I am unworthy of such a royal visitor.
She comes only sometimes. Or she is there always and chooses only certain moments to reveal herself.
When I carried out the trash to distract myself from the razor in my art supplies. To clean up the mess I had made of my life, and the lives around me.
There was the cat.
Silver eyes in a mottled unremarkable face. Some whiskers broken. A tooth missing. But you can’t deny the queen in her.
As always, she makes no sound. We don’t approach each other. I stand, still as the moment I noticed her, felt the measuring eyes on me. Garbage bag clutched heavily in one hand.
In her mouth an indistinct shape. When she drops it I can see it is what’s left of a bird. Twitching. Alive. The wing broken, little bones in a little body. Eyes wide open, in denial of nothing.
Still I do not speak. Do not chase the cat away and scoop up the prey. She is showing me, but makes no gift of it.
I can nearly hear the bird’s tiny heart pounding with rage against the confines of its chest. It tries to right itself. Life is nothing to surrender. With no hope, hope is not lost.
I see, I get it.
The cat is watching.
I give a quick bob of the head. That I understand.
The cat retrieves its bird. A crack of its neck, and she carries it off.
It’s all relative. Or it’s all in my head. Which one, the cat will not say, or feign to care.
After all, I am not worthy.
Author’s note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook, and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I do tiny grammar and spelling checks, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.