talking

On the Train

Before she left for work in the morning, she would think of what he would say to her on the train.

They were strangers. She had been sitting in a seat meant for two and pressed her body close up against the sticky walls of the train. She didn’t normally like to be close with people on the train, and she tried to avoid conversation with most commuters. She didn’t like strangers prying into her life, with only 15 minutes till her destination arrived she found it pointless to try and become friends with anyone. Who knew if she would ever see them again?

He was different. He commuted the same way as her, but got off at the stop after her, the last stop. As she was pressed against the train’s side, he walked onto the train. His clothes looked like they were taken off a mannequin, with a blue button-up tucked into his slacks neatly, like her mom used to do for her in elementary school, right before picture day. Hair mussed slightly, he looked like a baby chick with its new fluffed up feathers peeking up on its head. His dirty blonde hair fell close to his eyes, and he pushed it out of the way as he boarded the train and searched for a seat.

She knew there were other seats on the train, but he chose to sit next to her.

He politely asked, “Can I sit here?”

She moved her bag aside and inched closer to the wall.

“Sure.”

He plopped down beside her, too close, and handed his ticket to the conductor. Turning to her he said, “Do you ride all the way to the end of the line?”

The rest of the conversation was idle chit-chat. Where are you working? How do you like the town? This weather is crazy, right? Even though she knew it was silly, she couldn’t stop talking to him. She didn’t even know him.

That’s why she woke up in a hurry every morning, heart racing, and made sure she never missed the train again. She never knew when it would be the last time they would talk on the train.

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Sleeping with Lions

I am constantly amused and, in most cases, distraught, at the way my cats behave at night.

I have probably mentioned several times that I have two cats. Florence is only a little over a year old, and Zooey just turned one year.

Cats are nocturnal, which is rather unfortunate for any human who wants to get a full nights sleep. Dubbed house-cats, they certainly have not lost their wild-animal behaviors. They go on the prowl, snoozing all day and stalking at night. The use their fangs and claws, to show they mean business, and they are always ready to save me from a dangerous ant or fly.

They nap a good 16-20 hours a day, sleeping in hidden locations so they cannot be seen by other predators (the vacuum and brush being a common threat).

Then, at night, the hunt begins.

To start, Florence will be napping in her usual 11 p.m. location, which is either one of our couches or under a desk. Zooey comes to wake her partner-in-crime up, typically by going into the kitchen to get a snack before their late-night escapades.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can't they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can’t they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

Upon hearing this, Florence wakes up, does some pre-romping yoga and will typically trot around until Zooey is done.

And, just when I think everything will be normal, just for once, they start.

They chase each other back and forth, from the front of the house to the back, clambering into anything that may have gotten in their way. They run up and down the stairs; thump thump thump thump THUMP and then launch themselves around the corner to do it again.

Then they roll around. Zooey will pounce on Florence, and Florence will lunge at her like two lions fighting for the last bit of zebra. As they tussle, toss and turn on the floor, they meow and hiss and growl–and then stop for a brief moment, just to lick each others fur out of their toes.

It’s all good fun, for them at least.

I’m glad they like playing together, but if they could understand human-talk, I would plead, “Do you have to do this at 12 a.m.?” I snuggle into my bed at somewhere around 1 a.m., hearing silence that I have been longing for. But then, Zooey decides to go to the “watering hole,” which in my house is either the leaky sink or the fish tank. This makes more noise, either the clanking of dishes in the sink or the glub glub glub of the fish tank filter being unplugged.

Zooey also picked up a wonderful habit, which includes leaping from a chair and latching onto our hanging basket plant. If I didn’t fear the safety of the plant and ceiling, I would say this Tarzan move is hilarious.

Although domesticated and living in the comforts of our little abode, I can say these felines will never truly lose their wild side. The question is, when will my lions ever let me have some rest?