Chapter One; Part Two
When I open the door to my house, I hear a steady, high-pitch meowing, intermittently punctuated with lower growls. I slip off my three-inch, ruby-red heels and wince in relief once they’re off. I have wide-ass feet, and even the most generous shoes feel better off than on. I follow the sounds up the stairs until I reach my bedroom. Both my cats are staring fixedly out the window. Onyx, a tiny five-pound fluff-ball is the one doing the high-pitch mews. Jet, her twenty-pound litter brother who is all muscle and her protector, is standing behind her (his normal position), emitting the low growls. I flip on the lights, and they don’t even blink. I stare out the window, seeing a small white bunny rabbit twitching its nose at my cats. Onyx reaches a paw towards the bunny, claws out, but I don’t reprimand her because there’s no chance she can harm the bunny through the window.
“Hey, kids! I’m home.” I ruffle the fur on Jet’s neck, and he slowly turns his face towards me, his eyes slit into a predatory stare. They dilate normally as he tucks his head into my palm. It barely fits, and I marvel as always at how panther-like he is. “How’s my big boy doing?” Jet purrs in response before I turn my attention to Onyx. “How’s my baby girl tonight?” She abandons her prey and scurries over to me, leaping into my waiting arms. I know by now to have my arms outstretched when she comes my way because she launches herself at me whenever the mood hits her. I adopted my cats eight years ago, when they were six months old. For the first day, Jet sulked in a box I had placed in the closed off dining room, only venturing out to use the litter box. He refused to come out to eat, so I eventually placed a food bowl and a water bowl in his box. He was content to stay in that box, his enormous gold eyes shining in the dark. Onyx, on the other hand, wandered around the dining room, sniffing everything she could reach. After a half hour, she was sitting at the door, meowing to be let out. I had read that they should be kept in a closed area for twenty-four hours, but Onyx never got that memo. I spent about an hour with them before going to do other things. When I returned and opened the dining room sliding doors, I was greeted by a tiny ball of black fur hurtling through the air. I immediately reacted and caught her, thankfully, but that was the beginning of a lifelong pattern that continues to this day.
“Mrrrrreow!” Onyx trills as she turns her heart-shaped face up towards mine, her emerald green eyes full of sleep. I call her my princess, and she does everything she can to live up to that name. I drop a kiss on her satiny nose, and she closes her eyes before promptly falling asleep. I set her on the bed without waking her, and she curls up in a tight ball. Jet hops up on the bed next to her, wraps his body around her, then falls asleep as well. I watch them for several seconds because they are the true loves of my life, and it warms my heart that they are so devoted to each other. They were actually part of the friction between Tessa and me. She was solidly a dog person and didn’t care for cats at all. I like dogs, but I know myself well enough to realize that I would be shitty for any dog living with me. I work eight hours a day, and by the time I get home, all I want to do is curl up on the couch, blog or read, and then drift off to sleep with my two cats. It wouldn’t be fair to a dog to be forced to live that kind of life, and I would resent a dog if I had to walk him or her every day. Tessa used to complain that my cats didn’t like her, which was actually true. The first time she met them, Onyx hissed at her and wouldn’t let Tessa pet her. Jet muscled up behind Onyx and simply glowered at Tessa. He allowed Tessa to pet him, but he didn’t lean into it as he normally would. To be fair to them, it was clear that she was uncomfortable with them. Plus, she patted Jet instead of petting him, which most cats don’t enjoy.
I tiptoe out of the bedroom and make my way back downstairs. I’m hungry, so I open the fridge to see what I can find. I tend to forget to go grocery shopping until all I have in the fridge is a rotten onion and a container of spoiled milk. However, I had replenished my stock a day or two ago, so I have plenty of choices. I take a minute and ask myself what I want. I have a history of eating disorders, so I try to ask my body what it needs before eating. Unfortunately, my body is a three-year-old child, and it usually tells me what it wants, not what it needs. What it wants is tons of chocolate. What it needs is fruits and vegetables. I make myself a ham sandwich on whole wheat bread with spinach, mustard, and sliced tomatoes. I pour myself a glass of Diet Coke before taking my snack into the living room. I settle down on the couch, pulling my laptop onto my lap.
I go to my website, www.ragingasianchick.com and check the comments on my newest post, “If Trump Wins, We’re Shutting Down America”. Hey, I suck with post titles, but I make up for it in substance. I have been watching the polls compulsively, but I’ve been trying to ease up on it a month before the election. I know that the media is only interested in a horse race, so they’re going to prop up Trump until the election, regardless of how far behind he falls in the polls. I started my blog about six months ago after a long hiatus from writing, and much to my surprise, I gained a steady cadre of commenters right from the start. Granted, I’ve written elsewhere including a now defunct blog, and I’ve had people on Twitter pestering me to write again, especially for this election, but I hadn’t been feeling it for the past two years. It’s hard not to wonder if my extended vacation from writing was caused by the problems in my relationship with Tessa, but I don’t want to blame her for my own laziness. I have between five hundred to a thousand views per day, and I get between twenty-five to fifty comments on each post. On one memorable post in which I wrote about my ambivalence in supporting Hillary Clinton as president, I reached two hundred comments. This was a month ago, and I still get a comment or two on it every other day, mostly angrily protesting my viewpoint and calling me a sellout. I had made no bones about the fact that I had voted for Sanders in the primary/caucus, and believe you me, the Clinton supporters were not happy about it. Sanders’ supporters, on the other hand, are pissed that I’m actually voting for Clinton in the generals. We Dems love to eat our own. Today’s post is mostly filled with comments of agreement. One of my stalwart commenters, QueenBee, says, “You always say everything so perfect! I want to be like you when I grow up.” I wince because she’s always effusive in her praise. It’s not that I don’t think she’s sincere; I’m just uneasy being the target of such fulsome laudation, especially when I feel it’s unearned. BarelyaBabe raves, “That orange-faced asshole will be the death of me! I swear to god he’s going to give me a heart attack!”
I sigh and rub my forehead. I need to come up with another post for tomorrow, even though it’s Sunday. I allot myself the weekend for not posting, but I like to come up with a little something on one of the days because I don’t want the blog to lie fallow for too long. I suppose I could write a post about my favorite eateries in Northeast Minneapolis—there are certainly plenty to pick from. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods in the state, and much different from Edina, the southern suburb in which I grew up. I can get a burrito at Maya Cuisine, or some lamb curry and Thai lobster rolls at Karta Thai. I can have a wild rice pancake as big as my head and deep fried cheese curds with beet ketchup for brunch at The Mill NE, or go for a football-shaped pizza at Crescent Moon. I love that I can hear several different languages as I walk down Central Avenue, and I’m really glad that my taiji (tai chi) studio is only two blocks from my house. Speaking of which, I have a class tomorrow morning, and I’m not looking forward to going. My knees have been giving me trouble lately, which is an excellent reason to go to class, but that means I have to pay closer attention to them, which is not my strong point. I’m more a big picture kind of gal, and the details often get lost in the shuffle. My teacher is empathetic because she has bad knees from her early, aborted career as a dancer, so she has several tips for how I can ease the pain.
“Meow!” I look up to see two sleepy faces staring back at me. Onyx and Jet hop up onto the couch, one on either side of me. Onyx wiggles her way onto my lap, nudging my laptop out of her way in the process. She curls into a tight ball, her tail wrapped around her face, and promptly falls asleep. Jet burrows into my left thigh before following the same process. I take several moments to stroke their fur, which calms the racing thoughts in my brain.
I suddenly think about Rembrandt, and I wonder if I’ll actually hear from him again. He had seemed into me at the club, but some guys don’t take rejection very well at all. I’ve had guys curse at me for turning them down, and while Rembrandt had seemed fine with me postponing our night of debauchery, I’m not counting on him reaching out to me. Then again, this is fucking 2016, and there isn’t anything stopping me from calling/texting/emailing him. Not tonight, though. I’m drained from a night at the club, and I plan on spending the rest of the night snuggling with my cats and surfing the net. That’s my old-ass version of Netflix and chill, and it’s right up my alley.