MY FRIEND COLIN AND DEATH AND SHAKE AND BAKE

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I’ll never forget Colin being there for me on one of the worst days of my life, and the day after that, and the day after that. My beloved cat I found in the jaws of 2 coyotes and she couldn’t be saved. I was inconsolable and blamed myself.

Colin offered to have a funeral at his house and bury her in his back yard. I accepted but decided I needed a new kitten immediately.  We went to at least 10 different shelters because of a clause in my Santa Monica rent control apartment, I wasn’t allowed to have ANY additional cats. My landlord spelled it out, if one died let there be NO REPLACEMENTS, it was in my lease. Three cats and no more.

Since I had been golden about monthly cash under the table unlike my predecessor who stopped the payola two months after moving in, I figured I could fudge a little. I would have to find an all black kitten to replace my dead black cat – KITTER GIRL.

Who else but Colin would have co-signed this lunacy? For two days we drove from shelter to shelter interviewing kittens but there were no blacks. We hit the Sepulveda shelter pronounced by Colin with his UK accent, supple vita. If I had asked Colin to drive me downtown to The Union Rescue or The Los Angeles Mission? If I had decided to adopt a man or a full grown woman he would have carried them to the car for me.

The funeral had everything, flowers, mix tapes by Colin, funerary organ music and a crowd of dear friends. He catered vegetarian as well, with dubious surprise balls. I kept asking what’s in these balls? Colin was a new convert to vegetarianism and rabid in his implementation. So when I detected what I thought was a Progresso bread crumb; I pressed for the recipe. I wasn’t sure how processed food was vegetarian. So when he wasn’t looking I went through his trash and found an empty box of SHAKE AND BAKE. Which suddenly seemed very funny and I began howling until I couldn’t breathe.

My new kitten CHEESER was there. She ended up living with me for the next 23 years and she wasn’t black after all the driving I made Colin do. Cheeser was the craziest dressed moo cow Calico you ever saw. When she poked her mitten at me thru a cage, I couldn’t deny that I was choosen. Colin was always in the background cleaning; he fussed after digging KITTER GIRL’S grave under a tree in his back yard. Another friend who had a crush on Colin made KITTER GIRL a velvet lined coffin and she was off like that with all my tears.

Colin last week was given a funeral in Thailand. A pyre.

 

 

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Coconuts

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Back in Nam when the rations didn’t come thru, you lived off your coconuts. Some locals here use the meat and wellspring to avoid all forms of hard labor. If you know how to drain the nut, which an adept can do with a dull knife, you have everything you need. Deodorant even soap or bathing are unnecessary for the healthy jungle eater, although one’s clothes suffer from a sour dough mildew. My new guru Spicoli set up a lawn chair outback in the woods and fashioned himself a tent with rope hung out a like hammock between two trees. Plastic trash bags he picked up at the dump drape over his lawn chair and sleeping bag. He enjoys the song of the Kauai O’o Bird and has abandoned his car here, suggesting it’s part of a work trade. The details of what we get never quite hammered out. His forté is barefoot with a chainsaw, tree trimming stoned, but what if he falls and self amputates on my property, then what?

GIZZARDS

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I cooked gizzards for the cats and they came out so rubbery un-edible that I googled recipes. At least on my first attempt they tried to chew them before spitting them out, arranging them all over the lanai, with regiments of ants surrounding each morsel in a trail. Rather than use my vegan pressure cooker I decided on the 5 hour boiling recipe. I dumped the rest of the gizzards from the refrigerator that I didn’t want to go to waste into cold water, sullying my French and pristine clean kosher skillet.

(WHAT IS MY PROBLEM WITH WASTE AND WHY DO I WASTE MYSELF?)

A cauldron of nasty odors incensed this vegetarian all Saturday. It took HOURS of stabbing until I felt them tender. Then I replaced the boiling water and I fried the last of the cheap pork, let it all rest, then cut it with a dull steak knife so it took even longer, into the tiniest kitty bite pieces. Service wasn’t until close to 8.

They barely sniffed immediately turned tail. All three left the feeding area in protest. I waited 5 minutes, bagged and refrigerated the rest. They didn’t even taste them this time. When I woke up I retrieved the gizzards from the fridge and warmed them on the counter for an hour. My morning epiphany was to pour one small can of cat food over the top which they licked off.  The wild chickens, that I try not to feed, gobbled up the two plates in minutes saving my project ultimately from the ants.

Eyewitness

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There was a murder on the beach last week. A man curled up in his sleeping bag, bludgeoned. A spate of cruel murders of endangered seals had been chronicled in our local papers. Kauai’a own true crime. We wondered if the psycho serial seal killer was accelerating, perhaps graduating. Or did he mistaken the cocooned sleeper for a beached monk seal?

We brought a volleyball to the beach. The meet-up listing should have said Bocce Ball we were told later. Which is Italian bowling. Which theoretically with bowling in my genes, my grandfather owned a bowling alley in Racine WI. and my father Italian. I might have had instant mastery, but no Bocce ball was ever produced.

John and I bumped the volleyball to stay warm. It was a blustery evening, sunset on the horizon. Parents had set up a slip and slide for their kids, or was that a roll of dark garbage bags unfurled? Smoky coals and and lighter fluid coughed from a grill.

In attendance a local star surfer who had a wave break named after him. Another fellow turned up with meat. A steak and long raw sausages held up by a Yo-Yo Ma doppelgänger. I looked at him for a long time. Like I know you. How do I know you?

There were a lot of cakes too. A Tuxedo cake. Red Velvet cupcakes, unfortunately the frosting was NOT cream cheese. Chocolate chip cookies with white chunks. Costco chow. Lightly whipped up sugar batter overkill and immediately regrettable.

The subject under the gazebo was Michigan and the novelist Jim Harrison and one guy was impressed when I mentioned I knew him.

I ate some questionable vegetarian collards greens. Cooked perfectly, just the right tooth. But an odd taste, something off. I asked the chef how long she stewed them for? She answered – chicken broth. Then corrected herself. No they are vegetarian; I used vegetable broth. 45 minutes. With red peppers and garlic flakes.

On the way home I asked John if he saw the way the wild haired cellist held his cake? By the dimmest sliver of orange moonlight (or peach moon if you consider the pitted craters). He sustained. Like a glowing aftertaste. Holding his mush of cake in his claw instead of a plate,  wolfing it down.

I remembered him. HE was the man up at Kukuiolono Park. The one in the grey truck that I had called the police about (that I saw again years later trawling the Eleele BEST SAVE grocery where everything is freezer burned) that saw me -alone- feeding chickens and opened his car door so I could see him with his pants scrunched down to the floorboards. Whacking off.

1.

I liked her, but I didn’t know her. A friend of a friend. Kind of punk and butch. An open face. I was distracted easy chatter when she took my arm and brought it to her lips. A gentle sucking. Light. I said what are you doing? Trying to give me a hickey? She left a tiny kissed outline. So light that when the knife came out I trusted her. I noticed the nose on the end of it turned up like a Persian slipper. A silver bead. Just an underline she said. For the blood sisterhood. But the knife was blunt. “DO IT!” I said. I had to close my eyes. She was too gentle and sawing. UGH and when I peeked there was a deep convex cone of flesh missing from my arm.

Fellow Inmate,

I am writing to you from an adjacent cubicle not more than 15 x 15. Wearing the same shift I fell asleep in last night. Never thinking of clothes. Sometimes I gaze out my window past the dark cedar of my enclosure. Or look up from my reading. It’s 73 and never varies more than 10 degrees. Today it’s primordial and foggy white, with a shadowy outline of trees. In the distance a cow bell and groan. The surround is innocence. A parade led by a speckled hen with her pulsing chorus of chicks ends with a sunset and a dream perhaps of stringing strange and beautiful beads.

I’m getting a hazmat respirator from Amazon.

To deconstruct a coniferous anti-mulch pile I piled originally to demote weeds. For the leak here. Thru the ooze of black mold. Instant sinusitis for the immunity challenged. And it’s already back to bed and my convalescence.

With never ending rain this week the leak somewhere trickling in the garden. Underneath a pile of papers the water bill wallop 2X 3X 4X. Feeding the jungle along the line to the house from the street. Logic might promote searching below the most buoyant growth. But I’m about as inclined to dig a trench as use a diving rod to uproot this moist gurgle of spillage.

A guy definitely buried these pipes. And my design isn’t that of my counterpart. Winning competitions on SURVIVOR. Combatants who think geckos bring good fortune. Don’t dust my roach population. A shit out entire linage decimated by carnivorous left over dinosaur men. Who extrude MINE_UTE white stripe logs that desiccate. Leaving a snow FLAK-E ash of shit, infesting the reality of everything.

Running a maze. Into a ravine and suddenly flooded back; a fractured apartment complex. The kaleidoscopic concrete infrastructure architect MC ESCHER? A turnstile dam obstacle course and I’m not a fan of steampunk or meth assemblage. Even if my most authentic self had the muscle to hammer A permaculture of my own insurrection.