Wednesday, August 03, 2005

About a half an hour ago, I leant close to the cat Lucky's ear and whispered, "Tell me about the future."

Far from uttering a word, Lucky merely looked at me, wide-eyed, in something like terror and walked quickly away. If nothing else, this proves that cats do have the gift of foreknowledge.

I went to the horse track on Monday for my mother's birthday. It was dull. The prodigious spaces of time between races were filled with only fine cheese for diversion--the menu featured little for the vegetarian. The best was a plate of cheeses and fruits, intended to accompany wine.

I've taken a book with me to all family functions of the past couple months--my cousin's wedding, a party for (I think) another cousin--but my mother gave me to understand that I was not to bring a book to the track. This, so that I might at least credibly feign enthusiasm.

The second brick on my chest was that I was to feign so after only four hours of sleep--I'd had to drive my aunt to the airport at 5am.

At one point, my sister asked if I was feeling all right. I felt slightly irritated at her asking me that question in front of my mother, as I was sure she knew there was only one possible answer I could give; if I was fine, I'd say "fine." If I wasn't, I was still going to have to lie and say, "fine." I explained this to her when we were alone and she said she hadn't known. Maybe it hadn't occurred to her, but I wasn't seeing straight. Anyway, she had her revenge when, later, my mother was saying we'd stay only until the sixth race and my sister begged to stay for all eight. And so I spent five hours sitting, intermittently giving in to the temptation to rest my eyes.

There were, however, a couple of very nice looking female horse-riders (not jockeys, I don't think, as they didn't race and only road alongside the race horses when they were being presented), and that is sort of a fine thing for a pervert like me to see.

I was wearing my usual black felt fedora and it seemed to capture a special notice among the employees, who perhaps associated it with the classic image of the track. At one point, an old security guard came to our table. He abruptly started to chat casually with us and explained, seemingly by way of idle conversation, that he was seventy four years old and a professional bounty. He mentioned that Mafioso, sent from the east to hide out, often wore hats like mine. He asked me if I was Mafioso.

He asked like someone who seriously wanted to know but wanted it to come off like a jocular thing. But I'd also just watched the 1932 version of Scarface the night before, so maybe it was only my sleep-deprived fancy. Though, you know, it's probably hard being a bounty hunter at seventy-four, especially if he also needs to work as a security guard.

And, wouldn't you know, it's time for me to sleep again. I'm tired of my body requiring food and sleep.

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