Monday, March 2, 2009


("Treading Water" by Art Werger)

Dinah has resumed all normal activity, including restlessly looking for trouble and not wanting so much contact with me. But I'm grateful to see her "as is". We had an incident last night, however. I was watching Monk (I truly love that show), lying very still on my bed. Dinah has resumed sleeping in her "Cabe", the dresser drawer I leave partly open, from which vantage point she can keep an eye on the entire room, including me, without revealing anything except the tips of her ears. I had a minute before glanced over at her.

Suddenly, something fell from the top of the dresser into the drawer beside Dinah. I suspect the reason why it fell is because earlier she had been leaping from furniture to furniture, something she does when bored, and an item skidded very close to the edge but not quite over. Perhaps she shifted slightly in her Cabe. At any rate, her eyes were on me when the thing fell beside her, manifestly proving even to her suspicious mind that I had not thrown it. She rose straight into the air about two feet, landed several feet away and facing the dresser, every hair on her body puffed out. It was fucking hilarious, once I got over the fright myself of the sudden crash and her reaction. My confusion only added to hers. She backed slowly out of the room, giving me a look like "You're on your own". I heard her dig for a while in her litterbox, then silence for half an hour. When she returned, she needed a great deal of petting and reassurance. The Object That Moves On Its Own (a rock from Hawaii) has been returned to dressertop, and likely her memory holds no evidence now of it having occurred.

I now have a back-up inhaler, something I have not had for over a year. Unexpected expenses arose and continue to appear, but a couple of unexpected and generous donations have balanced it out so I was able to pay rent and utilities today. Down to zero but with food in the house and basic bills paid, I'm able to sleep without interruption. This is a good life if you can stand it. (Credit for that quote and philosophy goes to Terry Galloway.)

Last night I made a chocolate cake. After I began it, I discovered my regular canola oil had gone slightly rancid in the fridge, and I was out of eggs. I did have butter and also some dried eggs which I don't really know how to use. I melted a stick of butter -- the recipe called for one-third of a cup but I thought what the hell, I don't know if this concoction is going to work anyhow. I mistakenly put in twice the amount of dried eggs I should have. The batter looked unusually thick, so I lowered the cooking temperature and crossed my fingers. Well, folks, it's one of the best cakes I've made. High, rich, dense and moist but not too much so. A real treat. I'm about to go in the kitchen and barbecue some chicken to go with broccoli and rice. But my mind is on another piece of that cake.

I'll close with today's poem from The Writer's Almanac, which I get daily in my e-mail. This one is by Ellen Bass, a lesbian-feminist (at least, used to be) from my generation.

Sleeping Next to the Man on the Plane

I'm not well. Neither is he.
Periodically he pulls out a handkerchief
and blows his nose. I worry
about germs, but appreciate how he shares
the armrest—especially
considering his size—too large
to lay the tray over his lap.
His seatbelt barely buckles. At least
he doesn't have to ask for an extender
for which I imagine him grateful. Our upper arms
press against each other, like apricots growing
from the same node. My arm is warm
where his touches it. I close my eyes.
In the chilly, oxygen-poor air, I am glad
to be close to his breathing mass.
We want our own species. We want
to lie down next to our own kind.
Even here in this metal encumbrance, hurtling
improbably 30,000 feet above the earth,
with all this civilization—down
to the chicken-or-lasagna in their
environmentally-incorrect packets,
even as the woman behind me is swiping
her credit card on the phone embedded
in my headrest and the folks in first
are watching their individual movies
on personal screens, I lean
into this stranger, seeking primitive comfort—
heat, touch, breath—as we slip
into the ancient vulnerability of sleep.

By Ellen Bass from Mules of Love. © BOA Editions, 2002.


kat said...

I'm glad that Dinah's better and that you got yummy cake!


Sue Katz said...

Sounds like another instance of your creativity. Save a piece for me.

Dinuh said...

Fanx, Kat.

Bi d way
u hav a grate naim

Dinuh Notjochild said...

an su katz

ur naim iz pritty grate 2

caik sux

kat said...

mrow, Dinah...

Insert the teacher voice that I've been using all week:
"Dinah, cake doesn't suck. It's okay not to like something, but it's not ok to criticize what others are eating."

It works best when I'm wearing my glasses, of course, because I can peer over the tops of them.

little gator said...

Dinah-ever tried canned punkin? It sounds awful but it's really yummy!
Same with refried beans!

I've course I'm hungry alla time cause my slaves have me on a supermodel diet so I don't get fat like I was before. Maybe if they fed me enough I wouldn't like the weird stuff.

The Empress Lydia