My allergies keep me from having a cat of my own, but I’m always glad to welcome a cat friend. My buddy actually belongs to my neighbor. I think he’d gladly change families if I could survive it. When he’s on my lap, there’s nothing his cat mom or dad owner can say to get him to go to them. Perhaps it’s a bit malicious on my part, but I never encourage him to leave to go home.
I heard cat mom calling. “Rusty! Here, Kitty!” Only a few seconds passed before she repeated her call. No response from “Rusty” told me he wanted to stay. When I looked toward their house, I saw the muzzle of a black and white dog poking through a hole in the board fence. In his eyes, I thought I detected longing…or maybe it was jealousy. He whined.
“Sorry, Killer. I know you’d like me to pet you too,” I said quietly, then finished my sentence, “…but I’m a cat lover.” My buddy just stirred briefly, then put his head down and fell back asleep. When there’s a cat sleeping in your lap, all is good in the world. Isn’t it?
Billy’s a normal guy…maybe a little too normal…and not the player he brags about to his buddies. The fact is, last night was his first time out in a month. A blind date, Lola was a friend of a girl at work…or so he thought. A night of drinking, dining, and a night in bed was unusual for him. He now realized he’d been a dutiful sucker. Ginny was gonna hear about it when he got to work on Tuesday. But, for now, he had phone calls to make…to cancel his cards before Lola, if that was her name, could run up a huge credit card tally. Not even 8am, and he’d already called 3 companies. He’s lucky he had the latest charge statements handy…the cards gone, he’d never have been able to get the right 800 numbers. There goes the weekend, he groused. He hoped he hadn’t gotten a social disease…Billy actually prayed the worst was over.
Tuesday came. Ginny was there before him, but when he asked her about Lola, she looked puzzled. “I spent Friday night with Lola. That wasn’t Lola who robbed you.”
Billy knew he hadn’t dreamt what happened. The money and credit cards were gone. The other shoe was yet to drop…the debit card he’d forgotten to call to cancel. When he went to the bank before lunch, he had his checkbook, but the teller said he was overdrawn. Billy protested, “There’s gotta be a mistake. I made sure there was $500 in checking on Friday.” A look at the bank records said otherwise. That $500 had been withdrawn early Saturday morning. There was nothing but chicken feed left. Billy wondered if there was more bad news to come. Even as upset as he was, he chuckled as he thought to himself…was he going to find out now that he was pregnant? He sure felt screwed. Whatever else he felt, he didn’t want to talk about it with his buddies. That night never happened. He decided that was his story…and he stuck to it.
13 Wonderful Old English Words We Should Still Be Using Today
Like Marley’s ghost, I wear the chains I forged in life. So I’ve at last concluded. This is not the life I planned and not the life I worked for, but the life I settled for. The things I substituted for joy now leave me cold, leave me wanting…not for more things, but to be rid of most of the detritus of living from one disappointment to the next.
Having spent an excess of forevers seeking amusements alongside one who felt it their due, I found a wealth only of regrets. I was never one to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, content, or so I let myself believe, with going along to get along. Being my nature to be kind, it seemed necessary not to make waves. But forces long suppressed will eventually return as a tsunami of emotion. And, though it took long enough…too long…to come to the surface, I finally found myself suddenly, as I thought it, overwhelmed. Regrets…I have many…some far worse than others.
But time is not reversible. Don’t we all wish it was? So here I am, entering the latest new year, working to accommodate my reflections of mistakes made, undo those I can, and move on, to make, most likely, many more. As they say…that’s life. And live I shall. Chains will be smashed. New experiences await…and I welcome them.
© 2016 Robert Mihaly
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