What is worse than sitting in stalled 3mph traffic on a Friday at 4pm after your last day on a job that you quit because of the traffic? What is worse? What is worse is seeing a dead kitten between the lanes as you crawl by. And as soon as you glimpse it you look away because your mind wants to rationalize it as just a poor animal that got hit while crossing the road. But this is not a road. This is a 6-lane freeway with 8 foot walls on either side. And you fight your mind because you don’t want to face the truth that your mind forces on you. The truth which bubbles up with no tact, like a loudmouth at a party. The truth that somebody dumped their kitten on the freeway. It’s the worst traffic you’ve ever seen on your drive home and it’s on your last day like a sick joke to punctuate what you already knew and why you had to leave your job with the nice people. And you think about your 16-year-old cat who you had to put to sleep exactly a week ago last Friday and you’re overwhelmed again with grief. And now you are in traffic with nothing to do but cry and think about a dead kitten whose dumping, whose death, doesn’t make any sense. The traffic makes no sense. You are now above the earth, looking down at the slow snake of traffic and it has no meaning, no substance. It’s a small tidepool in time. The kitten has meaning, yet is gone forever. But the traffic never ends and you are now flying above it all, looking for a place to land.
When I arrived, people were being taken out on stretchers. Some were already dead. Women were fainting and children were crying. Grown men were falling to their knees. What is going on?? I thought. What the hell is happening? I walked around and at first could find no evidence of the source. Ambulances darted left and right, picking up people as fast as they could but they were still too late. Some people cried out. Others just moaned. One red-faced woman was madly fanning her husband, whose arched back was slung achingly over a curb. It hurt to look at him. He was unconscious. A group of small children were just staring, their eyes wide as moons. I turned to follow their gaze and that’s when I finally saw it. Nothing on earth could match my astonishment. It hurt to even look at it, yet you could not avert your eyes. So this is it! Finally, it was revealed to me what could be causing such a stir, such a flap, such an epidemic of unprecedented proportions. I twisted my neck further and further back to get a better glimpse of it. Then I regretted looking at it. Because what I was beholding was a creature who was absolutely, deathly, irresponsibly cute and it was a cat. The reason for all the mayhem, for all the death and fainting, was his utter CUTENESS. No being, no creature, no entity on earth before him had reached these levels of cuteness. I heard a bang behind me. But I could not take my eyes off him to look at the accident. He was just too cute. I was held hypnotized in the grip of his adorable-ness.
I heard more people screaming and being shuttled away by ambulance. I shuddered at the thought of them—it was hard to tell who was dead, who was alive. For who could survive this level of cuteness? It boggled the mind. It was more than any human could comprehend. It was like 40 mushroom trips at once. Who could withstand the extremely adorable face of this cat? He was the cutest cat on earth and his cuteness was taking its toll. This was serious shit. Every human was powerless before him. Hell, he had become a god in his cuteness. He had a power over the populace that no other animal had ever had before him, just by virtue of his cuteness. He was, literally, the cutest cat in the universe.
I miss you. I’m sorry I haven’t been around. I apologize for (seemingly) rejecting you these last few weeks. I’m sorry I haven’t made our usual appointments. The problem is, I’m forced to be inside a hermetically-sealed box 40 hours a week in exchange for money. I know that it’s a sour deal for you – and believe me, it’s a sour deal for me, too – but rest assured, I will make it up to you. I worship you and no stupid job is going to keep us apart. I see you have shown up every day for me. I have made an effort to meet with you for 20 minutes a day during my lunch walks (I only get 30 minutes and need 10 minutes to eat), and you are always highest on my priority list. I look forward to seeing you every day when I burst through the doors of that antiquated, sad place. Your power is infinite and I have the highest respect for you. I know we used to see each other every day and often for several hours a day. I’m working as hard as I can to make the current situation temporary so we can get back on track for our usual rendezvous’s. In fact, it is my life goal to become a self-employed, freelance designer so that you and I can be reunited once again. In the end, I do it all for you. Because in the end, you are the beginning and the end, you are the infinite source of all that is sacred and to reject you is profane. I will see you soon.