When I watch television, I like to guess what's coming next in a narrative. I know I am not the only one. In my family, correct guesses lead to someone's saying, "Did you write this one?" I also enjoy racing my friends and family, trying to be the first one to call an episode that we've all seen. Tonight, while I was watching an exceedingly strange show at my excellent friends' house, one of them said, "Wait, is this the one where he falls in love with the devil?" I was tickled. There it is.
The grading out of the way, today became a day of slow walking and picture-taking. There were the flowers in town, yet another new round blooming, yellows and pinks and whites (and soon there will be coneflowers--not really soon, but soon, now that there's yarrow that will soon be as yellow as that curb):
And the dragon has moved yet again--not disappeared, just moved. But when I paused to contemplate whether or not I'd photograph him where he is now, the high-mewing cat who lives at the dragon's house (or at whose house the dragon lives) came out for a visit. Playing with this cat, trying to photograph her as she slinked around and meowed happily at me (don't let the vampiric incisors fool you) and then started eating grass, was one of the highlights of the day. Since I need at least one good night's sleep to get my equilibrium back, and since I'm just so tired from my push to get those grades in, I think I'll mostly let these images speak for themselves. Trust that you'll hear more from me tomorrow. When do you ever not hear more from me?
Walking the quiet distance home (for the students are gone; we are hushed and emptied out for now) and encountering the cat all reminded me, suddenly, of Ithaca--of how evening walks through Fall Creek meant overhearing house noise, people playing piano or clinking silverware to plates during dinner or conversing on porches. Of how cats would wander the sidewalks before the houses where they lived, and of how they would topple onto their backs and roll back and forth, stretching and scratching their spines against the cement, when they saw me approach. Some nights, especially when I was writing, I would walk out of the house at 8:30 or so and just walk for awhile, often ending up at one of the bookstores downtown. One Monday night, someone tried to get me to join in the contra dance taking place on the Commons. I flushed shyly, as is my wont when approached with anything like interest, and hurried home to sit with a paragraph I couldn't quite solve.
One night, I looked up to see a bit of graffiti painted in white on a brick wall, high above the street: "When home is rootbound."
This cat has the highest, most improbable mew I've ever heard, which is saying something, as you'd know if you'd known the cat we had when I was little.