You’ve heard of Dr. Seuss’ the Cat in the Hat, right? Well, this morning I saw the cat as a hat on the train. I did. Really. Just moments before it happened, my eyes were barely open. I’d already swept the train a few times looking for suspicious activity. All seemed normal. So I made myself a little more comfortable in my seat. Two stops later, I had to force myself to stop wondering why someone would wear a tank top with no outer wear on a morning when the temperature is below 50 degrees. Why was I concerned anyway? Her face was glued to her phone, and whatever she was watching gave her great pleasure. She was fine. I needed to let her be.
By the next stop, I’d withdrawn my attention from external things. It wasn’t quite a meditative state, but it was as decent as one could expect considering my surroundings. I wasn’t even thinking about work yet, and that was an accomplishment. Even Nanowrimo seemed to be off in the distance, over there to the left of wish I’d never made up a character who likes to fight. What do I know about fighting?…
At the next stop, there was a mad dash for the vacant seat in front of me. This was normal activity for my morning commute on the train. So I wasn’t particularly moved by or interested in all the movement or energy focused on finding an open seat. Then I saw what looked like a cat in ripped jeans atop leggings with ankle boots, and she was carrying luggage, too. My eyes widened to get a better look, but I was trying not to stare. I had to admit that I didn’t understand it. It was the 7:45 am train. Where could this cat, let’s just call her Sheila–where was Sheila going outfitted as she was at this time in the morning? She couldn’t be a student and despite the luggage, I didn’t get the sense that she was headed to the airport to jet off to some far away place.
You had to be there to get the full effect. Sheila’s cat was purposeful. Perhaps she drew her inspiration from Nicki Minaj. Clearly she wanted attention. She kept fixing her hair and fidgeting around trying to draw attention to herself. It worked. I began to wonder if she was on her way to an audition for a play or dance. She had to be. She just had to be, looking the way she did with that cat sitting on her head and the long tails dangling on either side. Wherever she was headed, she was certain to be the center of attention.
As I exited the train, I looked one last time to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t. Sheila was real and so was the cat sitting on her head.
Day 15: 29022 words