I was reflecting on something like this today. After writing my novel’s “new words”, I walked away and thought, I’ve captured the essence of the action. Now I need to slow down and add the poetry of life. Oh, but that will extend the novel’s length and the time it takes to get it out there. I need to be more concerned about how good it will be and less concerned about ‘getting it done’.
I read the epiphany once again. A separate, small document, fifty-three words, it has become my North Star, guiding me through the novel’s climatic seas of life, space and time. Since writing it five days ago, I open it every day. I’ve made one change to it since its creation.
This Now comes together. Now appeared to be a single playing card but when I grasped it in thought, Now revealed itself to be a deck of cards. I fan them out, seeing and understanding how this Now forms and exists. Beautiful. I think of the Chronicles of Amber and the Trumps of Doom, and smile. This is not the same, but thank you, Roger Zelazny, for your amazing imagination.
A thumb’s fingernail travels along the index finger’s nail on the opposite hand. I do this often as I sit and think when the words are marshaling in my mind. It comforts and balances me. I think of the tell in Inception. I remember the words, “Touch has its own memory.” That’s a key aspect of today’s approach. I remember looking at photographs of myself and seeing how differently I see myself in them from what I see in the mirror. It’s another aspect of today’s approach. I think of the lies we tell ourselves and others to survive, to succeed and thrive, and the truths that finally bend us to face a crises. It’s another aspect of today’s approach.
The quad-shot mocha is hot, sweet with chocolate and bitter with espresso, conflicting, complementing currents, perfect for writing about Now.
Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.
March 20th marked the beginning of my cold therapy challenge for myself. Today’s cold shower was my ninth.
I’m very slowly acclimating. Washing my hair (twice) was the worst. I turn the water off after soaking my head to apply the shampoo and lather up. It seems like standing in the shower during that interlude feels bitter cold.
Still, it’s a choice and it’s inside, where it’s sixty-eight degrees. It’s better than many have. Yeah, I whine and rant about it because c’est moi.
On the bright side, I’m probably saving money on the water and gas bills.
Had a bad customer service experience with PetSmart. I ordered online for in-store pickup. The prices weren’t great but it was convenient for me.
One item was supposed to be buy one, get one free. After selecting it and adding it to my cart, I saw no reference to the free one. Well, what the hell?
I contacted them via email. I received a response; they received my email. I should hear back within two days.
Well, what the hell.
I went through with the order. It was supposed to be ready in an hour. I would receive an email when it was ready.
Four hours later, nothing.
But I printed out the order, went to the store and picked it up.
This morning, I received a response from customer support. I didn’t get the free bag of food because their research of the order showed I hadn’t ordered it.
“After researching order number 21081607, we discovered that it did not qualify for the buy one get one free promotion because you did not add the free bag of Purina® Pro Plan® TRUE NATURE™ Adult Cat Food – Natural, Grain Free, Chicken & Egg to your cart. We apologize for any disappointment this may have caused you.” (The added emphasis is mine.)
I wrote them back on their bullshit. Of course, I NOTICED that the order number they referenced is wrong, which probably explains why they didn’t think I ordered it. That’s just another layer of evidence of their poor service in my shallow mind.
That was the third time ordering from them via online, and definitely the last. There’s a damn good chance I won’t step foot in their store in the next several months, maybe not even in 2017. They hit a nerve. It’s one thing to not do what you’re going to do, but it’s another to imply I’m an idiot, which is how I took their email. I don’t like corporations and I’m frustrated that I’m so dependent on them for my American life. I believe they treat most customers with contempt or less and will gladly sacrifice kindness, courtesy and common sense to make an extra fraction of a penny profit.
Here’s the order pick up.
So, yeah. PetSmart hit a nerve.
Today’s choice isn’t a favorite but I hear it in the radio and it’s stuck to the flypaper of my mind. It also lends itself well to singing to the cats.
The song is ‘Shut Up and Dance’ by Walk the Moon. Some lines go, “This woman is my destiny, she said, shut up and dance with me.”
Applying that to cat life is easy. “This kitty is my destiny. He meowed, shut up and come feed me.”
He does other things. He purrs, shut up and pet me. Shut up and let me out. You know, things that cats do.
Yeah. I might be a little crazy. Bring me more coffee.
My theme music for yesterday was Seal’s ‘Crazy’. The recurring refrain, “Yeah, we’re never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy,” became my dream’s theme music last night.
Last night’s dreams was like a television series. I binged on an entire season. Each episode followed its own arc. Each featured ‘Crazy’ as music after the episode’s climax.
The dreams began with one in which, I thought, how funny, I’m not even in this dream. I was witnessing a convention. It was a packed, happy, energetic crowd. Displays were being set up. Demonstrations took place.
I drifted into one demonstration, making my first appearance in the dream. It was about hacking. Interesting and amusing. No, not just about hacking, my dream persona observed, but hacking magic.
I was with friends. Everyone was perplexed about what was being demonstrated. Suddenly, I grasped it; when three cubes could be aligned and turned into one color, magic took place.
Like the old computer game, Tetris.
But more magic hacking was being demonstrated. Fascinated, I separated from my friends to pursue learning this magic. Each episode took me further from there and deeper into a quest. By the season’s end, I was alone at a black magic convention. Other people were present but I didn’t know any of them. I was broke, gaunt, dirty and unshaven, with long, disheveled hair and threadbare clothing.
The setting was a dark, wet and decrepit abandoned arena. Others seeking magic and energy were present. An intense scene, we all knew of each other but didn’t know one another. We wanted to help one another but were also leery of the others. But this is where my quest for more had taken me.
Needing rest, I slept on the second floor, sharing a urine stained mattress and Army blankets with a stranger, another man. Although younger, he seemed in worse condition than me, sleeping the entire time while I tossed and turned. I was specifically seeking…a magic manuscript.
Three times, I tried finding and acquiring it. The fourth time, I succeeded.
And then I lost it.
The others knew this and were sympathetic. There were suggestions the manuscript had been stolen.
With some detective work, I found it.
But I was running out of time. The convention was ending. I wanted to present the manuscript to the convention leaders. A bus would take me to them. I missed the bus once…twice…. The manuscript disappeared again. I found it again but missed the bus again, even though others had helped me.
By this point, I was almost a filthy, barefoot beggar. On a tip from another, I learned that the convention leaders were coming through on their way to leave. I could intercept them. The rest encouraged me to do that. Which I did, presenting my manuscript.
It was a big, black, fat, unwieldy document. The leader, a suave man who looked like a young Jon Favreau, glanced at it as he walked by. “It’s not what we’re looking for.”
Yet, this was the magic. I knew it was.
Defeated and out of time, I headed home. I was broke and exhausted. It was a hard journey.
My wife was in the bathroom, getting ready for a party behind closed, locked doors. I could hear her humming. Others began arriving to set up. They were bringing in food and cakes. All were people I knew during my life, friends from other eras.
They were in good spirits, which spread to me. I began cleaning myself up to join the party. At that point, I knew the season was over, but the series was not. More was to come.
Cue ‘Crazy’ and the show’s ending.
I awoke despondent and sat alone in the living room for a while, watching the day grow brighter and thinking about my dream. Clearly, I thought, this was about my writing efforts and my career. I was seeking the magic. I’d missed.
But, it wasn’t over. As ‘Crazy’ streamed through my head and I began my daily routines, I took some solace from the hope, it wasn’t over.
There are more seasons to come.
An irritated, irked or annoyed cat often makes a catment by throwing litter out of the box, jumping by your head when you’re asleep in bed, or scratching on furniture, all gestures to punctuate its displeasure.
The late Pogo (l) and Scheckter are shown. Neither of them ever made catments. Jade, on the other hand, was a master of using catments to act out her anger.