Trying to find my last clean pair of no-show socks on my bed this morning and my cat Yuki—trying to sleep on the bed—lifts her head as I upend the covers around her.

I currently only have five pairs of socks—two pair I moved into the apartment, three I’ve purchased since—which is an intentional life choice she obviously doesn’t understand the beauty and simplicity of because she stares straight in my face while I’m searching as if wanting to be as clear as possible when she asks, “Do you fucking mind?” Neither of us were that surprised when I eventually find the socks inside a pair of shoes over on the loveseat. I like to live deeply into “Whoops”; feel its the least I can do to promote humanity’s reputation.

One of the two pair of socks I moved is 30+ years old. Once adorned the feet of “that” ex-boyfriend—who wore them with this pair of bowling shoes he stole—and since Steve, they’ve moved to Clayton(CA) and Santa Rosa(CA), Kensington(MD), Citrus Heights(CA), Back to Davis(CA), Burke(VA) and in 2000, Sandy(UT) then Salt Lake City (Garfield Avenue, Kensington Avenue, Logan Avenue, Paradise Lane), and now finally Bountiful(UT). I never wear them, just move them around the country like they’re doing research for their novel.

Meanwhile, Kiki ran inside from his outdoor enclosure—pushing the door open with his paws to get in (which yesterday yielded the apartment 15 flies and one mosquito)—to “check in.” Runs in, meows, finds someone, meows again; wants to be picked up. Kiki is a Siberian cat—we didn’t know this when he was our foster kitten— which means he’s a puppy who’s litter-box trained, and as soon as I pick him up, and chat “with” him in the bathroom, he runs back to the now-closed back door to start pawing at it. When I tell him he has to be inside now because I’m leaving for work, he paws harder.

“Kiki, I need to go to work now so that we can keep existing.”

He doesn’t care. Never asked to exist in the first place. Says ‘Jesus. Just open the door, SoMuchDrama’ with a little meow.

When I’d let the cats out at 5:30 this morning, there was an all-black cat eating from the bowl we put out for “Peaches”—the orange neighborhood cat we’ve been feeding—and it didn’t run off. Looked at me, curious and listening as I talked to it—which is totally a black cat thing*—then slowly slipped out of the yard. We haven’t fostered in a while—and miss Henry and Mac from our old place (neither of whom were homeless, just grifters who did death battles in our yard)—so the outdoor cat bowls fill the need in ourselves to care for the things who might not feel cared for by anyone else. It’s our way of being the protagonist.

And I started writing this this morning at 7 but whatever needed to be written wasn’t done happening until the homeless guy knocked on my car window at the light on 13th So/State Street. I debated the safety of rolling down my window—knowing I wouldn’t give him any money even though I had some; I was eating a nectarine and it’s juice was all over my hand—but rolled my passenger window down anyways and lied to him (“I can’t”) and he said “please” and I lied again (“don’t have any”), and he walked to the car in back of mine then to the side of the road when the light turned green.

And I drove away conflicted (should I have given him money? Am I turning into one of those people fixated with hoarding it?) but it’s a victory to be stamped by such experiences. To be a brand new world every day because you’ve stashed away the salience of life in the sock drawer for permanent pondering.

And tonight I returned home to fill the outdoor cats’ bowls and pick up Kiki, and say hi to Bitty. Yuki again jumping up on my bed, offering me one more chance. And as I tried to relax, Kiki wants out, parades about the house mewing—my custom reply guy —running around, pushing things off my dresser and jumping on Yuki. So I briefly began to join him in questioning “existing” but instead, got up, went to open the door to his enclosure and let him outside. Then, before heading to my room to relax, locked the door behind him.

Epilogue: I accidentally fell asleep after locking the door and when I woke up to the alarm I’d set to wake me for a late pet sit was greeted to Kiki relaxing on my bed and Livy saying, “did you know you locked him outside? I couldn’t find him but the door to the enclosure was locked so I knew he wasn’t out there.” It didn’t seem fair to instruct Livy on the complexities of life via telling her you locked her baby outside to keep him from making you lose your shit. So I nod but don’t verbally commit then quickly head out to my sit

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