The other day I walked into a vintage clothing store filled with cats. There were at least ten of them, living around the massive piles of clothes, clothes packed in so tightly that you could barely see anything. The place was located in a rough part of town; two of the windows were knocked out of the place like gaping teeth that had been boarded up with box remnants. When I walked in using a very tiny side entrance, I was greeted by a fake kitty meowing, an alarm system of sorts, and several of the real kitties swirling like eddies around my feet. I fell in love then and there, but my companions were less than enamored by the smell of cat urine and mounds of old clothing. A tiny woman came out of the back room and told us that there would be more clothes next week. Where, whispered one of my companions, would she put it? She had a kind sweet face and when she returned to the back to sort more clothes, she talked into the eerie silence of the store to the kitties, telling them about each garment and how she planned to mark it. Hi Fluffy, she said, this dress is a zebra print from the sixties, I overheard her say in a lilting voice that could break your heart.
There's an old joke about two types of children -- the one that gets the pony for Christmas and starts looking around, saying, There's a pony in here so there's got to be some shit somewhere and the other kid who gets a load of shit for Christmas and says, There's so much shit that there's got to be a pony in here! As is the wont in fairytales, I felt as if I'd stumbled someplace magical when I went into that store. I bought some earrings, and she told me that she'd have some shorts from the sixties out for display next week, although there was nothing about the store that lent itself to the kind of clarity associated with the word display. "They're homemade," she said. "You won't find anything in the world like them." Of that, I was certain. I walked out of the store into the gritty street where my companions had already set up camp, driven out by the cat smell. "Did you find something you liked?" asked one of them. "I always do," I said, but this time, unlike so many times before, I meant it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Writing is a process of dealing without knowing, a forcing of what and how." Donald Barthelme
Drinking short story suggestion: "Parker's Back" Flannery O'Connor (one of my very favorites)
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday! Go Pistons!