I Will Not Miss
The G Train.
The G Train.
British to American Food Translations
Going deep in the internet to find helpful things.
As you can see, I am taking all small victories.
Portfolios due Monday. Monday. Monday. Monday.
I do not watch Bob’s Burgers, but this is the exact exchange that Charlie and I have every single day re: life.
So, hi, internet.
The feller and I are moving to London. Like in a few weeks. I’ve lived in New York for just shy of 7 years, and I’ve lived in America for just over 31 (all the ones I’ve had), so this is not a small thing, this departure. I’ve been waxing sentimental on everyone I know, so like, why not take it to Tumblr?
I can’t really decide how to talk about this, and if I started to try to make one big post about All Of The Things, I’d never get through it. Additionally, due to our various work situations, I have about 5 days to say goodbye to New York properly, whereas Charlie has about a month, and when we get to the other side, I will have all the time in the world to acclimate and find a life while Charlie goes immediately to work. So he gets his time here, and I get my time there. Perhaps due to this fact, and the facts of all the other work and life things that have to happen between now and then, my brain has been synthesizing New York into I WILL MISS vs. I WILL NOT MISS. Let it be known that this leaves a lot of important things/people out.
Main I WILL MISS items this week:
Main I WILL NOT MISS items this week:
When the mayor shovels his own sidewalk. #nyc #snow #deblasio #wheresdante #parkslope
Well, this was a first.
I’m as overjoyed to get married as I am that as a prescient 22yo, I built Jaye into my internet identity. Because really, it’s too good to lose forever. #thanksjams #weddingstuff
No, it’s cool, I understand that the reason you have fingernail clippers on your keychain is so that you can work on your cuticles on the A Train or when you are otherwise in transit. Obviously you don’t have a bathroom at home or wherever it is you are going today in that business-casual attire and carrying that large bag. I never really thought about the plight of the bathroomless until this morning, so thank you for making me aware of it. I’m going to contact my legislators to see if we can’t do something about this, because every New Yorker really should have access to a non-moving, trash can-equipped bathroom at some point during the day. #commuting
Yesterday morning in the animal hospital, after a month of deteriorating health on a few fronts, my orange cat, Lily, died somewhat suddenly. Yes, she was sick, and yes, she was in the hospital, but I saw her at about 6pm the night before when I went to visit, and she was awake, lively, loving, playful, and much more like herself than she’d been for at least two weeks.
I picked Lily up on a semi-whim at the Chicago Care & Control in April of 2005, just before I graduated from college. My friend and roommate Megan and I drove from Evanston to the south side of Chicago because I wanted to “just look” at cats, but if looking liking moved, so to speak, I knew I wanted a cat from a kill shelter. She weighed in at about 5.5lbs but was fully grown, as tall and lanky as she’d be for the next 8.5 years, just skinny. They told me to feed her kitten food to fatten her up, and I did. Before I knew it, she was up over 13 lbs. Whoops.
After graduation, Lily and I moved to Chicago proper, and without her kitty friend Little Man in the apartment or my three roommates, I started to worry that she was lonely all day—or rather, I knew that she was lonely all day, because when I’d come home from work and plop down on the couch, she would immediately walk straight over to me, walk up my chest, and spend 20 minutes smashing her face into my face.
I adopted Bear in January 2006 to keep her company, and the three of us managed to move to New York a year and a half later, again with the invaluable assistance of Megan, and we’ve made our way in this city together since then, through four apartments and a handful of roommates. Erica took amazing care of both girls in the three years we lived together, including the time Lily got vertigo (which the vet initially told us was meningitis, so that was fun) while I was out of town and countless other absurd cat mishaps. Charlie has taken great care of them, too, especially in the past month. It did not take long to turn him into a cat person, needless to say.
Lily fell off windowsills, ottomans, sink ledges, bathtub ledges, and basically anything other than the floor that she tried to walk on. In Chicago, when I thought I had so beautifully arranged my final four hardcover Harry Potter novels in my bedroom windowsill, I woke up night after night to her teetering along the sill, stopping to front-paw them, one-by-one, to the floor. Guests to my apartments over the years have been told not to leave things—phones, water glasses, eye glasses, dentures, what have you, on coffee or bedside tables overnight, because Lily would just jump up and knock it all off for them. She religiously waited for the bathroom sink to be turned on for her, prompting guests in Evanston, Chicago, and all four NYC apartments to pop back out of my bathroom and say, “Uh, your cat wants to watch me pee, is that okay?”
When I moved to New York, she started pooping on the floor. It was a weird thing, and it was a gross thing, but we also lived in the grossest building of all time for the first few years. The floor-shitting waxed and waned over the years, and she never really stopped. She got better about it out here in Brooklyn, where she couldn’t feel the subway rumbling and where she had plenty of room to relax. She also sat in front of every open window she could, followed the warm sunspots from our skylights, and bee-lined for the roof every chance she got out here in Park Slope.
She unspooled toilet paper and chased every possible string-like item. Trying to tie your thick wool coat sash? Sorry, there’s an orange cat clawing up your leg for it. Trying to plug in that blender? Yeah, just don’t electrocute the cat.
She liked sparkly toys, rolling toys, and string, but not catnip or the laser pointer. Those she left for Bear. She ruined every last bit of my furniture with her claws, and I did not really care.
Charlie pointed out yesterday that Lily demonstrated affection in a way Bear does not—Bear seeks affection FROM humans, but Lily showed it TO me, and Charlie, and Winston, and Erica, and everyone she loved. If she loved you, you knew it. She put her face on your face for a while, and then she’d sit nearby but leave you basically alone until you went to the bathroom.
The past 24 hours have been sad. Just, plainly, sad. On one hand, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something weirdly selfish about mourning a pet when we lose human loved ones year after year, and I feel silly explaining my puffy face and slow email responses, or even getting all up on the internet to say “my cat died.” It sounds insubstantial, it sounds like a little thing. Which it isn’t, because on the other hand, she was my companion. And in the spirit of that NYT article from earlier in the summer about grief, I’m just going with it. I haven’t stopped crying because it’s not time to yet. I don’t worry that I won’t snap out of it in a few days, I just miss my girl. It’s a beautiful day today, and I’m off work, and the skylight sunspots are empty without her, and I’m fine being sad about that.
My brother said that Lily and I grew up together, and there’s a lot of truth in that. I was 22 when I picked her up, and had just gotten my first job and my first grown-up apartment was on the horizon. She was someone to come home to and talk to every night after work when I was on my own for the first time. She weathered a lot of boyfriends, roommates, and breakups, not to mention her fair share of short-term weirdos. I kept coming home to Lil, and she kept putting her face on my face and telling me she loved me, even when I was depressed or unemployed or torn apart by anxiety or other losses, basically every day. That includes Wednesday night at the animal hospital, when she nuzzled all up on me and smudged my glasses with her snot and eye gunk. I sat on the icky floor in the isolation room with her and let her get as close as she wanted, and as close as she could, given her IV, not knowing that it would be the last time.
In my world this week, a video’s been going around of Kristin Chenoweth singing “For Good” at the Hollywood Bowl with a talented fan plucked from the audience. This may surprise you, but WICKED isn’t really in my daily vernacular, so “For Good” was just one of those back-of-the-mind, half-known things for me until this week. I saw the video and got choked up on Monday or Tuesday, and then at 3:30 this morning, I just woke up with the song in my head, and I had a good cry with Bear.
I don’t know all the words, and I find this song pretty dang maudlin, but I do know that I feel all of the feelings in that song about my cat. The apologies, the gratitude, the knowledge that she helped make me who I am today by showing me she loved me, and for letting me learn to love her, for eight and a half years.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
Because I knew you,
I have been changed for good.
This is, in fact, the ONLY acceptable Times Square promotion. Will we wait in line? TBD. #bigyellowjoint