even grass gets lonely
november 13, 2020
Falling asleep is hard. It’s amazing it happens at all. As a kid I would sit in bed, wide awake in the middle of the night, alternating my gaze between the ceiling and the wall. I thought about anything and everything, cycling through an endless rolodex of anxieties and insecurities. During these sessions I was usually accompanied by the family cat, who was cozily cradled in the negative space created by my legs. The two of us would lay there for hours; one of us perfectly at peace and one of us reliving the day’s social anxieties and forecasting tomorrow’s worst-case scenarios. As the minutes marched forward, I watched her sleep and caught myself wondering how it came so easily to her. I couldn’t understand it. What secret knowledge was matted in between her fur and claws? I started to fantasize about what my life would be if I wasn’t human. If the night grew long enough, I even felt my joints shift while my pores opened large enough for strands of fur to break through. My pupils lost their roundness and narrowed as my body condensed and a sharp tail splintered from the bottom of my spine.
In my new body I would have no worries, I would shed my ailments as easily as I shed my fur; leaving the evidence as wispy clumps all over the house. I could be small enough to hide, to not be found or paid attention unless I sought it out, and it was acceptable. I missed my hands at first but learned to appreciate the tactile simplifications granted by my paws. If it really came to it, I had the ability to be entirely self-sufficient; feeding, grooming, housing...This house would do for now but there was a whole world to explore…but I don’t have time now because there are sun beams emerging in the kitchen. That warm yellow light revealed patterns in my fur I didn’t know were there. As I admired the shimmer across my body and traced the dust particles that danced in air before they landed on my whiskers, my eyelids became heavy…
If there was only a way to wear that cat mask, maybe just for pretend or maybe to help relieve the aches of my humanness. It might help me understand to soften the edges of harsh truths. My new body would be a walking memorial to my cast aside negativity. The circular logic in which I was mired was now coated in a translucent film. It allowed me to admire the distinct shapes and patterns of my oncoming adolescence. Life moved so slow, and if I were a cat I could’ve enjoyed it more.