Saturday, November 16, 2002

family feud

I am sitting on a green chair, my cat is sitting on a blue chair right next to me, cuddled up, asleep. My cat! For most of my life, I have had an aversion to cats, thinking that they are just wicked little animals, but this cat is so nice, so not wicked, winning my heart over with its little meows when it is hungry. We have named the cat Sake. It followed Jamie and I home from the library a couple of days ago, and it has stayed with us since then, as if this had always been its home, going outside through our kitty door, but always returning, to us, to 8418 Cypress Circle, cuddling up next to us, sleeping in our beds, letting all of us invest affection and love into the cat that we, for whatever reasons, do not share with each other.

Last night, the three of us, the house, Jamie, Bonnie, and I tried playing a board game, Scattegories - but it turned out bad, things got tense, and the game dissolved in probably under ten minutes. I am really intrigued by board games. There is the poor communication aspect to domestic spaces that games serve as a sort of solution to, that hey, I'm bored, let's play a game, a forced attempt to relate and engage with one another, to be jovial. And then related to this, board games often are the site of domestic tensions and conflicts, where underlying tensions erupt into a feud over whether something is a valid answer or not. The constestation over answers seems to often be a way of contesting other things, domestic issues. I have noticed this whenever my mom's huge family gets together and tries to play a board game, usually Trivial Pursuit - there are always heated arguments, the game gets far more tenser than it should rationally be, as alliances are formed between teammates that (I believe) bring up old hostilities about sibling alliances (my mom has eight siblings) - and someone will often end up leaving the game, drunkenly crying.

And yeah, last night, I challenged one of Bonnie's answers. Piranha for Things Found in the Ocean. I was sure piranha was a freshwater fish, and I was determined to find out, to not let Bonnie get the point, I got online and once away from the game realized that I really did not want to play, told Bonnie and Jamie that I was quitting, went in my room to read, and heard Bonnie and Jamie arguing over answers for a couple minutes before Bonnie also quit, saying she was going to bed (at around midnight on a Friday - Bonnie who never falls asleep before at least three). I went out into the living room to read, did facial masks and ate cold leftover pizza with Jamie. A while later, Bonnie emerged again, and her and Jamie started playing the mountain game - I was thrown off the mountain - and I just could not take it anymore, the casual rudeness that is so common in this house, that seems to be the only way that we know to relate to each other. I stomped off into my room, slammed the door, and told Jamie to leave me the fuck alone when she tried to see if I was being serious. I was. We all were. The games just brought out our hostilities towards each other - allowed us to not interact on any meaningful level - allowed us to not show love, fucking love for each other.

That is what we have the cat for, that is why we are all so excited about having a cat - because we allow ourselves to show love towards the cat, we can purr with it, talk in baby voices, call it kitty in stretched out broken up yodels, ki-ttt-eeeee. The kindness that is in each of our hearts, that finds no outlet in this domestic setting, in our stinted relations with each other, has found an outlet in a stray cat - the love which we will not allow ourselves to share with each other is now directed towards Sake.

All I want is a little kindness in my life, perhaps this is why I found myself knocking on Sean's window last night after I escaped Cypress Circle and made my way to school, knock, knock, knock, waking him up, talking to him in excited tones, just wanting his company, his held hand. Getting it, holding his hand while I talked to him for that short while, before I left to go meet back up with Rebecca and so that he could go back to sleep. The talk going fairly well, fairly lovely. I have kindness inside of me, I wanted to share it with everyone I talked to last night, I wanted to live.

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