Some hours ago, I took a picture of DC being all comfortable and fast asleep. He sleeps harder than any cat I've known, which I find surprising because his previous human kept him as an indoor/outdoor cat; I would have guessed that he would have been in the habit of watching his back. When I plugged in the SD card to move the picture to this machine, I saw that there were some 400 other pictures on it, spanning a period of almost four years. I pulled them all over to a directory and, fool that I am, looked through them.
It was a trip down Sad Memory Lane. There were pictures from that last Xmas before she triumphantly threw me away, not leaving me alone until I carried myself to the curb in the form of moving her possessions. I came closer to dying, then, than I ever had before, and I'd been through an armed robbery and cranial surgery. There were pictures of the spread I had prepared, that first Thanksgiving alone. On Monday or Tuesday, I had seen a turkey at some insane price -- I think that it had cost under $10 -- and I decided, in a mood approaching defiance, that I was going to have a traditional meal, even if it was by myself. I think that I cried all the way through it. The one small bit of cheer was the kitties having Thanksgiving tuna; it was DC's first Thanksgiving with me, and I think that he may have been taken aback by the albacore set before him.
There were pictures of Ariel about the apartment; I was more than a little surprised to find that she was out and about as recently as her visit this last February. Twice since then, Melody nearly died; and I'm beginning to suspect that that has much to do with Ariel's hiding in the closet when she visits now.
There will be more pictures, more memories. I'm beginning to set up my holiday tree. I do it now in memory of the "elves" at Higbee's. I'm guessing that pretty much everyone who reads this has seen A Christmas Story
; that Higbee's, on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, is the one of which I write. The store would close as usual on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and on Friday morning, would open as acres of holiday regalia. I remember the trees at Sterling-Linder-Davis, perhaps fifty feet tall, the ornaments on the lowest branches having diameters of at least 12". In tears, I remember a day, many years ago, when all 4½ feet of me gazed up in wonder at the tree whose pinnacle I could not see from my vantage at its base.
Why am I assaulted by these memories? Am I that shaken by the events of the past few weeks? I think about my past and my present; I am the person I always have been, the difference is that I no longer hide. Am I, have I always been, so horrible that I could not allow my true face to be seen? I need to know.
I need to know.