Meanwhile, at the Cat Ranch
The wet and cold of this lazy-ass loser springtime finally started to look like it might be receding this morning. The light coming in the bedroom window looked less blue and more yellow, so I thought it would be an excellent morning to get up and have coffee on the porch. I did just that, relaxing on the lounge chair with my mug and a magazine I didn’t have to pay a whole lot of attention to in order to get the idea of what it was about. The dog found a patch of sun and curled up next to me.
I let out this long movie-length sigh because it’s been a stressful, fruitless, six-month job search, my mostly non-existent confidence and general unwillingness to keep working on anything pointless have lagged considerably, and that mixed with the dark and rainy weather has made me basically hit the point of “nobody will mind if I just stop going to work, will they?” that makes me stay in bed every morning until I absolutely have to get up in order to keep the job I do have, which is quickly eroding as more and more coworkers find their dream jobs and move on and the big bosses try decide whether to just fold the whole thing and give us gas money and ask us all to go home.
It’s been hard, basically.
So I sit there exhaling and letting the sun warm up my toes and think about how maybe everything will be okay, and telling myself to just take this quiet moment for myself and enjoy it because you never know when they will come around again. I’d been out there for about four minutes when the upstairs neighbor’s door opened and out he came, with a visitor. He shifted a cooler or a lawn chair or something above my head to give his friend a place to sit, which pushed about a tablespoon of dried leaves and crusty potting soil through the crack between the boards of the porch and directly down, -plop-, into my coffee.
Okay, so just…no more coffee for me, I guess, I thought. I will just sit here and read my magazine and enjoy this weather all the same and then the friend started talking. Loud, deep man voice interrupted my reverie, talking about how great it is to live in Portland and how great his apartment is and how everyone who visits says it’s better than theirs. I started to wonder if they ever de-bark humans who won’t shut up. What a waste to only do that to dogs. Is there a way to get this guy to shut up by maybe giving him a piece of vegan bacon, or something else he likes to eat? How can you make dog tricks work on humans? Is there a special collar…That’s what I was thinking when Neighbor interrupted his friend to explain the amalgamation of broken windows, busted baby gates, string, wire, two-by-fours, and other random garbage dragged in from various piles of shit in the alley and arranged at the top of the porch stairs. Apparently all of this refuse was intended to act as a sort of cat gate, to rein in their three cats, whom they allow onto the porch from time to time. The reason for the cat corral, as he put it, was “Because the downstairs neighbors have a dog.”
You’d think the reason would be BECAUSE DOMESTICATED CATS HAVE NO BUSINESS ROAMING AROUND OUTSIDE OR WHATEVER but apparently it’s the fact that my dog exists, making my porch an unsafe place for their obese felines to hang out.
Mere moments after this monologue extolling the safety of Garbage Gate, Dog stiffens next to me. He bounces up into a pushup position which means he’s about to tear off across the porch in search of something to murder. I grab his collar and look over and oh guess what the fuck? There are two cats hunkered down on the stairs less than five feet away from us.
“Uh,” I say. “Did you know your cats are down here?” No answer at first, and then Neighbor comes clomping over Garbage Gate in those sneakers made of cement and wood that wake me up stomping across the ceiling at 2 in the morning.
“Yeah, I’m coming,” he says. He leans down to collect one of the cats and that’s when Dog leaps with all his 65 pounds, taking my arm with him, slamming my wrist into the corner of the lounge chair.
“Ohhhhhkay,” I say. “Inside.” Defeated, I drag Dog with my busted and bleeding arm toward the door.
“Aww, you don’t have to put him inside!?” Neighbor protests. Because that’s the best he can do, I guess: expect me to sit outside listening to his friend talk about himself while the both of them shower me with dirt with every movement and my dog tries to eat their cats, so that he won’t have to feel bad for being inconsiderate and annoying.
I want to scream WHY DON’T YOU GO FUCK YOURSELF or MAYBE YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR GODDAMN CATS INSIDE HMMM or MY COFFEE IS FULL OF DIRT FROM YOUR PORCH AND MY ARM HAS EXPLODED or something but instead I say nothing and take the dog inside.
All I wanted was a few peaceful moments to myself, a few moments to feel like I’m not being dragged under the wheels of life, but instead I got dirt coffee, a cut on my hand, and a bump the size of a walnut on my wrist.
I know I’m the royal idiot for thinking there could or would be any kind of respect for peace and quiet in a city where everyone is stacked on top and on either side of everyone else. I’m the dumbass for thinking maybe the neighbors shouldn’t, oh, let their cats outside, or build things over our heads on nice weekends, using circular saws and other noisy power tools as we sit below with our guests, our plates of barbecue getting showered with sawdust. I’ve given up on being able to be outside as they grill above us, scattering ash all over our heads with every movement. I’m the asshole for always being aware of the noise of their feet, their slamming doors, their cats knocking shit over at all hours of the night, the noise of their stereo, their friends coming and going, shouting in the vestibule as if the door next to them doesn’t lead directly into someone’s living room. I’m probably being really short-sighted in not realizing how much noise I contribute to the situation: the dog barking, me screaming at the dog to shut the bleeding fuck up, running the blender at 6am, slamming cabinet doors in frustration that there isn’t one single cookie to be found anywhere in the house.
I’m an asshole, I know it. But I just want to go somewhere for half an hour where nobody is making some kind of bullshit noise or dumping crap in my coffee or doing something dumb like putting a pile of trash between their cats and my dog.
Anyway. I went inside and waited for them to leave, then came back out. Now there are two drunk bums having a screaming fight in the alley behind the garage, one of them insisting YOU DON’T LIKE MY FACE HUH YOU DON’T LIKE MY FACE and the other screaming DON’T SAY SHIT TO ME, DON’T SAY SHIT TO ME MUHFUCKER while they run and slam into each other over and over. It is called Alley Sumo and I guess it’s better than dirt coffee and cat wrangling.
Barf Hoes, bounce your ass and let your knees touch your elbows
I wish you would just take a minute to watch Bad Girls Club on your television. Because you’re probably smarter than me and will make some kind of scientific study out of it. Basically the idea is that a bunch of hot young girls inhabit a house in some heartless city somewhere. The house is full of two things: egg whites and liquor. They are allowed to leave once each night to go to clubs and get more liquor. They drink a whole lot and lie around in bikinis and then fight and barf everywhere. It is pretty much just the Fight & Barf Show.
Last week, the chosen target for the week got too turnt up at the club and puked contraband chicken noodle soup all over the bathroom. The big fight for the week was the fact that she straight up left puke in the sink and all over the floor, and was hollering about how IT DON’T MATTER IT AIN’T THAT BIG A DEAL BITCHEZZZZ and all the other bitchez were like “you nasty” and yelled at her and stuff until she wiped it up with a paper towel and was like Y’ALL HAPPY NOW, HOES? The hoes were happy, but then they had a meeting in the kitchen over some egg whites and decided they were mad now and there was a fight in the back of the limo the next night on the way home from the club. All of this, from the full barf scene to the screaming to the wiping-up of the barf to the fight in the stretch Hummer, was on film. Meanwhile, there are about a thousand people with cameras and a bunch of huge security guards around to break up Lady Fights and stuff. I bet there’s also someone around to clean up the broken glass all over the floor, because if there’s one thing these women like to do, it’s throw dishware on the floor to make a point. They also like to ban each other from bedrooms by tossing each other’s stuff into the hall and then throwing their mattress on top of it, so that like, they know they’re kicked out of that room, there can’t be any mistaking it. No, Khym, a tornado did not come through here and suck up all of your stuff and leave it in the hall. See how your bed is out here too? Yeah, Jaimee and Mylysza want you to sleep somewhere else.
Sometimes I watch this stuff and I can’t believe we’re lucky enough to live in a time when all some people have to do is drink and hit each other with stuff. I mean think about how in the Middle Ages you could have died on your way out to the poop trench in the middle of the hay field. You could have been stabbed by marauders or (more likely) frozen to death on your way. Now all you have to do for a job and to fulfill basic human needs is live in a house with a bunch of other people and let someone film it. Oh, and be super hot, I guess. And wear a bikini. And flush someone else’s makeup brushes down the toilet as a matter of principle or something.
If you punch enough people, they make you leave the show. Then they distribute a photograph of the replacement Bad Girl to all the Bad Girls in the house. They talk about how fat and ugly she is and decide that no matter what, they are NOT going to like her. She shows up and endures about a week and a half of everyone telling her she’s ugly and fat and stupid and throwing her shit down the stairs and urging her to kill herself, and if she survives, one or two Bad Girls decide she’s not really all that bad, and they end up staying up all night with her, drinking some kind of nasty pink lemonade flavored booze and crying about dead friends from fifth grade or something, and the next morning there’s a huge rift in the house because of the new friendship. “Jazmyn swore she wouldn’t try to be friends with Nhatylie,” one of them will whine to the camera. “Like, why you gotta lie? I can’t be friends with no fake bitch, nuh uh.”
Anyway. I’m thinking of applying to be a cast member on the show. I’m going to win because I’ll smuggle in a ton of anti-anxiety meds and just basically pill out and sleep 24-hours a day, through all the screaming and dish breaking and hair-pulling, and eventually I’ll be the last one standing, er, sleeping. That solves my job search issue, because where else am I going to find a gig where I can just sleep all day?
I just want to mention before I send you out into the world to enjoy this content that it’s on Oxygen. They have this to say about their programming:
Oxygen Media is a multiplatform entertainment brand that targets young, multicultural women. The network’s relevant and engaging content reflects how real women with real stories see the world – vibrant, optimistic and bold. Oxygen is the destination where women can come together across multiple platforms to have fun and encourage each other through their individual and collective journeys.
It’s helpful to note that Vybrint, Optymystyc, and Bhold are the names of the next three Barf Hoes to join the Pukefight House in Vegas.
I don’t know why I told you any of this but I hope you enjoyed it.