I have a confession to make. I have been living a lie for many months—almost an entire year—but I can’t live with the guilt and shame any more.
I am deeply thankful for all the people who have read this blog and that have subscribed over the past year. I have become quite a blog reader myself over this time, so I know how hard many of you work on yours and I know everyone just has busy lives in general. So I appreciate the support. And for that reason I owe you the truth.
The truth is that it’s not really me that is writing this blog.
The truth is that I am a human being, and a human being of my particular type is not capable of writing a blog. You see, it’s too complicated to figure out and what if what I write sucks and what if people leave negative comments or even worse—no one reads at all. What if when I click on my page all I get is crickets and tumbleweeds or maybe some hell beast with three heads and a long silver tongue and all he does is spit at me.
I am afraid. Too afraid.
So I confess that the real writer of this blog all these months has been my cat Lyle. He’s done a pretty good job, I think. He’s a very good observer of cats, that’s for sure. But I also liked the one he wrote about Dick Cheney. Lyle is very good at satire.
I also confess that it wasn’t me who took the trip to Thailand to volunteer with elephants. Thailand was too far away and I didn’t speak the language and what if I got Japanese encephalitis and what if I got lost in the jungle and I was wayyyyyy too old to do something like that, for sure.
I was afraid. Too afraid.
So I sent my cat Sundance instead. Sundance got to meet some of the most amazing animals on the planet. When he got back, Sundance meowed at me about the elephants Thong Dee and Mana and Lulu and even about another cat that would follow him around sometimes. Sundance also met some pretty cool humans and he almost got a tattoo but backed out at the last minute.
Sundance brought back a Chang Beer T-shirt for me. When he handed it to me he was shaking his head. “You missed it, dude,” he said. “It was quite an amazing trip.”
“Next time,” I said.
“Yeah, right,” he said, and, after a month-plus away, returned to his favorite sleeping spot, curled up on the printer.
I confess that this year I met a beautiful woman I really liked but what if she thought the things I liked were stupid or that I was ugly or she wondered why I went to the bathroom so much (because I was trying to escape—and yet have a believable cover story)?
I was afraid to ask her for a second date. Too afraid.
So my cat Butch asked her out instead.
“Man, what are you thinking?” he said to me as he hung up the phone. “She’s amazing. Oh well—you snooze you lose.”
This girl and my cat Butch have been going steady for many months now. They seem to be doing really well except sometimes when they’re watching a movie in a theater and Butch will suddenly throw up on the floor. I also think she’s a little tired of scooping the litter box after him—she wonders if he’ll ever be mature enough to handle that himself.
I confess that in February of 2013 I was in the second decade of the same job—a job I was very grateful for, a job which paid me a lot of money, a job which didn’t match my insides any more.
My insides were to be a writer. Or some of my insides, anyway. I think I have a liver and a couple of kidneys in there too.
I was afraid. Seriously batshit scared.
I stayed in the job.
“Thank god! You have to stay in this job forever! You are not capable of making money any other way. It’s okay to be unhappy as long as you’re making money. You’ll die if you leave!”
But my cat Picasso, who was working alongside of me, decided to quit. I guess he wasn’t afraid. He sashayed into my boss’ office and hissed at him.
“What about the future? What about the February 2015 mortgage payment?” I asked Picasso.
“Buddy, you’re tripping hard,” he said, while cleaning out his desk, packing up the scratching post, and taking one last piss on the carpet.
That was a big move for Picasso. Quitting the job allowed Lyle to start fumbling around with a pen and Sundance to crawl into the window seat on a plane to Thailand. It allowed Butch to learn how to drive so he could take the girl out on dates.
And just so you know it wasn’t always easy for them: Lyle’s first written piece was a barely-readable haiku about choking a bluebird to death. Sundance hid under the bed for the first two days of the Thailand trip. Picasso wasted the first three weeks of his new freedom playing Bejewelled. And Butch for some reason tried to get to second base on only the third date with the girl. Bad kitty.
Thankfully I have all these wonderful cats, who are fearless and are able to live in the moment. Thankfully they’re around to live my dreams and live my life for me.
So before I have to hand this blog back to Lyle (he’s editing this as we go, from his position in my lap) I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.
I know my cats will have a wonderful one for me.
Oh—and Lyle told me to tell you he’s working on a novel. It’s probably going to have cats in it, and surprisingly a dog too.
I was going to tell you something else but Lyle just hissed at me to delete it. I hate how he rips apart my stuff.