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Sick cat, Pimsleur

November 4, 2010

This morning I stepped into my hallway and smelled something bad. The cat had thrown up. She’s been throwing up in strange colors for too many days, pink and yellow. For a few hours, I tried to pretend she wasn’t sick. But she was lying on a hard chair with her paws hanging over the edge, looking messier than usual, quiet, cold and glassy. A few hours passed. She looked more straggly than ever and so I gave up and took her to the vet, who doesn’t know what’s wrong with her and gave me an antacid to grind up, as though any self respecting cat would swallow such a thing. I hate going to the vet. Now, I have written nothing all day and it is time to go pick up my son from school and drive a billion miles to violin lesson. In the few minutes after the vet, I read about buses and trains in Pisa and Florence and Lucca. April 1, the deadline for the book, looms. Every day that no serious writing happens makes me sick, sicker than the cat. The unnerving thing is how Italians will not speak like my Pimsleur Language System cds. I found this out last summer. If only some Italian would say, “Tell me, Maria, where is the piazza San Marco,” then I could say, “over there.” I suppose I could ask for the various numbers of beers that Pimsleur has had me practice. I want 2. I want 3. If I met someone named Georgio, I could ask him if he is free for dinner at 7 and if not 7 then 8 and if not 8 then 9 and if not 9 then 10. And then I can say, that is too late. I can say “some money.” I can say how much is the gas. I can read Dante. I can look out over the Arno. I can be glad to be free of the cat. I can remember that Mary only has ten years left to live in my draft. A chilling thought and a relief all at once.

One Comment leave one →
  1. alison permalink
    November 4, 2010 7:40 pm

    I don’t know a lot about the work that you do, Charlotte. It does seem hard and solitary. But I totally feel the “chilling thought and relief” that you describe and, having just gone to Paris with only 30 year-old high school French to help me, get that part too — so am sending you…something…optimism? Love? Luck? That all-American “fuck-it” thing? Something, anyway.

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