The thick rubber entombing their faces makes it difficult to understand what is being said.
I stand there at the precipice, and gaze upon the hidden world of the elevator, now revealed to me.
I let personal circumstances interfere with my attendance. My situation is stable now.
2002(?) — 2019
Last week I had to say goodbye to my best friend. Stranger and I were together for nine years. The last four were a struggle with cancer. When I first met Stranger she was so small that I thought she was a baby. She’d been hanging out outside neighbors of my dad’s out in the country. According to them this area, near the woods of the Boy Scout Camp, was a popular drop off sight for unwanted pets, and they speculated that her owner might’ve died and then the person’s family didn’t want her. Stranger emerged from the shadows of that dark night, quietly approaching me. She seemed to be asking to be my cat, my friend. She sniffed me out for a while and then I picked her up and held her in my arms for the first of a million times.
When I took “the baby” to the vet they informed me that she was not a baby, that she was about 7 years old, that she had already had babies of her own and had since been spayed. Dad saw the disappointment in my face, and asked what’s the matter, you wanted a virgin? It wouldn’toccur to him that I was thinking about how this meant I would have to say goodbye to her sooner.
That first night she laidon my chest in bed, and I told her that if she could just get through the plane ride that I would always take care of her. The plane ride was traumatic, and she must’ve felt like she was being abducted, but she made it and I kept my word.
Stranger was a mystery. I would always ask her who she was and where she had come from. She wouldn’t answer of course, she’d just look at me with those big, wide saucer eyes. I don’t know anything about her life for those first seven years except that someone must’ve taken real good care of Stranger because she turned out to be the sweetest cat I’ve ever met—always cuddling up on my lap, chest, neck, or directly on my head. She loved to go outside and soak the sun into her soft black fur. In the evenings she would rub her face on mine until my glasses would come off and then rub some more. In the morning she would lick my head. She always knew when i was upset, and would give me love when I needed it most.
When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, the vet said she would only live a few more months. when I fell apart on the floor, crying please don’t leave me, she kissed my face and tried to reassure me. SHE was worried about ME. She proved the vets wrong of course and lived 3 more years. I tried to be a good friend. I tried to give her everything she needed and take care of her as she got sicker and drifted further and further away.
Last week was very hard. Today I threw out a medicine bottle that read Stranger Edleman, and fell apart again. I don’t really know what my purpose is now that I don’t have anyone to love and take care of. And I wish I had taken more pictures of her. If you know me in real life and have any pictures of her, please send them, especially from 2010 to 2015. And please don’t post anything snarky. I’m in a lot of pain and can’t take it.
In the jungle there’s a parasitic fungus that penetrates the exoskeleton of ants. It grows inside their bodies, eating the ant from the inside. Soon the ant is as much fungus as it is ant. Once inside the brain, the fungus modifies the ant’s behavior, making it leave the colony and climb to a leaf overlooking the colony’s path where it grips a leaf with its mandibles to secure a sniper’s perch. After the ant starves to death up there, a stalk emerges from the ant’s brain. The stalk even knows which direction to grow in order to best position itself, before erupting and raining spores down on the ants below.
Sometimes I think a similar parasite has infected humans, one that uses mind control to ascend specific individuals to great heights where their behavioral and idealogical influence rains down on the public.