Coffee morning. Head hanging low, staring into brown water. Steam rising, crossing the threshold of nostrils and tickling the brain that refuses to wake. Exhale and steam scatters. Peering up from the coffee surface is a reflection– eyes, nose, a bit of forehead and little bit of cheek. A quick exhale, the coffee stirs and the reflection ripples. I do it again and think, “That’s what I would look like if I were made of jello.”
Quiet giggle, a shake of the head and then another small, savouring sip.
Cat, black, female, in front of the patio door. Nose almost pressed to the glass. Crouched so low she is almost one with the rug upon which she sits. Ears laid flat. Tail curled tight to her body and unmoving. The yellow of her eyes almost completely replaced by the blackness of wide pupils. Oh so still. No motion at all to give away her presence. And then the involuntary shuttering of her jaw and a jittery, low yowl issues forth. The bird resting on the patio lattice remains oblivious to the cat’s company. Its head twitches about, looking at everything except the feline hunter only a few feet away.
The cat stutter yowls again and the tail twitches once. She’s every bit the instinctual hunter and yet I know the truth. Months earlier when a mouse was in the house she chased it, cornered it beneath the living room chair and then simply sat down and watched it. A great hunter? Nah. The instincts remains but the predator has grown soft in her domestic life. I don’t mind. In the bed at night, she snuggles in tight behind my legs.
Somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00am, in a corporate van far too big for one individual, even one as tall as me. The exterior sterile, forgettable white. The interior an unassuming gray. At a stop light. Riding higher than the people in the cars to my left and right, the makes of the vehicles and the appearance of the occupants not unique or striking enough to make a lasting impression. Immediately in front of me another vehicle I also now can no longer recall. An older man driving. Older because of grey in his tight curls, noticeable despite the distance and the two glass divisions between us. Two young women– possibly teens, possibly Asian– as passengers, one in the backseat. The driving (correction: currently waiting) man caresses the face of the young woman in the passenger seat with two fingers, a casual gesture that suggests an intimacy to my watching eyes. Her response isn’t noticeable from my perspective but she does turn her head in his direction ever so slightly but then faces forward once again no more than a half breath later. Music from a homemade CD spinning in the van’s CD player acts as a soundtrack– Keep On by DJ Champion. It’s loud. The deep, repetitive beats drown traffic sounds and cause my head to pump perceptibly in rhythm.