gown and I realize that as I was dealing with them, some of them had jumped on when I’d been doing my clean up.  I hand squished them and they gave off a nasty kind of smell.  They kept coming and soon I noticed errant ones walking across the paper I was going to write on. In the meantime the coffee finished dripping and I grabbed a cup.

Finally, finally I grabbed my pen and started to write down the first line and then the lines after seem to tumble off the pen onto the page. As I thought, once I had that first paragraph, more followed and I saw how the story would come together.  And now to get it all in the computer without any more ant encounters.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Ugh. Ants. Good luck getting rid of them. But it's cute that you're developing a routine with the cats--a drinking and racing routine!

And congrats on getting the new story started.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, It is strange to have three cats after being petless for a couple of years. A neighborhood cat we call Fake Julius is in shock that there are new cats in town. He has regularly walked through a yard, but suddenly he started taking naps in the yard to to stake out what he thinks is his territory.