I’m taking suggestions today.
My idea: Write about cat nicknames.
There is something about being in love with a pet that makes me make up extra names for them, as if one isn’t enough. I start with my favorite cat, Frances, and list all of her nicknames: Frances Bean, Bean, Beanificent, Bean of the World, Beanini, Beanaroo, Ultimate Bean, Mutie Toes, Perfect, Little Baby.
She responds to Frances or Bean.
Most of my cats will answer to more than one name. Wilhemina is also Tiny. Fergus is also Doodle. Lola is also Bitty.
I stall out, bored by my own idea and now bored by my cats’ many nicknames. There’s no slice for me here.
My husband’s idea: Ignores my text.
My mother’s idea: Good grief! You can’t be serious.
That’s not actually her idea for what I should write about. That’s an expression of the pressure she feels when she’s asked to supply me with an idea for a blog post.
We have a bit of back-and-forth where I explain what I’m looking for.
Just look around the room and give me an idea for something to write about.
There is a very long pause before she texts back. Plenty of time for me to imagine what she’ll suggest. The wild turkeys she can see through her picture window. The squares of her new quilting project that are spread throughout her dining room. Wilhemina (aka Tiny) (who is seriously the least tiny cat you will ever see)
(she is absurdly, grotesquely fat, and no amount of dieting seems to take even an ounce off of her) (and, Mom, I am sorry for outing Wilhemina on the Internet as a fattie, but this photo does not lie) is probably napping nearby. And I know there are books stacked beside her, behind her, books spread all over the floor.
And then her text comes.
Movie lines used as secret code. Eating the same boring food over and over. Boredom: chronic and life-threatening.
Here is more meat than I imagined.
Movie lines are the secret language of my relationship with my mother, and now they’re the secret language of my relationship with my son. I like the topic very much. There’s a slice there. But it seems hard. Like it would require new thoughts. Better words. Application. Actual writing. Ugh.
Eating the same boring food over and over. There’s a piece there too. Why do humans have to eat so often? Why isn’t there a food pill we can take, for at least one meal each day? Do astronaut packs really taste that bad? Wouldn’t it be easier to just dispense with lunch altogether? Or maybe have breakfast three times a day? My mother is now dairy and gluten-free so I imagine her foods are even more boring than mine. At least I have bread and butter and cheese.
Boredom: chronic and life-threatening. Isn’t that what this Slice is all about? The chronic and writing-life-threatening boredom of my own slicing thoughts and ideas and words as we begin the final week.
My son’s idea: Write about how much you love me.
He’s never read my blog. He doesn’t know that everything I write is about how much I love him.
My husband’s ideas: (Finally texts back) Sorry I missed this earlier.
The superhero delusion of teen boys vs the miraculous fact of human perpetuation
Query into how many feral cats can live in a garage
Elaborate explanations to our missing rabbit population other than cats in the garage
If all animals were the size of cats or dogs what ones might be best pets
Honey I’m going to walk the elephant!
Look at the giraffes snuggled up on the pillow.