One of the best things about May’s teaching job were the paid days off. She luxuriated in sleeping until her body felt the urge to pee or sometimes when the kitties would run across her face and belly.

Usually it was Hector running from alpha kitty Zoom. Hector was a gang kitty from Pico Rivera, rescued by Father Joshua. The community knows they can drop them off at his church. When May and her husband Benjamin went out to meet Hector, Father Joshua told them Hector must have been ‘heaven sent’. May reflected, “I’d like to be rescued and live here, in the open courtyard, safe and serene with a few trees to climb or laze around on the stairs, listening to the choir’s harmony. It’s enough to make me believe.”

Hector was a gorgeous tortie, dressed in charcoal, white, and ebony tiger markings. His soft fur coat was not over-fluffed, the kind that makes you think he could choke to death from a hairball. Hector, a total love muffin, had an eating disorder: food being his drug of choice. On a football team, he would play full back.  His unique running style is due to a birth defect or early injury like someone kicking him or throwing him out the car window. When tackling from a running jump, his hind legs are splayed out to his side and you can hear oomph! from his target. He looks like a four-legged floating blimp. He’s a real porker, but so sweet. He often rolls over so you can see his furry belly.

Zoom is May’s other resident terrorist and could’ve been on the debate team when he’s not going out for a track’n field and a gymnastics scholarship. He’s the brains of the outfit, with an expression on his whiskered Siamese face that says, “Hmmmm! What to do? What to do?” Bad Kitty! 

May practiced ‘now’, being in the moment meditation, while lying in bed waking up. Her eyes registered the amount of light filtering in and what the weather was like, what she would wear to the outdoor farmer’s market so she would be perfectly layered for the elements. Then her gaze would fill with multi-colored ‘you-thought-roses-were-great’ ranunculus growing wild in an orange glass vase, or with her favorite purple velvet irises painted with bright yellow splashes.

Feeling beautiful, she promised Hector and Zoom she would be back soon. They looked like they were listening and knew that shoes on, keys in hand are sure signs that she would probably come back through the door in ‘now’ time to feed them again.

Max was the first vendor May visited at the farmer’s market and sure enough, like every week, he greeted her with a smile that made flowers grow. On to Dalia of the Earth, also with a knowing smile as warm as the sun that grows her fields. It was here that May succumbed to bunches of white lilies. May’s basket overflowed with green leafy vegetables, primary hues, blue berries, eggs, pomegranate juice, and the season’s goodness.

May lugged the heavy basket into her home, feeling the comfort of her ‘sanctuario’ and sweet silence.  She put the produce away and the flowers in the sink as they waited like debutantes to be presented. Hector and Zoom leapt onto the counter, eager to help with the arrangements or anything to break the monotony. They craved action, especially Zoom. May considered, “I’d like to have his metabolism!”

What would she do with her bunches of lilies? Considering redemption and purification, May decided to take a hot shower. She dried off and wandered through her home selecting a large wicker basket and maize-toned earthen bowl. She placed them on a hand-woven sisal mat with a herringbone weave on the sunroom’s terracotta tiles.

It was lunchtime and she hadn’t noticed her husband Benjamin, home for lunch, taking a siesta on the sofa. Hector and Zoom were curled up around him, succumbing to their afternoon dose of meowium.

May stopped to do some yoga stretches, assuming ‘bidalasana’ the cat pose. Feeling silky and serene, May sat on her haunches, with her back to them, hair in a French twist, contemplating her floral orchestration. Light filtered through her admirers’ eyelids, as they sleepily watched May embrace, almost merging with the white, velvety trombones, lost in the beauty and remembering their relinquished daughters.

Benjamin thought to himself, “She has a great ass.”




May 1, 2008

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled…the trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. -Ray Bradbury

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