My disappointment stands. So I didn’t want to re-use the prompt that most people are starting with today, because it speaks to me of its original author, who doesn’t need to be mentioned any more. Instead, I used Kaileen’s list of prompts and found a much more interesting beginning for this journey, a true moment in time.
Where did 2011 begin? (from Kaileen Elise’s list of prompts)
This year began at home. I was nominally alone, my husband with his parents and probably asleep by that time of night anyway. I wasn’t really alone, though; the cat was there still, hanging on, sleeping almost all day long in a cinnamon-bun curl on my bed.
I had been shredding paper and watching Breaking Bad and reheating Chinese food during the day and into the night. I didn’t want to disturb the cat any more than the noise of the shredder did, so when he left the room I was in, I didn’t follow. He could nimbly jump to the top of our tall bed and nimbly dismounted when he felt like it. It astonished me every time. It seemed impossible that he could be so sick and yet the rest of his body worked like a toy fresh out of its Christmas clamshell packaging.
And on occasion, a few times a day, he would visit me. He would present his head, and I would present my hand, and then there was a meeting of the two, and his purr vibrated so loudly against the tumor in his throat that I would swear the whole neighborhood could hear. And after a few minutes he would go away, and he wouldn’t look at his food dish or his water dish, and the slow disintegration of his existence in this world would go on.
Myron came home soon after, and the cat lived on to see him again. The two of them spent long boy hours together. And then we made an appointment, and did the thing that you spend years trying not to think about, and brought home the empty carrier.
The year began in sorrow. The business of life went on all around it, the way it does, but sorrow tinted everything, and did for a while afterward.