The old man wanted to take a day off but he knew there was no such thing as a day off. There were days out of work, days where you did not make money, but no such thing as a day off, really. Not for adults. Something is always on, something always going that needs attention. Bills to pay, work to do to make money, work to do around the house to make sure that the place looks the way he wants it to, cats to feed, a wife to work with…
Well, normally that last one is true but the old man’s old woman went out for a few days. Business out of town, so he has the place to himself. Which means the lights are lower, and the volume of things is lower slightly, but there is also less laughter and happiness. No one to tell things to after a long day at work, no one there to ask how the day was, she is not there to tell him of the goings on in her world whilst he was away.
She is managing, so he will too.
He sat in the darkened room relaxing to the sound of Frank Sinatra, summer wind, the scent of coffee lingering around the house. He hears the cats chasing each other around, and smiles. Looks behind him, sees them fighting, gets a cat toy and tosses it at them, the small plush toy landing on the smaller, older cat, scattering the two of them.
He laughs at this, as the young fat one skitters past his chair and onto the top of the sofa, eyes ablaze. The older cat, waits for the young cat to go, and then saunters off to eat in the kitchen, like he always does after these confrontations. The old man sticks his hand out towards the younger cat. “Rah daaah, Rah daaah, calmness Rah daaah!” The cat sniffs his hand momentarily, hoping it might hold food. It holds none, so he shakes his head, and runs off to cause trouble and make noise elsewhere.
As the music changed from Frank to Nat King Cole singing, of all things “Smile.” The old man thought of his wife, and wondered what she was doing at that moment, and realized it didn’t really matter. So long as she is happy and safe, that’s all he cared about…
The pain that was sitting in his ankle kicked in again and stopped him in mid-reverie. He snarled a curt “Dammit!” to no one in particular and rubbed his sore ankle. The younger cat, who had since calmed down for almost 10 entire seconds was startled by his exclamation, and the young fat cat skittered off of his perch on the couch that he had just gotten to, and careened into the hall. The old man smiled at this, still rubbing his ankle “Calmness, Rah daaaah! I didn’t mean to startle ya! calmness” He wiggled his toes at the cat, who was instantly alert, ready to pounce on them.
But he wouldn’t do that, at least he didn’t think he would. But his feet were also not in a position for the cat to easily get to them.
There might not be days off, the old man thought to himself, but there are moments, and that is enough for him.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.