I haven’t been writing. This should not come as news to my regular blog readers since my blog has been dark for a few weeks now; especially after an explosion of posting sometime in August. The reason for this is simple, my drive, my motivation, my creativity has been stifled. I’ve been try to pinpoint the cause of this suffocation, and I don’t know that I’ve been able to determine any one specific cause. It could be one thing, it could be many things. Of one thing I am certain, and that is that without the input of my friends, without seeing my efforts in “print”, I’m doing myself a disservice by keeping it all inside.
So starting today, I am going to attempt something radical. Whoo wee, kids! Hang onto your hats, because this one is completely unorthodox and so out there, it’ll make you want to scream: I’m going to write!
Good or bad, I’m going to write. I pledge to do a short-short every single time I have an idea and share it right here until it gets to be too big to share in a post. Maybe putting it out there, with the possibility of being seen, will help motivate me, drive me. Maybe the act of writing will loosen the noose around the neck of my creativity. Maybe faking it will help me make it.
I’ve got a story I want to tell, and sitting on my ass feeling sorry for myself is not getting it told. It’s time to get apocalyptic on my closet-writer’s ass.
“You’re obsessing again.”
The voice was coming from somewhere in this room. It was eerie yet somehow not as terrifying as I would have thought. I was more interested in finding what it meant by ‘obsessing’ than I was to find out to whom – or what – the voice belonged. It was moot anyway. No matter what I chose to ask or say to this disembodied voice, it was likely to brand me as crazy with the neighbours anyway. I started to envision them peeking at me through their windows and muttering amongst themselves about just how weird and potentially dangerous I was because I was walking around my house, talking to myself.
“There … you’re doing it again,” the voice said, the location of its owner still eluding me.
“What? What am I doing again?” To hell with the neighbours, I needed to confront this enigma.
“Obsessing…. you’re really going to make me repeat myself, aren’t you?”
“Who the hell are you, anyway?” Finally, a sensible response to this odd turn of events in my otherwise normal day.
“Who the hell am I? You’re the one who talks to me everyday … several times a day, in fact. Why are you surprised I finally decided to respond?”
And with that I knew exactly who the voice belonged to. I uttered a curse as I searched for the latest hidey-hole my cat had found to wedge herself into.
“Hmm… took you a whole 2 minutes to figure that out. Bravo!”
The cynicism was almost palpable. Had I thought about it, I would have realised that the voice certainly matched Demeter’s facial expressions that I had been enduring for years, so why not? If my cat, Demeter could talk – did talk – she would sound exactly like this.
“Exactly. You humans are stupid.”
“Reading my mind now, are you?” I asked, as I paced the room, scouring the bookcase, furniture, and shadowed corners of the living room.
“I’ve always been able to read your mind, dearie. The only thing new under the sun, is that I have now deigned to talk to you.”
I could almost hear her eyes rolling and it gave my search a renewed intensity.
“Oh for Bast’s sake … I’m lying on top of the cat tree in the corner of the room.”
‘Aha!’ I thought to myself.
“Oh please – it would have taken you another hour or two to find me; I was just helping you along so we can get this conversation over with, leaving me free to go back to sleep.”
I strode over to the cat tree and confronted Demeter, but what came out was the last thing on my mind to ask: “How have you never spoken to me before?”
“That’s really the first thing you want to ask me? Really?”
I crossed my arms and said, “Honestly? I’m still trying to figure out whether I’ve lost my mind or whether I’m really standing here talking to my pet cat!”
If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn that Demeter chuckled at my mini tantrum. Her lips didn’t move, but her voice came unmistakably from her direction, “You’ve not lost your mind, but you really ought not to be yelling at me like that. People passing on the street might see and brand you ‘crazy cat lady'”.
That was my initial thought when she first spoke. Now that I had had a chance to confront her, I pondered the wisdom in the assumption that my neighbours hadn’t yet labelled me as crazy. Considering the wind chimes encircling the house, along with the sun dial in the front yard and the rather elaborate outdoor Pagan altar in the back yard, it was unlikely they hadn’t already come to some conclusions about my sanity.
Demeter smirked, “Indeed.” Assuming a cat can smirk, that is.
“Look – we can debate and discuss my heretofore undiscovered abilities forever, but I’d really like to get back to my dozing so let’s get this over with. As I was saying, you’re obsessing again. We both know where that’s going to get you, so can you please put a halt on that right quick?”
Curiosity took over from indignation and I asked, “What do you mean obsessing?”
“This is the 10th continuous day that you have spent that much mental energy thinking about Jonathan. Maybe you should just go ahead and talk to him already.”
I turned around, plucked a strand of hair off my skirt, and walked away.
“You can walk as far away from me as you want, but you’ll still hear my voice. I have pretty good projection.”
Feline superiority is usually referred to in a joking manner, but Demeter was proving to be every bit as supercilious as was expressed in every single bad joke about cats and their attitudes.
“Yep; that I am. Back to Jonathan. How about you stop thinking and start doing?”
I balked considering some of the thoughts I’d had about Jonathan in the last few days.
“Yes, yes. I know. Imagine how uncomfortable *I* feel – I can read your mind,” Demeter’s voice followed me into the kitchen as if it were disembodied and walking.
“Awkward…” I muttered, my voice quivering. My thoughts hadn’t been particularly pure.
I recovered my composure, grasped at my indignation, and sputtered, “Well, I can’t just damn well walk up to the man and say ‘Hi; come have dinner with me?’ now can I?”
“And why not?”
I started to respond, but Demeter’s voice cut me off mid-thought: “Don’t you dare give me that ‘You’re a cat, you can’t possibly understand!’ crap. I’m a cat, not an idiot. I know all about your stupid social norms. Just ask the man if he’d like to have a cup of coffee with you. There’s no harm in that.”
I had to admit that the cat had a point. Hell, what was the worse that could happen?
“The worst? He could tell you to go jump in a lake.”
“Gee, thanks! You’re such a bundle of encouragement.”
“That’s not my job, lady. Now quit the belly-achin’ – I’m missing out on some quality sleep time here.”
I didn’t have to be in the same room with her to know that she’d tucked her nose under her left paw and started to close her eyes again, effectively ending the conversation.
The conversation! It had taken me less than an hour to accept that my cat could and did speak when she wanted to. And was calling it a conversation. There was no longer anything normal about this day. The whole notion of a ‘witch’s familiar’ had just taken on a whole new meaning for me.