“Will this do?” you say to your stomach at three in the morning. “Can I go to bed now?”
“Just a minute,” your stomach says. “Have I had enough?”
I know what it’s thinking: too little, it’ll come back for more; too much it will churn out nightmares.
“Perhaps a little more?” says the stomach, looking up at me pleadingly like a cat.
“No,” you decide, “You can have more in the morning like normal stomachs do. Come on.”
“Where are we going?”
“Where do you think?”
And it follows you back to bed, shoulders a little slumped.
Tight-fisted , they are hard
as knuckles and spoiling
for a fight
as they tumble like marbles
on to the floor , little green foot-
balls begging me
to sink the boot in ;
even under the knife
they are tough
as nails covering themselves
in layers like Chinese
boxes or onions ;
they leap around
in the saucepan like
boxers’ fists ;
ten minutes later
I swallow them ; anything
The Cat inside me cannot settle.
“Do you want to go in or out?” I say.
She does not know.
She winds her way around my feet then nips my ankle.
“Okay, okay, I get it. You want food.
You always want food,”
I bend down, give her some leftovers
“You were only fed a few hours ago,” I say.
“No. Not croissants”, she says.
“And certainly not a banana. I’m not a fucking monkey.
I want Stone Baked Ciabatta Loaf with honey.”
She is anything if not specific.
But, of course, we haven’t any.
I drive down to the supermarket, my inner cat
Turning with anticipation.
I get home. Give her some.
She’s satisfied. And so am I.
We both flop on the mattress and have
an afternoon nap.
The cat inside me purrs.
You got to feel sorry for single white rolls.
Even in packs they can’t make a go of it.
Maybe they should take a good hard look
consult relationship experts like couples
on Married …
or search for roll-mates on Tinder.
There must be someone out there.
If ‘Baked Fresh’ doesn’t confer any advantages
I don’t know what does.
Even when consumed they die alone.
It must be a lonely existence.
The cat had just killed a canary.
Bad, bad cat, said the bird lover who was staying at my place for the weekend.
Easy, I said, Remember what happened at the restaurant last night when you ordered barramundi for the first time and complained it was too fishy?
Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi for being a fish as to castigate a cat for killing a canary.
What’s the first word you’re going to forget? The first word that’s going to slip through the sieve in your brain?
The name of your partner, child, grandson?
With me it was an item of food.
A breakfast food we eat once a week on Wednesday. I knew it began with ‘c’ and that it was a French-sounding word like ‘croutons’ but it wasn’t that.
I could have asked my partner but I didn’t want to embarrass myself.
I did not want to acknowledge that ‘the forgetting’ had begun.
Then after a week it came to me in a flash, like the click of a thumb. I wrote it down on a pad with a marker pen just in case but I needn’t have bothered.
Now I enjoy my croissants that little bit more.
I saw it advertised in the local rag.
‘Bonsai Show’, it said.
It was a tiny notice. I had to squint to read the details.
The hall was rather tiny.
I squeezed through the entrance almost knocking my head
against several light fittings on my way in.
It looked like a huddle of hobbits around the bonsai which
were unusually tiny.
“They’re not fully grown yet,” a volunteer offered.
Like many of you, I felt like saying but bit my tongue.
The Club President gave a haiku-sized speech for which
we were all grateful.
I mingled for half an hour indulging in the small talk until
refreshments were served.
There were pies, pasties and muffins from the ovens of Lilliput.
“Would you like a short black?” the serving lady asked.
“Any chance of some wine ?” I said.
“Sorry,” she answered, “It’s in very short supply.”
I had had about enough of pint-sized jokes.
I couldn’t wait to get outside in the big, bold world.