"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Jesse - Slumber

The Evening of 4/8
Dear Jesse – Mirror

I’ve spent the last twenty to thirty minutes staring at a reflection of my own pupil on the inside lens of my glasses. I swear that you can see the cells move around in the ebb and flow of my eyeball; it almost looks as if I am looking at DNA dancing around beneath a microscope. It’s mesmerizing, especially when I can almost shut it out like a shutter lens with my eyelashes. They slowly swallow up the image like a Venus fly trap, or if you’d prefer a less gruesome description, like the body-size feather fans of a Burlesque stripper. Sneaky; Feminine; vicious. I know that I’ve experienced this phenomena before, but while in bright sunlight, wearing sunglasses. I probably was out enjoying the weather, not sitting Indian-style on my couch with big, brown, stinky Sherman and two cats, wondering why I cannot sleep, again, for the fourth night in a row.

Sherman is sleeping like a bear, and may I add snoring like one, too (not that I have any clue whether or not bears snore). But he is very bear-like; you haven’t met him yet. He is spread out next to me, all 120 pounds of him, and he looks like a big, chocolate teddy bear, but smells like a sewer. He’s so adorable, and so full of love that I don’t mind his stink. He’s got a boxy Chocolate Labrador face, and a very stout build with beautiful fur, huge paws, and a rolly-polly belly. He is so sweet.

Before he fell asleep, he was cleaning my cat, Mimi. She acquired that name because of her uncanny ability to meow incessantly at the most inappropriate hours of the morning; usually she’ll begin to run in circles, scratch the furniture, climb the wooden beams, and meow at the top of her lungs while on my chest, with her needle sharp stickers piercing whatever I have exposed under the blanket; screaming Mimi. But what can I expect, she had a tough beginning; she was a garbage dump cat at a bar where I worked, and she and I befriended one another when I would sit on the pavement at 2:00 am, feed and pet her after work, before my long journey home. And what do you know ...one day she followed me to my car, meowing the entire way. I’m a regular goddamn Snow White. Right now she sleeps sweetly, like Sherman. Her tabby ears glisten from being groomed by him. Cat’s look so peaceful when they sleep, all balled up. She looks so comfortable.

Okay I’m not alone. The fish are awake, although I’ve never noticed any different. Do fish sleep? They must, although don’t they have to be in constant motion to ensure oxygen through their gills? All I know is that Mini and Maude are seemingly doing what I was doing for twenty to thirty minutes; they’re swimming in tandem around and around the base of their tank looking at their reflections in the glass. It’s sad really ...I should go turn off the light on the tank so that they cannot see their reflection anymore, but I’m afraid they will think that they lost their friends on the outside. I’ll just let them live the illusion, besides it is tremendously entertaining for both me and Gato, a fantastic, old long haired tabby cat that resides here as well, who I love. She belongs to Cala, Jack’s sister; when her home was pulled out from beneath her, she brought Gato to live with me. She’s an old, wise cat, and keeps screaming Mimi in line. She’s spread out on the chest next to the fish tank, with her little face just resting on her outstretched paw, watching the dizzying fish like I am. It seems to be tiring her; her big yellow eyes are slowly disappearing behind kohl black lined Egyptian-looking frames. And...she’s asleep. Maybe if I stare long enough, it will put me to sleep, too.

Thinking of you, Ana

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