Down for the Count Up, 13

THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY OF THE END, OCTOBER 1, 2019

13 years ago today, I think I knew before I knew.

It was the strangest feeling.

It still is.

.

I took a 20-mile detour on the way home from Lansing this past weekend.

Accidentally, really. Not even on auto-pilot, since it’d been so long since I went that way.

Just a missed turn while I was thinking about the rain and Frosty Boy and my Brookside destination.

Odd to travel that same path so close to the same days. The thing is, the story goes on.

And, again, a warning.

It’s only the beginning of the story of the end.

The reality that followed wasn’t pleasant. It was shocking, bizarre, surreal and sadly, in a glass-half-empty way, expected.

February’d found us listening to a rundown how things might go. How Jeff’s disease and complications would likely progress.

The order was correct: first, he’d be alive, and then, he wouldn’t be.

The timing, though, was fundamentally far-off, greatly misjudged, significantly skewed.

Even when you know what to expect, it’s still unexpected. Quite unbelievable, and unbelievingly challenging for the mind to process.

It’s the sort of thing the heart is much quicker to recognize.

In the same way that Sadie was waiting for me to figure it out, my certain heart was forced to wait for my uncertain mind to follow.

I picked up the phone and dialed 911.

Quote for the week:

Down for the Count Up, 14

Still chronologically undecided, but waiting any longer won’t put the words where I want.

So, I’m walking myself backwards from now to where I started 14 years ago, one year in.

I’m also not sure any of it alone will make any sense. But, here goes, anyway…

~

The Scrambler, October 13, 2020.

At the end. Not really. There is no terminus.

We’re at the end of this line and it’s time to change tracks. Not sure if I’m going by train or plane or bus, on foot strolling or if I’m just going to stand here a while.

The funny stuff doesn’t end here. Some of it still continues. But, there’s this:

Last week someone I don’t know said something that changed everything.

Truly. Everything.

The technical base of this pre-recorded shared philosophy branches out beyond where we normally go.

Merriam-Webster: Addiction 2: a strong inclination to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly.

The point of the moment was that addiction isn’t limited to drugs or alcohol. Food, gambling, smoking, shopping, sex, video games, internet, social media.

The scrambler? “You can be addicted to grief.”

Well, then.

I’ve felt this way for so long; too long, I admit.

And while it’s comfortable here, cocooned and non-expanding, I don’t think I want to be here anymore.

It’s been way longer than you think; then you know, too.

I’ve been writing pain since, always. I remember sharing a piece I was particularly pre-teen proud of, brought up short by the question: Does everything you write have to be so dark?

Of course, I’ve changed. I write about life: the known, unknown, bad, ugly, cliché.

I didn’t write for a few years. Guess which ones those were? Yep, that short little span of Jeff years.

I don’t think I’m incapable of happy prose. I’d like to think I was just too busy living happy.

Maybe. I don’t know. I just didn’t write. Much. I’ve found a few notes which are entirely inexplicable….

So, the shock of that. That word. Addiction.

I’ve wrapped my head around it, and yeah, I am completely sure. It is what I never considered it could be or would be or was or is.

I’m not nearly in the same spiritual place as when I was misunderstood 14 years ago.

I’m further away now then when I wasn’t at all.

I’m not sure how I’m gonna do this/how long its gonna take.

But, I’m kinda happy with my decision. And that feels … new.

Quote for the Week:

Joy, Mia

It’s been an unbelievable year since the dusty little furball I now call Nala-Mia showed up.

She’s been with HBlu and I during some rough times. She was with us the day that leashed Blu was attacked by an unleashed dog. Interestingly, she showed no fear, waiting and watching. She followed us home, as she had been for a few weeks. I already worried about her at night; was relieved when she’d show up for breakfast. Was overjoyed the first day she let me touch her; the first day she ate from my hand.

We’ve been through a few twists and turns, barely avoiding craters of disaster. When she showed signs of respiratory distress, I feared the worst. I wasn’t able to get her into the carrier the first two times I tried. The third time wasn’t easy or graceful, but, it was successful. I figured she’d be annoyed with me, after that. I didn’t figure she’d be lost for three days in an animal hospital, and end up traumatized and unexamined.

Much like Harley Blu after his encounter, she just wasn’t the same when I got her back. She’s still a bit skittish if I move too fast toward her standing up. If I’m sitting, reclining, sleeping – she’s a love-bug.

Much like Harley Blu, I want her back the way she was before she was damaged. He’s getting there with the help of meds and chiropractic therapy. She’s in love with him, and he seems to be more understanding of that, lately.

I’ll confess, at times, I feel badly for them, both. HB was an only cat-child for almost 9 years. His breed has a preference for being the sole focus of attention. She just doesn’t completely understand the cat world. She has learned to play – as opposed to being terrified of strings and catnip mice. She has learned to interpret the exact moment when Blu has had enough play, and she scurries away.

I know Blu doesn’t like sharing. I know Nala-Mia wanted back out for several months. She’s not pursuing that as much. With hope, I interpret that as she is comfortable rather than defeated. I also know that the pre-yawn snap of her isn’t a real reflection of joy.

It is however, a real reflection of my joy. It is a comfort that she is safe – not hungry, not frozen, and bot likely to get run-over by a car.

I’ve mentioned before, COVID gave me the time to be patient with her. Afforded me hours of adjustment while working from home. So, I was particularly excited to see a call for Pandemic Pet Adoption stories. Our short-story appeared in Michigan Medicine Headlines this week. In fact, that brief (very brief), 223-word, 2 paragraph “caption,” turned into a more concise 165 word account.

So, maybe it may not have had to take as many words to summarize.

The struggle to reduce is still real. I’m still all for details, and, maybe, mildly less distrustful of edits.

My big-picture presentation will always be a gloriously detailed meal. Though, I concede, an edit is admirable as a taste-tempting appetizer.

Find our shorter story here: Pandemic Pet Adoption – Mia’s Story Short

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