Remembering To Feed The Cat

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Soundtrack Sparks by Coldplay.

When I was young I met a girl, she said she’d take care of me, but she couldn’t even take care of herself—— She burned Top Ramen, bled pink on my favorite button down shirt in the wash and was always telling me to get a “real job”. When my band broke up things got even worse. We stopped forgiving one another. We stopped holding hands. We’d lay in bed back to back, facing those bare opposing walls. She taught me how to say things I didn’t mean. In the darkness it’s easy to confuse how things are with the way things once were—-or, with the way things could have been. Once we realized that we were pretending, this is when the white lies lost their power to hold things together.

The stuff that drew us together——music, laughter, defying a world of clocks, money and the wanting of more—-came to be the things that pulled us apart. I went home one day and she was gone. At first I couldn’t breathe. She took her stereo and I was alone in my silence. For the first time I was on my own and alone, no family, no school, no job, just me. Life made no sense, everything was hard and cold—-I no longer had anyone to look after me. No footsteps falling in the other rooms. I suppose she took the cat, knowing that I’d forget to feed it.

Then I met a girl and I told her that I’d take care of her, but she soon discovered that I couldn’t even take care of myself. I tried to rearrange everything, but I ended up making a mess of things. I pawned my guitar and sold my keyboard. Something had ransacked my soul and smashed all the things I valued. I never wanted to take care of anyone ever again. It’s too much trouble. I taught her how to say “Fuck Off”. I laughed when she first said it to me. It sounded strange coming from her, but she was a quick study.

Love is like believing in aliens, it’s a crazy idea, but its better than feeling we’re all alone in this big universe.  Maybe love is having someone to look after—-someone to take out the garbage and mow the lawn, someone to make your supper and mend your shirts.   You can’t see love, you can only see its shadows.  For me, love is a practice, a discipline.  It requires patience, attention, and most importantly compassion.   I’m still learning these ways.  I do know this, spooning with someone is better than staring at your blank walls.

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