Category Archives: Society

4:51

This morning I rose at 4:51 to a chorus of high-pitched mews from the foster kitten room (rough translation of which was: “get up! ‘the fuck this door still closed for?”) and my own cats scrambled when I got up and let them out because the old batch of fosters had been trained to stay the fuck clear but this new batch uses my cats’ litter box and scamper around like happy little assholes and it’s bullshit, and watching them bitchslap kittens makes me wonder what would happen if cats had access to low grade uranium and Internet forums.

And on their way out, the kittens summit the pile of laundry indelicately blocking the hallway and it’s Class A athlete stuff because the pile is enormous (to include all the clothes that need washing AND all the clothes I even own=I have no clean clothes) and the laundry room is downstairs which might as well be Nirvana so it’s been growing in “complexity” (ripeness) but the kittens push forth through my shame and my cats find higher ground as the kittens explode like shrapnel into the living room.

By neither nature nor profession am I a fancy person. Yesterday, I had six animals and two kindergarteners climb onto my lap; I scooped five litter boxes, walked three dogs; helped one girl with lice pull back her hair, reminded one boy to stop picking his nose, one not to hysterically laugh when he passed gas, and washed a thirds accidentally-flicked applesauce off my bottom lip with what (I’m hoping) was superhuman zeal; then today by 8:10 a.m., my Siberian cat rubbed against me with a suspiciously wet tail and I had to give two kittens a bath because they fell into the toilet. When I leave the house, I may or may not be covered in cat hair, toilet water, boogers, lice, or someone else’s crusty food, and there have been moments during my work days when I’ve said “oh my god! What’s that smell?!” and I wasn’t that surprised to find out that it was me.

And it used to bother me because the world likes to keep score, and I know that society values folded laundry, kittens who aren’t covered in toilet water and women wearing their most presentable self. But just past the pile of laundry, is the realm of personal pride in doing something meaningful and the self-love needed to accept that not everyone is here to be black and cream patent-leather Kate Spades, coiffed hair, tailored coat, beautiful to look at with an unmistakable air of frigidity.

And while I don’t always cheer to look down at myself and think “holy shit; what the fuck happened to me?” I have accepted that it is your heart that tells you what to value and if you don’t listen to her, you’ll one day end up pissed off because somehow you got stuck living a standard rather than your life.

So…I’m out of pants.

Yesterday I wore what amounts to a fashion “concoction”. Sweater over dress, dress over yoga pants with my Nepalese boots disguising the fact that I ran out of socks a full week ago, and, today, my pants are my “Velcro” pants, that are basically size 6 miracles capable of energetically-manifesting lint, fuzz, dirt and copious quantities of animal hair up and down their length even when no animals were even present which is not a joke and not at all funny because it’s like being a walking advertisement for witchcraft.

But whatever. It’s all good.

Live in your heart. Be real. Everyone has a place in this world.

[This is based on the 2016 foster kitten year (when I was still attempting to stay in the teaching field) but all else remains current except that the Nepalese boots met their end a few weeks ago and can I say they went out in a fashion appropriate to my life by developing a hole in the bottom over the course of a snowy work day the end of which can be described as being like wearing a black leather snow cone on my foot. #kitten #kittens #saltlakecity]

Adjusting the volume

[He’s a security guard,” “He saved us!”. I only took one screenshot of it but the post is very powerful if you’re in the mood to go look it up].

[Yin]: The synchronicities are piling up. A couple experiences yesterday sought to confirm certain things for me and I came to post about it then saw this at the top of my FB feed. I mean, what can even be said?

Yesterday, I blocked someone who after a philosophical text exchange managed to be disrespectful to me for no reason except their own inattentiveness; I’ve also unfriended/blocked/extricated others for similar reasons about which I am always questioning the validity of. Because I legit have no time for a daily come to Jesus with folks but of course I still doubt myself; of course I question what I could have done to have met with a different result; of course I wonder if somehow my actions are making the world a less loving place. Then I see a story like this.

For the big truth is: you can do everything right, bend over backwards to honor someone else’s experience and do the right thing—you can try hard to explain, sacrifice self, lay your heart out and put it all on the line to nobly show up for your world—and someone can still kill you.

And it’s awful, and heartbreaking, and obviously my experiences are nothing compared to Jemels but his story resonated not just because of the filthy injustice of it but also because it helped me see that it’s the non-Jemels of the world that often make so much fucking noise that sometimes they need to be blocked so that they’re forced to listen to their own shit for a while.

Rest in the peace of the powerful, Jemel. May we all live by your example. [Yang: In some sort of wonderful balance, a lady I sit for left for London yesterday and its funny because she’s young, well-coiffed—blonde, gorgeously put together—and just everything I’m not [though I honestly don’t try; I resist “performing” for society; I’ll only be bowing to my own dysfunctional bullshit, thanks], and sometimes I wonder why she likes me so much. Since we don’t know one another in our outside life, on the surface I’m nothing like her and often that’s as far as people go to know someone—the surface. But she always speaks with respect, goes the extra mile to communicate in deferential ways, is a tipper, and in group texts with her friends who also come over to see her kitty while she is gone, specifically says to make sure they let me know when they’re coming over so as not to waste my time because “her time is valuable.” And it’s actually kind of shocking to have someone make space in this regard; because left and right, I block and don’t communicate when people let me know in one way or another that it’s an exercise in futility to keep attempting. Because if it’s obvious you don’t value my precious time, the only place we can go is “angst.”

So last night, I was playing with her kitty next to the pole she’d recently installed in her living room, listening to the very meditative instrumental music channel she had on, and made to say goodbye to Mina, and there, right in her hallway were several big Cat Palmer prints—a large Last Supper and a smaller print of a masked nude, tummy markered in Spanish—that I recognized from Cat’s FB. And even though I’m sorry to say that not all feminists show up in their world as what they preach they are, seeing those prints after the day I’d had, realizing in an “aha!” that this lady was a feminist then backtracking to how she’s always treated me was such a revelatory moment that it confirmed the legitimacy of quelling my doubts. I’m no Jemel but I give much, show up for my world in whatever way it feels possible to do so and my time IS valuable, so thank you Mina’s mom for dimming the noise of a world so that I could better hear myself]