So There are like 150000 metric shit tonnes of mosquitoes in Houston right now, and I was walking to work today, swatting them away, one flew right down my throat. It was not what anyone would call pleasant. So after trying to hack it up for like 5 minutes I give up, and continue on, still swatting them away. This guy comes out of his house and is carrying a can of Off and offers to spray me down. He starts on my front, and when he gets to my back, he says “Holy Shit” I ask if there are a lot, and he says that I “don’t want to know” Now that’s reassuring…
When I was very young Ben White Blvd. in Austin was an actual road. It had stop lights, intersections, even a Dunkin’ Donuts. I even rode my bike across it and back to school one day because I was trying to avoid the students on my bus (who had previously convinced a substitute bus driver that I shouldn’t be allowed on the bus, the same afternoon that the worst windstorm to hit Austin tore through. While I was being needled with rain on the walk home, the wooden fence in our backyard was flying through the air and wrapping around a boat.) Anyway, the important fact here is that Ben White Blvd. was no longer an actual road, but had become, by this point, a highway that crevassed it’s way through south Austin.
The other important fact is that the Cat of the house was Roger, who was smoky black in colour, and the kind of impossibly fluffy that made you unsure exactly where he ended and the night sky began.
The Sun had long ago set by the time the documents were ready. A cohort of my father had some files that needed to be picked up from (what was at the time) far north Austin. So my mother, older brother, younger brother and I were going to take a quick road trip to go pick them up, using the newly completed SH 71 revamp. We piled into the van (Aerostar, midnight blue) myself in the front passenger seat as I was already the tallest in the family, older brother behind me, and younger brother behind him. We turned on the radio, and off we went.
Part of the allure of the trip was that Mom had offered to stop along the way and get ice cream. which was, thankfully only about a mile down the highway from our entrance point. As we entered the Highway Valley it did feel like the scene in the original Star Wars where Luke is flying down the trench, so we sped up and over to the fast lane before moving back to the exit for ice cream. We pulled into the drive through, and orders were placed (three ice creams and a coke,) and while I was putting the straw in my drink, my older brother asked if anyone heard a cat. My younger brother could, so I turned off the radio (always louder in the front) and could hear it too. There was definitely a cat nearby, it almost sounded like it was in the car. We looked around as the drive thru attendant came with the first two ice creams. Then I had a thought.
During the day Roger would often perch on top of the van, it being the highest thing that wasn’t a tree (he was not fond of trees,) and survey his mighty kingdom. (The cats in our neighborhood clearly had a hereditary monarchy, and the previous King of all Surveyed was Roger’s Grandfather, my cat Tiger.
So I opened the door, stepped outside, and turned to look at the top of the van. There, Pudgy cat arms hugging the luggage rack for dear life was Roger. He looked at me, his eyes huge, and made a little whimpering mew.
I gently released his paws, and cradled him into the van, where he spent the rest of the trip walking around the cab telling each of us, in all the detail that can be expressed in his cattish vocabulary, of the exact nature of his experience.
It took a while, but eventually Roger returned to the top of the Van, but if we ever got near it he would make a mad dash for the ground, and the bushes beyond.
felt like I bob-ombed it, but we’ll see. When I feel like I did well in an interview they usually go with someone else, so maybe it’s good to feel like I did poorly? anyway, will find out soon enough, gonna go get some Whataburger for breakfast.
(I do hope I get it, it would be a part time job that pays better than my old job at full time, and is in one of the best buildings at Rice. (the building with the coffee hot chocolate shop)