Such Interesting Times

I hate to get too tedious about the cats, since I am not normally a “cat blogger.” However…

I was lying in bed this morning, remembering how, when Daddycakes was still alive, a lot of the cats would jump up on my bed with him in the morning and walk all over me — as long as I was under the blankets, I mean. They wouldn’t come near me if I wasn’t. But I was thinking this morning how much I really missed that. Just even that small physical contact with the cats.

Not that I don’t appreciate this new development with Huckleberry and Doris in the bathroom in the mornings now — and this morning, they even came in after the sun had actually come up. This is a huge change — allowing me to pet them in the daylight.

But, anyway. Yesterday, a man I know just really casually — we had had lunch together a couple of times a couple of years ago. The only thing we really had in common is that we grew up in Cleveland in the same era. But he was a heavy drinker, smoker, and a meat eater. And even though I never, ever push my eating/smoking/drinking preferences on anyone else — honestly, you can do whatever you want to do, even in my house. But it probably means we won’t really spend a whole lot of time together. So that’s what happened there. I think he found me a little intimidating, actually. But I saw him yesterday — really briefly. It was so nice. And my main point is that he very lightly touched my back, just this friendly sort of gesture of “hello, I remember you” and it felt so incredible and I realized that it’s getting to be a really long time since anybody touched me — including the cats.

So this morning, I was thinking about how the cats never jump up on my bed anymore and how much I miss that — little cat feet walking all over me in the morning. And then absolutely that quickly, suddenly Huckleberry and Doris jumped up on the bed with me. And they did that thing where they knead you with their paws — Doris always loved kneading my thigh and she immediately started doing that again! They were on the bed with me for several minutes. And then Francis — the meanest cat in the world — came into the room and was staring up at us. She never comes into the bedroom while I’m in the room, ever. And yet she stood there and watched us for a little while.

I could not believe any of this. It’s been 7 months since Daddycakes died. It feels like forever. Needless to say, it made me feel really happy to finally have this cat-interaction again.

And, oddly, the guy I had last gotten seriously involved with, about 3 years ago — when I was planning to move back to New York and buy a house in Rhinebeck (where he lives — oddly, he lives about 5 minutes from Sandra but I knew him from NYC), but I ended up in the wilds of Muskingum County instead, bought a strange old house and became indescribably happy. Anyway, that guy emailed me over the weekend. That felt very strange. Not bad, but more like — wait; what?

I guess it’s just one of those junctures. Everyone’s sort of revisiting their old energy — including the cats.

Then, as the sun came up this morning — after I was done meditating and doing my Inner Being journal-thing — I was looking at the grey sky and an old Paul Simon song came suddenly to my mind: “I Do It For Your Love,” from his 1975 album, Still Crazy After All These Years. And the song brought to mind both of my wedding days and how odd it was that on both of those days, the weather simply could not have been more beautiful. (April 9, 1981, and then May 1, 1993.) And then it brought to mind how the weather is no real indicator of how a marriage is going to go. And I thought about all the various men who have wanted to marry me in my lifetime, starting from when I was 17, and how I was just the kind of girl who never wanted to get married. And yet when I did — both times, well, they were just so odd.

Both wedding nights, for various reasons, go down as two of the worst nights of my life. That feeling of lying there and staring up at the ceiling in the dark and thinking: Jesus, it’s legal now; what was I thinking? Then feeling resigned to making the best of it. And both of those particular marriage proposals couldn’t have been more strange. And yet they were the ones I accepted. (The other guys were so much more passionate — “come on, I love you, I want to have a kid with you” and that kind of beautiful thing. But I always saw ownership in that arrangement and that’s one way to make me bolt the stall in a huge hurry.) Plus, I also wound up marrying two Geminis (Geminis have that “twin” thing going on.). And for me, both times, I didn’t find the twin until after the wedding.

Just so strange that all I had to do was look out the window at the grey sky, then be reminded of an old Paul Simon song, and my mind was just off and running like that. I’m not anti-marriage at all, I just don’t really understand the point of it if real estate and children aren’t involved. It’s just such an intensely binding legal arrangement.

Anyway, I thought this would be of interest! Marriage-related photos!! The first is actually a photo of the playwright Christopher Demos Brown, but in the background — the sort of striped brick high-rise: that’s the Camelot Building, on the corner of 8th Avenue and W.45th Street. And that’s where I lived with my first husband when we were married.

The Camelot building in Midtown — so aptly named!

And below — you kind of have to look closely here — this is West End Avenue, on New York City’s Upper West Side. If you look in the center of the photo and see a dark red chimney-type thing on top of one of those tall buildings — the apartment building directly next to it, the much smaller one with a white roof (it’s only 12 stories), that’s where I lived when I was married to Wayne, on the 10th floor. He still lives there. You can’t tell from this photo, but outside of our bedroom window and our bathroom window, we had a clear view of the Hudson River and Riverside Park.

Life in the married days…

And of course, this is what it looks like where I am now — not married at all. This was the full moon this past September, over my barn.

The full moon over my barn in Muskingum County

Well, I’m just in a really strange headspace today, huh? Not a bad one; just sort of contemplative.

And I thought about that Paul Simon song, and just how long it’s been since I even thought about it. I loved that album, but the song wasn’t especially a favorite or anything. I do recall listening to it at age 15, and thinking that I didn’t really ever want to get married. And then I thought about who I am now, today, and I thought of that girl I was then. I was fresh from the mental hospital, for one thing. I was in such a bad way. I basically lived alone with my adoptive mother — my brother was almost never home back then and then he moved out for good less than 2 years afterward. But I lived in terror of that woman. Just day in, day out, anxiety, fear, suicidal depression and awfulness. I never ever knew what horrible shit she was going to throw my way next. I tried so hard to make myself just disappear back then.

This morning, remembering all that, I just wanted to let go of the past — forget it completely. But then I didn’t want to just abandon that girl who was still back there, listening to her records in her room, you know? I knew she had a whole lot of really bad shit still up ahead of her, and I didn’t want to just leave her stranded in it.

I’m just not sure how reality works in that regard. If you let go of the past, are you letting go of something deep inside yourself that still needs you, or is that just an illusion of some kind? I don’t really have a clue.

Well, okay. The director’s comments will not arrive until tonight. So today I’m going to work some more on “Hymn to the Dark.” (Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse.) I hope you have a really good, thought-filled Monday, wherever you are in the world.

I’m guessing you know what I’m leaving you with today! Thanks for visiting, gang. I love you guys. See ya.

“I Do It For Your Love”

We were married on a rainy day
The sky was yellow
And the grass was gray
We signed the papers
And we drove away
I do it for your love

The rooms were musty
And the pipes were old
All that winter we shared a cold
Drank all the orange juice
That we could hold
I do it for your love

Found a rug
In an old junk shop
And brought it home to you
Along the way the colors ran
The orange bled the blue

The sting of reason
The splash of tears
The northern and the southern
Hemispheres
Love emerges
And it disappears
I do it for your love
I do it for your love

c – 1975 Paul Simon

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