Friday, March 6, 2009

Mice will play

Chris is away and the cats and I are going to the dogs.

Mickey is drinking from the toilet bowl and I'm substituting ice cream for the other major food groups. There's a thin dusting of animal hair on every surface and the cats have taken to stalking me around the two and a half rooms of the apartment, even balancing precariously on the side of the tub as I take a bath. Like ballet dancers they make surprisingly loud thuds as they bound around. Mickey is particularly lacking in grace. Perhaps it's all those extra paws.

I was thinking about inviting my writing group to join me and the pusses at my apartment sometime, but was dissuaded by last night's meeting. It was in Midtown, in a fancy building complete with an officious doorman and snide neighbours. Inside the apartment however, it was like a veal lorry. Hot, panicky writers were crammed onto every surface. There was twenty-six people squeezed into a space that would have comfortably held half a dozen Dollshouse dwarfs and the heat was becoming intolerable. I crouched by the door in my sticky black sweater-dress and jeans and tried to write. Because of some power outage or other it had taken me a full hour to get there, and now I was stuck on the opposite side of the room from the coke and pretzels. Quel nightmare.

After an hour of writing there was cake and compulsory introductions. While I was waiting for my turn I started looking over the bookshelves next to me. What joy! The apartment owner had the biggest collection of romantic self-help books I'd ever seen. There were titles to conjure with - 'You have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs', 'Why all the Good Ones AREN'T Taken', 'Dating, Mating - and Cheating' - and a whole college of doctors, psychologists and PhDs. All at once I lost interest in the intros game and wanted everyone to leave so I could improve myself in peace. As a serial monogamist, the dating habits of humans fascinate me every bit as much as the mating habits of egrets presumably fascinate mad old Bill Oddie. Here, I sensed, was the single New York female in her natural environment. I could almost feel myself sprouting Manolos.

Then I noticed something strange. Something worrying. Amongst the other titles there were two different paperback copies of 'The Surrendered Single'. At once I jerked my hand back away from the shelves. Taking on a passive feminine role so that a "marriage-minded man" will woo you? What the fuck would Carrie say?

As soon as I've done my spiel I sneak out the door and away from the heat and surrendered females. The cats welcome me with blank feline stares and nose pointedly at their food bowls. Maybe they're just not that into me.

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