I have always had the desire to fly. It almost seemed like a necessary ability to me, one that I needed to eradicate the mundane path that was the every day that I lived. It wasn’t that I needed a new perspective; I never spent my time dwelling on the way things should have or could have been. It wasn’t a desire to proclaim this super-human power over others; I never liked to stand out much in a crowd. I just needed a sign of something, of the weightlessness, of the smell of fresh wind, something to remind me that I was alive.
I drank instead. It was both the spent liter of Jameson that occupied my nightstand smashing to shards and the staleness of last nights patio smoke that interrupted my sleep. I realized it was light outside, although I had no concept of time beyond that. It took all my might to stretch out and pull apart my blinds, squinting at the glare to best guess the angle of the sun’s rays. The heat told me it was high noon, already half way through another day. It occurred to me that I wasn’t sure if it was Sunday or Monday, but that in the end it really made no difference. I ran my teeth along my dry, hairy mouth. I am almost more disgusted by this than the fact that I still feel liquor coursing through my veins. The walls are still spinning, but the floor looks clear of any debris. I attempt to get up.
The only explanation for this attempt is for the opportunity to check on my cat. He used to sleep in the bed with me, curled up on the extra pillow I always flung too close to the edge. We had a good relationship then. That was before I began stumbling home at three in the morning, not quite able to remember where I had been or how I had gotten here. He used to run to me and welcome me home with his raspy tongue, and I used to think it meant something.
Coming home at three am is another story. By then, anything alive enough to demand a sleep cycle and yet not human enough to be concerned about your whereabouts is going to be asleep. He had begun to give up on me and my rejected pillow, resorting instead to sleeping undisturbed on the couch. I understood it; I had long ago given up on myself as well, and at three in the morning, I couldn’t muster much regard for him in return. At that hour, all my concerns centered on finding my bed and once more leaving tooth brushing and face washing until morning. Before I knew it, we lived completely independent of each other.
This reminds me of when I was a little girl, and I do not know if I should laugh or cry. I recall promising my mother a daughter she would be proud of. One who would someday wear a white dress, build a white picket fence, push a baby in a stroller. One who would find joy in weeding a garden, baking cookies, organizing the neighborhood rummage sale. It’s sad how you make promises before you even know what they mean, much less what they will mean for you. It’s even sadder when you struggle to take care of one fucking cat.