Six months and I still don’t know

What am I going to do without you?

Six months ago, almost to the day of the week, I made one of the hardest decisions of my whole life. It really wasn’t much of a choice. You fought so long and so hard you just didn’t have any fight left in you, and I had to let you go.

I wish I could tell you it was all up from there but, if you can see Mama from where you are now, you already know it wasn’t.

It’s been a tough six months. We spent Christmas through New Years with Covid, from which Daddy never quite was the same. Although things started to look up with his new, well-earned job, like the pawns in Dragon’s Dogma always warned me, a moment’s distraction could have cost me my life.

It happened so fast. I didn’t have time for my life to flash before my eyes. I saw you in a dream that night. Like the night you died, you hopped on the bed, except… I didn’t wake up at the realization it couldn’t be you. You came to me and I could feel your fur under my hand, as soft as it was before you got really sick. Your eyes were bright but I could tell you were coming to check in on me, like you did when I was sick or sad. And then you were gone, and it made me wonder: just how hard did I pierce the veil? Enough I could see you on the other side?

Mister Fenris

As much as I miss you, I’m not ready to join you yet. Or Pappaw, even though I miss him too. You know, not a month back from my accident was the 20th anniversary of his fatal car crash. It’s one of the biggest reasons I always wear my seatbelt. It was the seatbelt and airbags that saved me from serious injury…or becoming a part of the tree I crashed into.

Not everything is terrible. I survived the car crash…although the car didn’t. We’re doing okay, we love our jobs and are hopeful for the future still. We sure do miss you and not a day goes by I don’t feel your absence, although anymore I try to flip it to positive memories and stories. But, still… Six months later and I still don’t know. What am I gonna do without you, bud?

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The most important boy

Four weeks ago, I said goodbye to my best friend. I’m still processing and not ready to write down in detail what happened or all the ways I knew I’d miss him. I just thought, a month gone…and over a year since my last post which, incidentally, was on this exact subject, I should…say something. He really was the most important boy.

Mister Fenris

May 2014 – November 2021

My cat is dying and I’m having a real existential crisis over it.

Six years. Six years is a blink in even just the near forty I’ve lived. A drop in the bucket, so to speak. A little more than I threw away on an abusive ex; way too little time to be enough. But then, would it ever be enough? Anything?

I can’t stop thinking about how I have and will continue to live the bulk of my life without him. How I know it only hurts so much because of how much he’s mattered to me. How I wouldn’t trade one precious second to alleviate an ounce of that pain. And part of me keeps saying, “he’s just a cat,” the way I told myself it was just a bird that smacked my windshield so hard it pooped a couple weeks back. And then I go down that all too familiar tunnel of how could there possibly be anything after this for us? Or is space so truly limitless that even with a ratio of a billion insects for each human there would be room enough for every individual soul?

But animals aren’t supposed to have souls. But sometimes they leave ghosts. But those ghosts are just echoes of experiences and people we can’t bring back. Or are they? What is the truth?

I know only this: I don’t know what I’m going to do when I don’t feel him around me. When I knew he was missing, I still caught his shadow in the corner, saw his form in piles of dark clothes on the floor. And, this time, that knowledge will be permanent. And I wonder: where will he go if there’s nowhere? What does it mean if after this there’s nothing? How can I send a being I’ve loved so much to that?

But he’s suffering. The time between flares/that treatment lasts shrinks every month. He’s all but given up grooming himself. I’m shaving mats out of his greasy fur. The one food that fell apart so easy for him makes him scream. He’s scared of his food, so much even hand-feeding him chunks is perceived as a threat. I’m running out of options…and he’s running out of time.

I’m afraid of all the little pieces that will start to go missing: his trill when he really wants to say something, the weight of his little body when he wants to be close to us, how soft his fur is, how we’ll start to notice it no longer gets on our clothes or furniture. And then every piece of him that’s not part of some pet memorial will be gone; all tangibility, like so many things we lose literal touch with. And I can’t help but wonder if it won’t be the same for me some day, that whatever lasting mark I may leave with this world will die with the last person to remember me; will become dust along with the rest of us as sure as the sun will one day swallow our solar system. And there’s no coming back from that.

Needless to say my death anxiety has been shifted into overdrive.

But I don’t want to count down the days, as unavoidable as that may be consciously or otherwise. I want to spend our remaining time giving him all the love he wants, never denying him a cuddle, no matter how far he tries to climb inside my face or how much his streaming drool stinks. And I’m gonna try real hard not to be sad the whole time, to pretend I don’t know this whole time how it’s all gonna end. Human or animal, we don’t sign up for this part, but it’s in the contract. And we all know we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Art vs Artist: the eternal debate

We as humans elevate the experience of our short lives via art. The songs, stories and films we’ve created sometimes fool us into believing we’ve evolved beyond bigotry and cruelty. But, inevitably, someone reminds us this isn’t true by act or statement and it catches us off guard. Still, are we just pretending?

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A New Destination

crow flying above green grass field
Photo by Batuhan Alper Bilginer on Pexels.com

As we draw closer to the end of a decade, I am bidding farewell to my partners in it. That is to say I’m closing the final chapter of The Black Crow Flies and saying goodbye to the characters with whom I’ve shared trials and transformation, though nothing as dramatic as what I’ve put them through. Continue reading “A New Destination”

The Wheel of Ka

He called it “The Dark Tower Cycle” for a reason.

I remember hearing quite a few fans of the series decry the ending, as well as the last couple books as a whole. Some will even go as far back as Book V, cutting off the series at what I agree was the best book, Wizard and Glass.

Yeah, self-insertion is always self-indulgent, pretty much by default. But, whether the trauma of King’s near fatal accident was the impetus or not, there was kinda no dividing the author from this overarching work. I mean, it was practically inevitable, and he was self-deprecating enough to make it palatable. I think it’s worth noting also that this series was never not weird and arguably jumped the turtle in Book II when Roland was time-hopping around other people’s brains.

But I’m not here to talk about a series long since put to rest.

Continue reading “The Wheel of Ka”