The air on the back porch was in the 30° range +/- a few degrees, the sky clear. A portion of the moon was visible in the eastern sky between the branch’s of the big, old, cedar tree that towers over the porch, in a way that lent to something I can only describe as romantic. But for some reason –
The feeling in this human was akin to vague depression, the sort of feelin’ that most of us humans feel at one time or another. Who knows why, eh? I sure don’t. Then again –
A thin layer of ice had formed on the porch after the sun had set, so each step I took across the porch was measured, calculated as I traipsed ever so carefully across the narrow, wood planks beneath my feets. Yes feets, plural. In my Birkies, to the place I like to people; at the end of the porch near the doggy gate that keeps Bullitt, our Doxie, hostage to the safer side of life. I took my post like one of those stiff, English Guards with the fluffy hats in England Town.
That area of the porch is shaded by the large, cedar tree I wrote of above, and from this locale on the porch the trunk of that old cedar tree is just beyond an arm’s reach. From this spot this fella could see the thin layer of snow that had carpeted the back yard of the rental duplex we call home, over the last night or so. The thin layer of snow magnified the moon’s light in such a way that this fella could see a bit more in the dark than usual. The night before, the snow was soft and slushy, tonight it’s a bit crunchy flavor thanks to the frozen layer on top.
In the next beat –
I thought of the house mouse I’d caught a day or so prior, and set free. The little critter irritated the bejeebers out of me. Found his/her poops behind the laundry hamper, behind the recycle basket that lives next to the washing machine. Found signs of him/her all over the place. A part of me was disgusted, another part of me was curious. In all my life I had never knowingly shared a home with a mouse, or mouses.
So, I’d bought “humane” traps and set them all about our home. The trap(s) worked. I caught him/hers. Actually 4 of ‘em in recent months…
Two of the four had passed over to the other side while in the trap. One did because I forgot to check the trap for a few days and by the time I did the little guy was a gonner. Buns up and kneelin’. Stiff in the trap…
The other one that had passed I’d found in time. I’d fed and watered him/her as if I was bent on keepin’ him/her as a pet of sorts, as if to gain some sort of redemption for the one that had passed. After two days I awoke to find the nobradoodle him/her dead, too. I felt sorrow, felt dirty, wished I’d set him/her free sooner and not been bent on havin’ a house mouse as a pet.
That said –
The other two I’d found in time and set them free in the back yard before it was “too late”. We humans are teachable, eh? Anyway –
Hoped both them he/she’s I’d liberated would survive the cold. Bein’ human is sometimes conflictin’.
Ain’t it odd how a human can be irritated to a fault by a pesky mouse, then wish for its/their well being after we set them free into the ”wild”? This human condition thing is a complicated thing.
I looked up, looked between the branch’s of that big old cedar tree in search of the moon. Found it. Looked pretty much like it did a few moments ago. In the next beat I thought of all the wrongs I’d visited to those who had loved, trusted me. How I’d betrayed them in heart, in mind and sometimes of flesh. In that moment I bowed my head in shame. Sometimes I just can’t stand myself.
I thought of what my old man had told me time and time again when I was young and we were in each other’s company; “You’re gonna have a miserable life, Johnny. Everything you touch will turn to shit.” He said.
I hated the fact that in my life the old man’s words came true.
Ain’t funny how a human holds on to stuff that shouldn’t be held on to. Ain’t funny how words of our youth can set the course of our lives. Ain’t funny that now and again a human “lets” them.
To blame a parent’s words for how a kid’s life turns out is to ditch the truths that we, in this instance, that I alone, am responsible for.
I hung my head over the pet gate on the back porch as the moonlight flirted with me between the branches of that old cedar tree. Wondered how and why Kendra could put her faith and trust in me. If she knew what I, and those that once loved and trusted me knew, she might not choose to be “here”. But she don’t know what she don’t know. Nor I. Her faith and belief in me is as blind a child’s.
After traipsing back across the porch and to the back door, I was greeted with 70° or so once I stepped inside. It felt good. Kendra was on the couch in the living room wrapped in a blanket like a burrito, Bullitt, too.
“You hungry?” I asked.
She said nothing.
“I’m thinkin’ Mexican, Chicken Enchilada’s, eh?”
She said nothing. No wonder…
Pfft, damn woman is deaf in one ear and she’s layin’ on the couch with her good ear “down”.
In the next beat I put my sad/pathetic, ornery self aside, called my life my own so that my own petulant ears could hear. In the next beat;
“What? Did you say something?” came from the head of the blanket that Kendra and Bullitt shared.
“Yeah” I said. I felt a bit of rascal and said;
“Bullitt is loose and running down the street! Ya best go catch him!”
In the next beat Bullitt peeked his little Doxie head out from beneath the blanket/tortilla shell and said with his eyes; “He’s messin’ with ya, mom!”
Pfft. Busted comes to mind…