A young girl with her cat sitting in a baby buggy at the Civic Centre.
Mrs. G. spent today holed up in a cheap hotel, where she napped, soaked in the tub, napped, wrote, grabbed dinner and is now preparing for for an early bedtime. Every four or five days, her mouth needs to rest; she needs a down day. One of the many advantages of a down day is that she can move at her own speed and blog without pants the way God intended.
Tomorrow, Mrs. G. will tell you about the 9-1-1 call she made last week because she was convinced a yellow plane was targeting individual cars on the freeway and her's was next.
Tonight, she will describe her experience at a rest stop in Nebraska. It had been a long day, and when Mrs. G. pulled into the rest stop, she got out and stretched her body. While stretching and audibly groaning with pleasure, she noticed a woman walking a cat on a leash. Now if walking a cat on a leash isn't a conversation starter, Mrs. G. doesn't know what is. The cat was black with white socks and her name was, conveniently, Socks. Socks seemed to be enjoying the walk. She didn't look like a meatloaf being dragged around by its owner like many of the cats Mrs. G. has seen "walking" on a leash.
As Mrs. G. and Sock's owner were discussing Socks, the leash and their individual travel routes, Sock's owner asked her how she liked the drive so far. "I am really enjoying this drive through Oklahoma. It's stark but lovely," said Mrs. G. Sock's owner reached out and touched Mrs. G's arm, kindly but with intention, the intention of auditing just how many bats Mrs. G. had in her belfry, and said, "Honey, you're driving through Nebraska, not Oklahoma."
"Oh, right, I knew that. I just have a lot of stops and my brain is slightly fried from road fatigue," Mrs. G. laughed. "I'm heading across the U.S. to meet up with a lot of my friends from the internet. We call each other Derfwads."
Sock's owner suddenly said her goodbyes and fake casually walked off. It was obvious that she thought Mrs. G. might be bonkers or a serial killer or the most godawful rest stop combination ever: a bonkers serial killer.
Mrs. G. was a little sad and disillusioned. After being in the car for hours, she was enjoying a little human interaction. Plus, she was a little miffed. Yes, she had misidentified the state she was driving through but, let's be real, this woman was at a rest stop walking a cat on a leash. She didn't really have a leg to stand on in the I'm less out to lunch than you department.
Mrs. G. waved to Sock's owner when she drove away, determined to repair the initial connection that had inspired their orginal conversation. Sock's owner didn't wave back. Her loss. Even now, days later, Mrs. G. struggles not to call her a judgmental harpy because maybe she was just a scaredy cat walking a scaredy cat...or your average, run of the mill ass. It's really had to say.
Almost as hard as being rejected at a rest stop.