Streetcars, cats, and crickets

What with the holiday, this week I worked at Black Sheets on Tuesday instead of Monday. Nothing to report about that. Same as ever, I shredded junk mail, filed paperwork, filled orders, and enjoyed the porn.

Here's news, though: I rode Muni's marvelous new F train to the Castro and back, before and then again after work. Four rides. The F-line is a great idea — they've taken some of the oldest streetcars in the fleet, vehicles long since out of service, wiped off the rust, tuned up the engines, slapped a fresh coat of pain on 'em, and now the antiques roll up and down Market Street all day, every day.

The F-line's streetcars from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s will probably be the most reliable vehicles Muni has. Things built back then were built to last, and with proper maintenance you simply start the engine and the wheels on the trolley go round and round.

Meanwhile, according to an article in the newspaper a few days ago, Muni's brand newest buses are lemons. They're being towed off the street about once every 300 miles of drive time.

♦ ♦ ♦

Whoops, I forgot to put the cat out when I left for work this morning. She's not my cat, though she thinks she is, so it slipped my mind. Evidence suggests she's been scratching to get out of my bedroom all day – old newspapers that had been piled on the floor are now scattered all about. And she left a shit on my blankets.

This isn't the same cat I've mentioned before, notorious for shitting wherever it wants but never in its box. This cat's never shat anywhere but in her box before, but since there's no litter box in my room, only the other kind of litter, all is forgiven.

There are three cats here in the house of Judith:

• Dorothy is Judith's own cat, a black thing that's nice enough.

• Morpher is Joe's cat, and that's the cat that pees on shoes and shits on the carpet. Legend has it that Morpher once peed on Joe's head, though I can't quite picture how, and I haven't asked.

And then there's Elton, a black and white, very friendly feline that purrs like a tribble. I'm not sure which of my flatmates thinks he or she owns Elton, but Elton owns me. She sometimes claws at my door, craving affection, so I let her in and stroke behind her ears.

Not counting me, Elton is the only animal allowed in my room. Sometimes she curls up on my pillow, and unless she starts knocking trash off the table in the middle of the night, she's always welcome to sleep over. Maybe I'll even put a litter box in my room.

Today, she left a fresh mini-muffin on the corner of my bed, right where I'd usually sit to kick my shoes off. Glad I saw it before sitting and kicking.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

And then there came a high-pitched sound, like falsetto yodeling. When it didn't stop after half a minute, I listened to the fan — does it need WD-40? Nope. Tilting my ear all over the room, I've decided the sound is coming from up. There's a cricket on the roof, just outside the skylight, with a very loud, ceaseless chirp.

Can't see it, but can't stop hearing it. It's been chirp/yodeling up there for hours, and I could almost grow accustomed to it, except that it comes and goes. The cricket takes road trips? It's quiet for ten minutes, then loud for ten minutes, then two minutes of silence, fifteen minutes of chirp/yodeling.

Nature is a marvelous thing except when it isn't, and this isn't.

I've tried scaring it away with broom whacks on the skylight glass, but it keeps coming back. It's keeping me awake like a drippy faucet. 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

OK, damn it. The cricket woke me at 1:30 Wednesday morning, but with earplugs and an extra fan roaring extra loud I was able to sleep until sunrise. I can even hear it down the hall, the sound coming from someone else's skylight. Several rooms have windows to the stars, which is usually nice, but with crickets chirping above every skylight, it's like a Roger Corman movie.

From Pathetic Life #16
Tuesday, September 5, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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