never (lilmissnever) wrote,


Everything that is left of my cat is in a little pine box decorated with a plaque labeled "Ada." It came with a couple of pieces of paper with Ada's paw print on them--I remember rolling my eyes and asking them not to do that--and some poetry. I haven't read the poetry. I glanced at it and whatever primitive part of my brain recognizes bad poetry kicked in and prevented me from understanding whatever was written there.

For those of you keeping score, Ada has been dead since the beginning of June. Her remains have been in that little box for about a month. And while it is true that I have been traveling (is there ever a time when I am not traveling?) I could not bring myself to park in front of the fancy vet where J and I had spent so much money, where we brought her in for tests and surgeries and we worried about her bladder stones and her inflamed kidneys and her pancreatitis. She was so skinny when she died.

I do not know what to do with this box, but I have picked it up and held it and did not cry too much. I am relieved that I had enough emotional resilience to do this thing and a little embarrassed that something so simple should be so difficult.

The next day I got up and went to the circus school in Oakland and I rigged my own tissu for the first time in many months. People who had not seen me since late last year greeted me kindly and asked for legal referrals. I thought that I would be embarrassed because it has been some time since I have been up in the air. I have been hiding at the Very Serious Circus School, taking conditioning classes with the tiny, perpetually-disappointed Russian woman who reminds me of my mother, convinced that I could not show my face among my peers until I had my one-arm hang on the rope and my break-beats back.

I climbed and I climbed and my beats are not that great and I don't think I have a straight-arm straddle-up right now. My forearms hurt and my shoulders are sore now, but I am still comfortable twenty feet up in the air, upside-down and spinning. My body will not do all of the things I have come to expect of it, but I have come back once and I can come back again. It all comes back and no one cares that I was gone, no one is judging me for my fumbling hands and lost shoulder strength. Well, maybe they are--maybe they're silently judging--but it doesn't matter. They're my shoulders and no one else's.

I have spent my weekend doing all of the things that are scary and hard. I am not sure that anything gets easier after this, but I am relieved these things are done.
Tags: adventures in mental health, aerials, cats, death

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