#3: The Great Difficulty of Just Leaving the Flat

Christmas Eve, 2011. I am squatting down in a field off the 101 Freeway, about an hour south of San Francisco. I say field – it’s a very big patch of manicured grass beside the parking lot of a Target. This being the coastal side of California, it’s all blue sky, golden sunlight, clean pavement, and immaculate green lawn, even in the depths of winter.  

 

I am squatting here because of the pussy hiding between my legs. No, not like that. My one-year-old brown tabby, Aífe, has just been in a car for the first time (a rental). She has spent the last hour or so loudly and unrelentingly meowing objections from her carrier in the back seat. We still have another five hours drive ahead of us down to SoCal, and I imagine she might need a potty break, so I decide to try taking her out for her first walk on a leash.

 

This is the first time she has ever been confronted with the enormity of the open heavens, with something like freedom, and she is absolutely shitting herself. She is yowling in distress, and as I kneel down to try and comfort her, she rushes to cower under the only available shelter for yards and yards around, which happens to be my ass. I start giggling so hard at the ridiculousness of our position that I worry that I’ll fall on her.

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