Sunday, October 27, 2013

Katy's Rules for Kicking Ass at Everything, Part 1

By far, the best advice that I can give you is to never buy a van. Skip the pickup trucks, too, while you’re at it.

They’re a trap. They’re a fool’s game. Oh sure, it all seems perfect in theory. A van! Just imagine the next time that you go to move apartments. Your three-seater couch will slide right in there! You can shove your mattress in on its edge and still have more than enough room left over for a dozen-plus boxes, your flat screen t.v., your leg lamp, your original Don Van Vliet painting, your collection of orgone energy accumulators, and your life-sized bronze statue of Pope Pius IX. Hell, you’ll be able to do the entire move in only three trips!

Here’s what they don’t tell you. Here’s what you fail to think about ahead of time: You only move apartments like, what? Once every three to four years? Tops? But you have how many “close” “friends”? Fifteen maybe, each of whom also moves approximately once every three to four years.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Adventures in Sleep Paralysis

I call him Tarab.

I do not think he knows this. I do not think he would like this very much if he did know.

They say that in olden times, people believed that names held power. People believed that if you knew the name of someone or of something, then you held a sort of power over that person or that thing. Names limited the named.

People believed that. I mean, if what I have read is true, they did. Seriously.

Think “Rumplestiltskin.” Think Adam naming all those animals over which he was to have dominion.

I do not think Tarab wants to be named. I do not think Tarab wants to be limited. To be perfectly honest, I do not think Tarab wants me to write about him.

But the way I figure it, you are not going to believe any of this anyway, so I’ve got nothing to lose by telling you nothing but the truth. And the truth – the truth that you are more than likely not going to believe – is that Tarab and I have reached an odd sort of arrangement.

For his part in this arrangement, Tarab gives me information. Answers. Advice. Predictions.

And me? For my part? I give Tarab rum. Oh, and sometimes, I carry out his orders.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dear Dana,

I don’t listen for the gate anymore.

For many years, I did. I listened. Even while I was asleep, I listened.

I’d get home from work and I would take a nap. It was always my best sleep of the whole day! I mean it: It was the only time when I can ever remember dreaming.

But then, an hour would pass, or maybe an hour and a half, and then I’d hear the gate. In my sleep, I’d hear it, and that would be you. That was you opening the automatic gate across the driveway. Then I’d hear the clack from your front tires driving across the metal track for the gate, and that was you. Then I’d hear the clack from your back tires driving across the metal track for the gate, and that was you, too. The whoosh of your car accelerating down the driveway.

I’d hear the sound of your car doors. You.

And the cats would crawl out from under the bed. And the girls would stumble out from their room, because they’d have heard you, too.

And I’d stretch…

Every single day.

Sleep. Gate. Stretch. Repeat.

Then the day came when you were gone, and I knew you were really gone, and I was okay. I swear I was okay! You were gone, and the cats were gone, and for a long time, even the kids were gone.

I knew you were gone, Dana… or most of me knew you were gone, anyway.

But not all of me knew.

In the days and in the weeks and in the months after that, I’d still take those naps. When I took those naps, I would still dream, and you were still in most of the dreams. Of course you were in most of the dreams. Sometimes only as a sort of presence at my elbow – someone for me to narrate my actions towards – but you were there.

Then an hour would pass, or maybe an hour and a half, and something inside me would say, “Katy, it is time to wake up!”  But I’d be waiting for the sound of that gate, you know?

The gate would never open. No clack and no doors and no cats and no kids.

No stretch!

Not in September… October… November… December. And January came – and you were long, long gone by then, even from my dreams! – but these fucking naps would sort of betray me. I was still listening for you in my naps.

I’m not even sure when that changed, exactly, but it changed.

I don’t listen for the gate anymore.

Everything is different now.

In fact, I probably won’t even send you this letter.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What's in the Box?

“Angela says Cameron Diaz’s head is in there.”

“Cameron Diaz’s head? Wow. And what do you say?”

“I say it’s a cat. But until we open up the-”

[Tongue clicking] “-It’s n-n-not a cat, Rachel!”

“You don’t know that, Angela.”

“Y-yes I DO. A c-c-cat would make noise like scrA-A-Atching and me-eO-O-W-”

“No, we don’t know until we open the box! Until then, the cat exists in a state of-”

“How is it one of my daughters is talking about an R-rated movie and the other one is talking about quantum physics? Can neither one of you just talk about something… age-appropriate? Justin Bieber or-?”