This guy popped out of nowhere after 30 or so years just when I needed him most.
He looks like a dapper old cat, but what you can’t see … what he’s hiding behind his back … is his secret weapon.
And exactly what I need right now.
A pencil sharpener.
It’s hard to explain exactly why I found him where I did (inside a personalized pink plastic container holding personalized pink hair ribbons), but I’m not one to question serendipity (okay, I am.)
It just so happens that I’ve been desperate for a good pencil sharpener lately.
If I had my choice, I’d get a vintage one from a 1950s midwestern schoolhouse and hammer it into my kitchen wall — BANG BANG BANG — but those guys seem to be going for big bucks on ebay and anyway I need mine to be the travelin’ type.
And this dandy cat looks ripe for travelin’, don’t you think?
He needs to fit in my handbag, the one holding a heavy spiral bound notebook with a hard cover decorated in mandalas.
I’m writing more by hand these days, you see. Not because I want to. (Frankly, I prefer the feel of a circa 2005 keyboard against my rapidly tap tap tapping fingers. I also covet the ability to quickly delete the last thought I just had. See? I just deleted a thought you will never know.)
But because I’ve accidentally become a poet: a compulsive stringer together of words. And poets (potentially the most compulsive artists of all) need at their side a means to satisfy their urges.
A computer won’t do. One needs to get down words with haste.
A smartphone won’t either. My thumbs are too thick, too clumsy. “Bogus” accidentally becomes “booger.”
If only I had a secretary by my side. … the cat would surely do if only he was alive.
“Please, kind sir, take down this line,” I might say to the cat if only he could lift his hand away from his orange man purse and take dictation. “No, strike that! Change compulsive to inveterate.”