Thursday, September 5, 2013

Socializing cats

"You don’t know me yet, knowing takes a long, long time."

I made some girly girl fish. Complete with blush, mascara and lipstick.

Since returning from Yellowstone, I've made beads about every other day. I'm feeling good about it again too, for the most part. In addition to fish beads, I've been working with silver glass and shards a lot. I have two shows coming up in October and I'm hoping they will be good ones, but you never know.

On the days I'm not making beads I've been volunteering with Sugar Land Animal Services. I'm doing "cat grooming and playtime." I'm still learning the ropes at this shelter, which is run quite differently than the Houston SPCA where I previously volunteered. There doesn't seem to be a lot of turnover among the older cats and I've had very little interaction with customers, because really, there aren't many, at least not while I'm there.

When I came back after our trip, three cats were gone, but sadly only one of them had been adopted. The other two I'm told had gotten sick (which I assume is code for being put to sleep). I know I can't get attached if I'm going to work there. I know all the cats won't find homes, there are too many. Some are not very social, so that's a problem.

I tell myself (and anyone who is interested) that if all I can do is spend two hours once or twice a week petting them, holding them, letting them out of their little cages to stretch their legs, talking to them, that is something more than they would have had if I didn't go. I can't do much, but I can do a little. Maybe I can socialize the scared, shy ones. I'm the cat whisperer. And I feel called to do this, if you will.

September has rolled in with 3 figure temperatures. The saving grace is that in five or six weeks we should start having some cooler days.

Months after Marty turned on a dime and walked out some twelve years ago, a friend asked me why I kept his letters. At the time I told him, I kept them so I'd never doubt that what happened happened. I kept them so I'd know it was real, that I didn't dream it or imagine it.

I think that when I finish this story, I'll be ready to let them go. Because it's immaterial now whether or not it happened. The opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference.

After our first date, the feverish correspondence continued. Marty wrote.
Go ahead and work.... and at the other end of the day there'll be some quiet moments and a man on the phone who thinks you're a vision of some kind and refuses to close his eyes again, lest you disappear into the ether. If only I could touch your hem.

Lizzie, I've never, ever had a woman write or say things to me the way you do - you take my breath away!

I have that same teenage feeling - isn't it great? I feel loved.

Just a touch for now, dear heart.... more later!
And again.
I’m listening to online music - wonderful, ethereal, romantic, classical music with occasional brief readings, also romantic. It’s a pacifier for me, I admit. I wish it were you and that we were somewhere else, your head on my shoulder and your hands touching me softly.

Okay, we can add the music, too, though it will only echo the music of your breathing.... Yes, it’s true. I’m hopeless and beyond retrieval now.

There are so many things we can do together, Liz, and I know we shall, but this morning I only long to be with you in some quiet space.
Heady. Nonsense. But I couldn't see it for what it was back then. Even now, I wonder. Could someone just write this? Make it up on the fly? Without real meaning, signifying nothing?

We were 40, not 16.

I think we'd met a second time mid-week for ice cream when he wrote this.
For what it's worth, it may be true that it's been (only) two weeks since I sent you that first letter - but we also have yet to have a first kiss. Pretty remarkable restraint, considering the chemistry brewing!
Still. I kept having this nagging feeling that he didn't really know me yet. I tried to tell him as much.

He responded. Reasonably. And deliriously.
Are there any speed bumps on this lovers' lane?

I know you keep observing how briefly we've known each other, and you're right.

Liz, I want you in so many wonderful ways - and what I want most is a whole, happy, loving relationship. If it seems like we're racing a bit out of balance toward intimacy, or if for any reason you feel like our passion is emerging too hastily, please tell me so somehow.

In my head, I know we should be having fun very carefully, as a friend of mine says. In my heart, I am falling crazily in love with you and wanting to abandon all care...... What part of me should win???

Anyway..... I'm falling, I'm crazy, I'm wanting my hours with you to last forever. I am enthralled, Liz....
Reading this today, I blush, or I would blush if I was a blusher. Then, it all seemed so pretty, so precious, so weirdly destined. I wanted to be swayed, to be swept. I wanted to climb onto that dazzling white horse behind this exciting beautiful familiar stranger and be spirited off into the proverbial sunset. To live happily ever after.

I wrote this to my mom.
Maybe - just maybe - it's possible that every hurt we experience and every mistake we make is all designed to lead us to a place where we will be happier than we ever imagined.
To Marty I wrote this.
Speed bumps? No problem ... we're flying.

Your words are so beautiful that I have a knot in my chest after reading - and rereading - them. And I feel this heat we generate together burning me up and making me feel I could quite possibly live on nothing but this fuel for a long time.

For once, I don't want to be the sensible one. Life is short and joy is precious. Having this weekend ahead is a gift. Marty, if you want me to stay with you, I will. I want the rest too, though, the love, the happiness, the relationship.

What we have right now is passion without baggage - which is a very intoxicating thing, but I think we have the promise of something more too.
(Later, Marty would twist those very words and throw them back in my face.)

But in June of 2001, in this bewitched and reckless state, we hurtled toward the weekend. We both knew exactly where we were going, what we were doing, what we were about to do.

Inevitably. Inexorably. Injudiciously.

"You can’t see me yet
Seeing takes a long, long time
From the outside in
Measuring each shift and sigh

But as you let your eyes adjust
To the darkness deep within
Sifting through the ash and dust
We are the places that we’ve been

You can’t hear me yet
Listening takes a long, long time
And I’ve so much to tell
But words die on these lips of mine

But in the stillness you may sense
Every thing I long to say
Unraveling like golden threads
The walls will all come down this way

You don’t know me yet
Knowing takes a long, long time
And time is all we have
Never traveling in straight lines

So memorize each turn and twist
Just be careful as you go
For if love is a labyrinth
Then my heart is Jericho."

(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz