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Monday, January 14, 2013

Part One: A Bit of Fresh Air, Perhaps?


“I just want you to know,” I say, “that I will never, while texting, use the letter “U” for the word “you”.”

The cat looks up, a half-smile on her lips.  “This is not,” she intones, “going to be another one of those dreadful conversations in which you tell me the many ways we will know, should you suddenly disappear, that you are being held against your will, is it?”  She pulls a pack of cigarettes from what may or may not be some sort of breast pocket somewhere along her rib cage.  “You mind?” she asks. 

I reach into the coffee table drawer for my vintage Nye’s Polanaise ashtray.  “I wish you wouldn’t smoke in the house,” I mutter.

“And I wish,” she says, dropping a spent match and blowing the smoke out the window, “that you would get over the idea that you’re about to be snatched and held for ransom.”

I pshaw, a quick expulsion of air intended to show my disdain for her powers of deduction.  “It’s not that,” I say, while secretly acknowledging that it is, indeed that.  “What? Pfft.  No.  I’m just saying I refuse to substitute “r” for “are” and the like.  It just feels, I don't know...”

The cat smiles, takes a drag of her cigarette.  “Ah, and there we have it, Old Fruit.”  Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, former high school debate champion and serial mouse-abuser, has been reading Wodehouse again. 

“Have what?”

“Hmm?”

The cat is toying with me.

“You said," I pout, "and there we have it.  What do we have?”

The cat sighs, a delightfully tiny sound, and grinds her cigarette out.  “What we have is you thinking your days are numbered.  Are they, Pearl?  Are they numbered?”

I stand, walk to the front door, gaze out the glass that makes up much of it.  The tree that looms over my deck just outside that door, the tree that arches over the roof and into the neighbor’s yard, is leafless.  The wind gusts, and its branches appear to shiver.

“Everyone's days are numbered,” I say. “Sometimes I dream of packing up, taking only the essentials, of going somewhere where no one knows me.”

The cat stands up, scampers toward the fridge and the box of Moscato wine on the top shelf.  “Just as you say then,” she calls -- is that a British accent? -- over her shoulder.  “Perhaps it’s time we took a little trip, you and I.”

"A very little trip, I would imagine," I sigh.  “Have you seen my wallet lately?”

The cat smiles, tiny gleaming teeth.  "We'll hop the bus, ride the lawless 10.  I know how much you enjoy that."

I smile.

"It's been a while since I've seen a real weirdo in action," I say.  "Sure.  Why not."

37 comments:

Shelly said...

This is going to be good...I can feel it in my bones.

And on another note...Ah one, and Ah two:

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear Pearlie, Happy birthday to YOU!!!

Pearl said...

Shelly, you remembered! Thank you. Yes, another day older and deeper in debt... :-)

savannah said...

*delighted*

thank you, birthday girl!! ;) xoxoxox

Indigo Roth said...

Oooooh, ROAD TRIP! *cough* ENGLAND! *cough*

Pearl said...

savannah, :-) No. Thank YOU.

Pearl said...

IR, the #10 goes places, but England it does not. :-)

Daisy said...

I certainly hope no one ever kidnaps you. Who would entertain us then? :-)

Happy Birthday, Pearl!

Stephen Hayes said...

Where will this bus ride take them? Inquiring minds want to know!

Rene Foran said...

those cats ( said like Roscoe from Dukes Of Hazzard)

Happy Birthday, you...
throw a jaunty tam o shanter in the air

Hannah Denski said...

Ah, but England is a great idea!? :)

Really?? Is it your b'day? well then Happy happy day b'day girl and many many to come! xxx

Camille said...

I feel yet another delightful story coming on...can't wait. And speaking of delightful - Happy Birthday Pearl! Wishing you a groovy kind of day. May all the drinks be on Liza Bean Bitey(of the Minneapolis Biteys)

Lynn said...

I look forward to that! And happy birthday!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Anytime you need to see a weirdo in action, you just click on over to me. Why, just last night, I donned Crocs OVER TOP of my slippers and went on out to dinner, yes I did.
Didn't wear my pajamas outside, though. I said 'weirdo.' Not 'hobo.'
And the happiest of birthdays, mah Pearlie!


mybabyjohn/Delores said...

The Lawless Ten...sounds like a good title for a movie. Something about highwaymen holding up buses at rush hour. Happy Birthday Pearl...hope you're feeling better.

Geo. said...

Your stories may take us to strange places but the world makes more sense with them, and you, in it. Happy birthday.

wellfedfred said...

I'm assuming the Lawless 10 is going to take us to Blandings?

Eva Gallant said...

Happy Birthday, Pearl! Hope you are having a good one and that Liza Bean is buying!

Looking forward to reading about your adventures on the Lawless 10!

Macy said...

Take the lawless ten hostage!

Happy Birthday Pearl!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Hey, Happy Birthday, Pearl. May it bring you a year of new delights.

Michele Eigler said...

Cats are lucky. With nine lives, they can afford to indulge in having bad habits.

Gigi said...

Well, surely you don't want to go somewhere where NO ONE knows you. No, you want to go where ONE person knows you - and welcomes you with open arms. And that would be NC.

Anytime, sweetie. The door is open.

Happy, happy birthday. I hope Liza Bean treated you well.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Road trip in a bus with the chain smoking Lizzy Bean, good stories sure to follow.

Happy Birthday, Pearl!

★ Braja Sorensen said...

OK, it was me...I gave her the British accent tips. We were laughing at how far she should go. Since it was your birthday, we went easy on you....happy days Pearl love. I hope when you do run away to where no one knows you, that it's here....

Cloudia said...

I'd say that cat is toying with all of us, with life itself. We can't help admiring her devil-may-care attitude.



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Sioux said...

It's your birthday? If you're another year older, dare we hope?---could your wit be slowed down for just a day or two? ;)

sage said...

Happy birthday, Pearl. I am glad to know you are older than me--even if only by two days!

HermanTurnip said...

“Have you seen my wallet lately?”

I love that the cat doesn't reply. Heh...!

jenny_o said...

I love it when the post title starts with "Part I"!

And I'm sure if anyone threatens you on the lawless 10, Liza Bean will break out her ninja skills and take care of it :)

A belated Happy Birthday, Pearl, and many more!

River said...

If I'd remembered your birthday I'd have baked a cake.
And eaten it.
I need to know more about the Lawless 10.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Wow talk about leaving a person wanting more.......this was just so gripping and funny and well you know

The Elephant's Child said...

Another Capricorn!!! The blogosphere is littered with us. Happy Birthday Pearl - and many more of them. And, since it is (or was given the vagaries of international time change) your birthday I won't hold it against you that you are teasing us yet again.

The Jules said...

Ooh, a Nadventure!

And I concur with Indigo Roth. England is drab and miserable at this time of the year. It needs cheering up!

the walking man said...

Before i comment further or take any sort of action...what kind of ransom money are we talking 'bout and would the cat pay it?

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You are always a good read!
Cheers from Cottage Country!

haphazardlife said...

If ever you tire of Lisa Bean - or she of you - I would love to have her come live with me for a while.

Tho the Montreal #10 line is rather tame i fear, compared to yours.

Pat said...

Have you told her where the jewelry is hidden yet?
I know of what you speak.

Roshni AaMom said...

Wodehouse?! The cat has wonderful taste!!