A Frolicking Good Time

Who doesn’t love to wake up to a vigorous game of chase?

6:30 am today felt like a jolly old British farce. I was mostly asleep, and certainly alone, and Toulouse (my lover boy of the four-legged black cat variety) was curled up next to me. Toulouse is ten, and has been ten since I’ve known him. When I adopted him, I wanted a cat who knew a thing or two about life. I thought he’d be a little cool and aloof, and that we’d exist happily without getting into each other’s way, but as it turns out he’s affectionate to the point of embarrassment, and sometimes has a drooling problem.

A ten year old cat really isn’t the most playful thing, but this morning he stirred me from slumber because he very uncharacteristically pounced off the bed and went chasing down the hall. I shrugged it off and went back to sleep.

Moments later I heard him skitter through the kitchen, then the bathroom. In my sleeping brain, I thought perhaps he had a complicated bowel movement to work out. Again I returned to half-sleep.

When Toulouse returned to the bed, purring loudly, and uttered a single, victorious “Mmmrouph”. I sat bolt upright. He was half laying on me, and doing the happy foot dance. It’s quite overcast this morning, so still rather dark in here, but I reached for my glasses because I began to experience a cold wave of dread washing over me. Toulouse lowered his head and then suddenly snapped out first his left paw, then the right. Then he was shaking his head vigorously from side-to-side. Instantly, I was “someone-threw-a-bucket-of-cold-water-on-me” awake. I pushed him off the bed, and moved quickly to the bathroom to get my glasses, which I usually keep at the bedside for exactly these kinds of “I need to see” emergencies.

I turned on the lamp, and Toulouse was now on the floor, his mouth full, and a single, sinewy strand dangling from his lips.

“Memmerouph!” he announced, dropping the object at my feet.

And there, before me, was the very reason Toulouse came to live here. Une petite souris. Still quite alive. Being pawed about and munched on my my handsome chat. Seconds ago this was happening in my bed. On me, in fact.

When Toulouse catches mice, he doesn’t leave a corpse. It’s part of his charm. The only reason I know he’s holding up his end of the bargain is that he likes to sometimes leave a tail, or a small pile of entrails. These items are like the slides that Dexter creates after each kill, but they are offerings to me, and not his own personal trophies because Toulouse is a giver.

Discovering him with a fresh catch meant that I would have to watch Toulouse play with it (apparently he really likes pretending to set it free into piles of my discarded clothing and then watches it scurry around again before he pounces on it once more. I’ve known men like that.) and then he sets about eating it.

I got a pot from the kitchen. And a lid. The next half hour was spent trying to get the mouse into the pot without allowing it to touch me. Toulouse loved this, which in hindsight is very bad, because I fear it now means that he thinks I’ve invented a delightful game for the two of us to enjoy. He returned to the bed with his kill, which is where I found him once I had the pot in hand. He was allowing the mouse to scamper across my bed covers, which really sent me to gagging.

I’m not afraid of mice. I’ve lived with them before. It’s just one of those things you deal with when you live in the country. My relationship with mice changed though when one of them ran up my arm while I was scooping into a particularly huge bag of dog food. The deeply troubling thing about mice is how they move. So, so fast. There is something instinctive in us, that when we see those naked little tails scooting around, we need there to be a great deal of distance between us and the owners of these tails. Somewhere deep inside me lived a primal fear that one day the cat would bring a mouse into my bed, while it was still alive, and while I was still sleeping. That day was today, and I survived.

My mother wouldn’t have. She is pathologically afraid of mice. Like, tears in her eyes hysteria at the mere sight of them. Recurring nightmares in which she catches them doing things like wearing her wedding dress defiantly. In fact, if she reads this I know she will have a hard time ever coming to my house again.

This morning, though really an unpleasant way to wake up, was another life lesson learned in the Fortress of Solitude. I’m stronger than I think, and capable of dealing with more than I give myself credit for.

I finally caught the mouse under the glass lid of the pot. Toulouse loved this because it began to run around the inner periphery and he kept slapping the top with his paw. I then swallowed hard, took a breath and flung the little mouse into the pot with the lid in one very quick flick of my wrist. I carried him outside to the patio, where my naked self deposited him into the rain. He wasn’t moving when I began this entry. I hope to hell that he’s gone now. I imagine mouse bones are fairly fragile things. Between Toulouse and I, I don’t think he was in very good shape.

Toulouse was cross with me for getting rid of his new toy. He protested loudly, and I scratched his chin. I looked him in the eyes and said “If you ever, EVER bring one of your little playthings into MY bed again, your ass is back on the streets.” I really hope that I was clear in my intent.

Before I head to the laundromat to wash all of my bedding, I will say one thing – I’m pretty sure I can hang up a towel bar myself. Things like YouTube and my own fierce ability to switch into problem-solving mode will facilitate this. Thanks anyway cute boy with a drill, you are still welcome to turn up here with your tool belt some time in the not-so-distant future.

My Ficus was Limp and Other Adventures

I realized yesterday I’ve been forgetting to water my plants. After I gave them all a drink, they instantly seemed to perk up. It’s basic, and simple, and somewhat inane to even mention here, but then I started to look at my own perkiness, which has been lagging. I need to start to treat this body like a temple again.

Now that the Fortress of Solitude is fully functional, I have no excuses. I think I’ve got to return to my former, impeccably healthy eating habits, and start to cook. I’ve missed cooking. Nothing else zens me out or gets my primordial juices flowing like being in the kitchen.

This is all topical too because I had my annual women’s tune-up today with my amazing new doctor. I turned up in some clothes that I had thrown on, undeniable bed-head, and no makeup on, expecting to fly under the radar of the world.

In the waiting room, I noticed this young hottie-hot-hot with a stethoscope around his neck fetching a patient, and I thought “Man, thank god he’s not MY doctor. I would be so embarrassed.”

He isn’t my doctor. My doctor is a young, hip, savvy woman who is saving the world with her medicinal gifts. She’s tiny, and funny, and fierce, and I’m so lucky to be a patient. He is however, her goddamned intern.

After my consult with the nurse practitioner (at teaching hospitals, each visit is an epic) I was ushered back into the waiting room, where I observed how rank my coffee breath was, and how I didn’t have a single mint or piece of gum whatsoever, and then Handsome the Intern comes in and calls me by my last name. My doctor is right behind him. They both say hello, and she says “Handsome is going to do your physical, if that’s alright with you, and then I’ll be in for the important stuff”.

I didn’t know what that meant, but I’m not about to stand in the way of anyone’s education, so I said “Sure, of course.”

Handsome and I are in the exam room together, and he says “I’ll do your physical and then assist Dr. Superchick with your pap, if that’s ok.” He smiles, and looks at me intently.

“Um….I say….” (For those of you who don’t know this, it doesn’t take a redhead much to blush furiously)

“It’s ok Schnoo. I’ve done lots of paps.” Says Handsome.

“I’m sure you have.” I say, and then look at him. “It’s fine. Sure.”

After the talking part, he gets me to hop up on the table to begin the exam. He first listens to my heart. I was surprised that I didn’t get admitted after that, but I suppose it sounded normal to Handsome. He went to take my blood pressure (which the Nurse Practitioner had already done, but I wasn’t about to tell Handsome that) and then he said “Actually, I’ll wait. Sometimes standing up quickly can affect your blood pressure.”

I hear that being closely examined by incredibly cute men can too.

He checked my eyes, and inches away from my face, in soothing dulcet tones says “So, what kind of work do you do?”

My medical chart says arts administration, but I couldn’t resist. Staring at the light switch on the wall as instructed I say “I’m the artistic director and a performer in a very high-end burlesque troupe.”

Handsome stops. Steps back. Looks at me. “Are you serious?”

I say “Of course. Why would I make that up?”

He says, “What does that entail?”

I say “It’s traditional cabaret theatre with very tasteful strip tease. Your saucy grandmother would love it.”

“Wow.” says Handsome

He checks my pulse next, and then asks me to hold on to his arm and relax. The Nurse Practitioner didn’t do that. I like his technique. He tells me my pulse is excellent, and then he begins to feel my throat and my glands. This part is very nice.

Just before he goes to get Dr. Superchick, he says “I forgot one important thing. As a very, very fair natural redhead, what does that mean?”

Before I can comment on either the carpet or the drapes he says “Sun protection. Always”.

I show him the scar on my shoulder where I recently had a mole removed. Very recently.

“Do you have any other moles that you would like me to look at?” Handsome asks.

I think of one in particular that only a few people have ever seen, and I say “Well, I think it’s ok. Like I said, this one was just removed.”

He then says “Do you have anyone to help you look at the moles you can’t see?”

It’s very hard now for me to contain myself. I shake my head wryly and say “No, but that sounds like fun. How frequently would you recommend that I do that?”

He now blushes and says “Once a month is probably a safe bet.” and follows with “I’ll have a quick look after your pap.”

He exits to get Dr. Superchick and I slip off my clothes and put on my super awesome hospital gown. They return, and get down to business.

Superchick talks about some of my medical history, and while she is doing this, Handsome the Intern is setting about on a mole hunt, and then she says “Schnoo, I just want to make sure you are comfortable with my intern assisting in your Pap.”

I said I didn’t mind at all, and then she says “Handsome, have you done her breast exam yet?”

Goody! Foreplay!

Handsome says nope, and then Dr. Superchick instructs him to go ahead. She catches my eye as she says this, and though nothing is said out loud, I very strongly get the sense that she knows EXACTLY where my head is at, and that she could become the most sought after doctor in medical history based on the hotness of her intern alone.

Handsome looks at me. “Schnoo, if we could start by just having you fold down the top of your gown so I can look at your breasts for symmetry, that would be great.”

Wouldn’t it?

I oblige, and then he asks me to lay back on the table, and begins to gently do his thing. He tells me a story about how women aren’t encouraged to necessarily examine for lumps each month, but instead become very, very familiar with the shape of their breasts, their roundness, their colour, etc. He said the other method could lead to unnecessary panic. I assured him that I am very familiar with all of my body, except the moles I can’t see.

After the breast exam, it’s down to business. I have to say that I felt a twinge of guilt because of how ridiculously inappropriate this visit to the doctor’s office had become in my own head. The pap was also sort of mortifying, mostly because I’ve never even seen that much of myself, and it was very weird to have a handsome stranger poking around in there with really bright lights.
It was quick and painless though, and I think Handsome was right when he said he had one or two under his belt.

He then changed gloves for the internal exam. At this point, I really felt like I was in an amateur movie, and I feel it’s important to make it very clear that he was absolutely professional in every way, but when he started to put some clear gel on his hands, I had to ask “What is that?” just to hear him say “It’s lube, so that this is a little more comfortable for you” out loud.

Then, his next line was “I’m going to use my fingers to part your labia.”

Honestly girls, has anyone else had this happen? Because really, it was just too much.

We made it through the rest of the exam, and then after my doctor said “Thank you so much for allowing Handsome to assist. You’ve really helped him out a lot, and it was a very valuable educational experience for him, wasn’t it Handsome?”

And in turn, with an equal lack of any irony whatsoever Handsome replies “Yes, it was tremendously helpful. Thanks.”

Everyone said a pleasant goodbye, I got dressed, and then decided against leaving a $20 on the pillow of the exam table.

Breathing Deeply Now

Jack in the Pulpit IV – Georgia O’Keefe

Move through me.
The time has come for us
to finally visit this place.

Your face is one thousand shades of gentle
and your liquid eyes have never changed

still I know them

still they know me.

Whatever, however, whenever…
If this is only fleeting,

slightly breathing,
just grazing

where neck slopes gently into shoulder
where arm and torso share a valley
where thigh and belly brush fingertips

as they pass each other in the hall

Part of you will stay behind
as you always have,
and bring me closer to knowing,

to feeling
what quietly whispered pieces of love should sound like.

Sometimes It’s Just Zen

Today was marvelous. Thanks universe.

My creative juices are making me drool right now, and that’s how I know the full moon is approaching. It’s actually Saturday, for those of you who aren’t in the know.

I remember a time in the tender bud of my youth, where I was entangled in a romance with witchcraft. For each full moon, I would make sure that I had a lover lined up (when appropriate), and I would fill my bedroom with fresh flowers (I carefully researched the symbolism of these flowers, of course) and candles, and incense. I’d take a really long bath in the appropriate essential oils, and then fold myself into some type of silk robe. I’m sure you can fill in the rest. I really enjoyed this little ritual. I think perhaps I ought to bring it back. It always helped me tap into the divine feminine, and who doesn’t need a little of that every now and then?

I think it’s about time that I started to look for ways to make my life a little more spiritual, and try to find a beautiful mind/body connection. All of that has sort of fallen away in the muddle of relationships gone wrong, homes falling apart, and pets being shuffled about in the chaos.

This full moon is going to be time for a reflection on the power of solitude, and the strength of finding my own two feet beneath me no matter what happens. I’ll be flying solo, this month. Something tells me not for long though…

I’m thinking of studying Red Tantra. Google it.

There’s No Place Like Hope

Someone suggested I might take time from my busy schedule to add a new post, as the last one might be misconstrued out of context. Though I thumb my nose at the idea that anyone would ACTUALLY think I’m a racist, I do think it’s time for some new fodder, but I’m under the gun today, again.

I will leave you this.

Now that the fortress of solitude is mostly unpacked, and life is beautifully starting to settle, the attached video, which I found on my friend’s Facebook page, really sums up my head-space.

Sometimes we make things incredibly hard, when they really don’t need to be.


Am I a Racist, or an Idiot?

Last night I learned that these men are in fact two very different people. The man on the top is Don Cheadle, and the man below him Tim Meadows. No kidding.

All this time, I thought that Boogie Nights was an extraordinary performance for someone who played “The Ladies Man” on SNL. And I was thrilled that he was handed a juicy role in Hotel Rawanda.

And then, during a heated debate with a very handsome fellow on a patio, a text message and a group of strangers piping up won the argument in his favor, and clarity fell on me like a drunken bridesmaid.

Incredible. I can just imagine the beautiful way that he will step into his next role as president of the United States of America. A proud day in history, that.