Valentine’s Day and Romantic Films That Don’t Suck

happy-valentines-day-2Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day? All the romance and intimacy; sharing tender feelings with your significant other over candlelight dinners. The flowers, the jewelry, sexy lingerie and Hallmark cards that cost four bucks apiece…

Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day?

Me. This girl. Right here. Just like all the other single people in the world, February fourteenth is just another day in the week for me. I don’t have to think up meaningful gifts, plan an outfit to wear to the fancy restaurant, or shave my legs for the obligatory sex at the valentines-day-2014-messages-for-facebookend of the night. But my sad and pathetic social life means that I have the time to do things like write this article for the benefit of those who are not sad and pathetic. I’m a great humanitarian- what can I say? But before I get to the advice part I thought I’d give people a little reminder of why we celebrate this so special day.

Oh, and anyone wondering why someone single should be giving out any kind of relationship advice can shove it. Thought I’d clear that one up right off the bat.

Despite the accusations of the loveless and cynical, this holiday wasn’t invented by the flowers and greeting card companies: more like the Romans and Christian church.

Every February 15th the Roman’s held a festival called Lupacalia to celebrate Faunus, the god of Agriculture, as well as commemorate the founding of Rome by the twins Romulus and Remus. Priests went to a sacred cave and sacrificed animals, then ran around the city slapping crops and young women with whips dipped in the blood. This was to ensure both the women and the land’s fertility and in turn, the prosperity of the Roman people. Then during the 5th century, pagan celebrations were outlawed by the Christian church. But not unlike the holiday Samhain (aka Halloween or All Saint’s Day) the church realized cupid-with-red-roses-valentines-day-clip-arthow much people enjoyed these naughty Pagan traditions and so instead of struggling to stamp them out, decided to place a Christian celebration right on top of it. This way the people could keep doing all the fun stuff without being sacrilegious and the church could retain popularity instead of being a huge buzzkill. So at the end of the 5th century we have Pope Gelasius declaring February 14th the day of Saint Valentine, who was some Saint of some kind…no one really knows which because there were three. Though the origin stories of these saints named Valentine or Valentinus are all unclear and have become more legend than fact, we do know that all were martyred and some had a loose connection to love and sacrifice that appealed to people’s sense of romance. By the Middle Ages St. Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France, where it was also believed that the middle of February was the start of the mating season for birds. This forever cemented the association of fertility, love, romance, and mating with the feast of St. Valentine on February 14th.

Christian Church-1, Pagan Festivals-0.

It wasn’t until after the 1400s that written St. Valentine’s Day greetings became popular, but by the 18th century it was a common occurrence across all social classes in several countries.  The first mass-produced Valentine’s Day card was created by Esther Howland in the United States sometime during the 1840s and according to the Greeting Card Association an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. Also, there is an actual Greeting Card Association. These greetings, given along with tokens of affection like flowers and sweets, evolved to become the frenzy of spending and inundation of cutesy teddy bears, roses, hearts, and all things red & pink today that we’ve come to know and loathe, I mean love.VaentinesDayCupidOn top of leaving you more educated and full of fun facts to impress I’m also offering my assistance in an area that has become not only a Valentine’s Day tradition, but a staple in the entire dating/relationship world: the date movie.

Ever since the creation of moving pictures, people have sat through shit that they didn’t really want to and pretended to like when the really didn’t in order to make another person happy and possibly get lucky. I don’t want to stereotype all women and say that this is my list of suggested alternatives to traditional chick-flicks in order to reduce the suffering of men nationwide…but basically that’s what this is. Obviously there are the rare and exceptional exceptions such as me to the preconceived notions of how women think and what we like, but for the sake of this article let’s just go with the conceptual majority and argue over the prevalence of girls who prefer explosions over expressions of love some other time, ok?

If you’re worried about what horror show of cheesetastic love stories and films starring Sandra Bullock your girl will pull off of Netflix or drag you to the theatre to shell out 20-30 bucks for, why not take matters into your own hands this year? Here to help are my fourteen suggested chick-flick alternatives that feature unconventional love stories and unique characters that provide enjoyable entertainment while staying on-topic. I’ve divided them into five sub-categories based on their second most prominent element for those who prefer action over humor, sex over cinematography, and so on.

Weird/Artsy:

These three films each garnered acclaim for their special flavor of brilliance at Sundance, and while they couldn’t be more different from each other, the journey they take you on is a poignant and enjoyable ride worth watching and discussing at any time.

Eternal-Sunshine-of-the-Spotless-Mind-movie-poster-1020192924Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 108 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/?ref_=nv_sr_1

How much easier would life be if one could simply erase all memory of painful events? Sure our psychological scars are what molds our character and helps to define us as individuals but is it always better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all- and what if we could decide that? A top-notch cast that includes Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, and Kirsten Dunst explore the idea that our memory is the arch-enemy of our happiness.

larsandtherealgirlr1artpLars and the Real Girl (2007) 106 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805564/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Before he was a badass in Drive or melted hearts and panties alike despite a scraggly beard in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling convinced us that it really was possible for someone that gorgeous to be painfully shy and socially inept in Lars and the Real Girl. Not just a wonderful story about the transformational properties of love, this film is a testimony to the truism that a man can overcome anything with the help of a good woman; or even just the idea of a good woman.

06-wristcuttersWristcutters: A Love Story (2006) 88 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477139/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

In a strange, sad kind of Purgatory reserved for people who have committed suicide, a boy named Zia wonders what to do with himself and reminisces about the former girlfriend who broke his heart. When he discovers that she committed suicide not long after he did, Zia hits the road with his friend and failed rock musician Eugene in search of the lovely Desiree. Along the way he meets others living out their eternity in the same joyless way, including a pretty hitch-hiker named Mikal who claims her presence there is a mistake and is searching for the People In Charge to correct her situation. Darkly humorous with a sort-of tongue-in-cheek philosophical air, Wristcutters is an unexpected pleasure that will make you appreciate all the things (and people) in your life that are easy to take for granted. Patrick Fugit plays Zia and the lovely Shannyn Sossamon is Mikal.

Weird/Sexy:

For those of you who want something to jump-start your evening, so to speak, these are some films that you may not have seen that’ll give you a whole new point of view on the interconnections of love, sex, pleasure, and pain.

Quills_posterQuills (2000) 124 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180073/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Kate Winslet appears on my list again in this story about the amorous adventures of the Marquis de Sade while interned at an asylum. She plays the part of Madelein, a maid who secretly aids the Marquis in putting the debaucheries of his imagination down on paper in order to reach the public. Joaquin Phoenix plays the Abbott running the asylum with the best of intentions while Geoffrey Rush plays the original sadist. This story is a bit less focused on love and romance but remains a great story nonetheless. Or maybe I just have a sick mind.

Secretary (2002) 104 minssecretary poster

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274812/?ref_=nv_sr_6

One of my favorite films of all time, Secretary is the very definition of an unusual love story. Maggie Gyllenhal plays Lee Holloway, a lonely and repressed young woman who takes a job as a secretary upon her release from hospitalization. James Spader is excellent as her boss who secretaryerleads her one step at a time into a relationship few ever experience and fewer still can understand. It’s a window into the world of BDSM that’s far more authentic than Fifty Shades of Grey will ever be.

young_big_picYoung Adam (2003) 98 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289635/?ref_=nv_sr_1

People should see this movie if for no other reason than the fact that Ewan McGregor appears naked in it briefly. That is the nude scene is brief, Ewan is in it the whole time. In fact what I remember most about this movie is how much sex he had in it. He also manages to pretty much screw up the lives of everyone around him with sex as well, but he looks damn good while doing it (pun intended.) Probably for the best it was rated NC-17 eh? Tilda Swinton plays the female lead/person naked the 2nd most frequently.

Weird/Thought-Provoking:

I have no other way to describe these but feel like both deserve mentioning. Both films deal with the unfairness of life and the capacity each of us has for love, longing, heartache, and obsession. They aren’t your typical Valentine’s Day feature but if you don’t watch them now I recommend that you do at some later date and time.

Womb (2010) 111minswomb pic

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216520/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

When the love of her life is taken from her before they are able to even begin their life together, Rebecca decides to have him cloned. Where things get strange is when she also decides to be the one to carry and give birth to her love-clone and then raise him as her son so that there’s a freaky Norman Bates-esque quality to their relationship. Matt Smith plays Thomas and the Thomas clone while the beautiful Eva Green plays his love and his mom. Is it still incest if he’s not biologically related to you? Maybe I should email Woody Allen…

The Lovely Bones (2009) 135 minsLovely-Bones-Poster

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0380510/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The surrealism of living in the afterlife is portrayed parallel to the all-too-real grief and frustration of a family fractured by the disappearance of a child. The stark sadness of a young girl’s murder pales in comparison to the heartache caused by refusing to let go of what’s already lost. The story directed by Peter Jackson makes my list because it is a beautifully well-acted tale that will leave you with eyes welled up. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz play the parents of the victim while Saoirse Ronan plays Susie.

Weird/Action-Packed:

If you’re like me you might prefer a bit more excitement to your romance tales than the average love-story usually accommodates; if so, these suggestions are for you. Additionally they each deal with a form of the undead, which always makes love extra-fun in my opinion.

the_returned_season_1_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_The Returned

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2521668/?ref_=nv_sr_1

This isn’t so much a film as it is a French television series that aired on IFC but I felt compelled to mention it because I’ve never come across anything like it in all my vast experience with zombies. The strangeness and foreboding are matched only by the centrality of love in all its forms. It’s the story of a small town where one day, out of the blue, people’s deceased loved ones start coming home as if no time had passed since they had…well, passed. Some have only been gone a few months while others return to apartments that have new tenants and fiancés that have new husbands. I can’t say that I know any of the actors in it but they do a great job, and if you get through the whole season please drop me a line so that I can ask you to explain to me wtf was going on…

Kiss of the Damned (2012 version) 97 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959438/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1kiss-of-the-damned-review-2

A vampire movie where no one sparkles- so a real vampire movie- that was remade in 2012, Kiss of the Damned is a sexy, fun romp in the realm of eternal darkness. Paolo is a screenwriter who became entranced by a beautiful stranger while seeking isolation to focus on his craft. Drawn to each other as though it was meant to be, the mysterious Djuna is unable to scare Paolo off or resist him despite her (sortof) best efforts and so creates a partner/lover for forever. However their blood-sucking honeymoon is interrupted when her wild and unpredictable sister shows up unannounced. What could be more dramatic than a house full of tense vampires? Milo Ventimiglia plays Paolo, Josephine de la Baume is Djuna, and Roxane Mesquida is Djuna’s sister Mimi.

The Crow (1994) 102 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109506/?ref_=nv_sr_1brandon-lee-the-crow

Based on the brilliant comic book by James O’Barr and made into a real-life tragic love story after the actor playing the main character is killed in an accident while filming, The Crow is another of my all-time favorite films. Brandon Lee plays Eric Draven, a musician turned avenging angel after he and his fiancé Shelley Webster are tortured and murdered by a gang of thugs. His soul is brought back by a crow in order to “set the wrong things right” in this dark, violent, and moody tale that proves real love is forever.

Weird/Funny:

Everyone’s sense of humor is a bit different so I selected three films that couldn’t be more different from each other in nearly every way except for the fact that all of them are love stories.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 95 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845/?ref_=nv_sr_1hedwig pic

I believe the correct term for this film is “rock opera.” Full of catchy musical numbers, this film chronicles the life of Hedwig and her battle for fame, love, and acceptance. Angry and hurt that the boy she once believed truly cared about her became a rock star without her but with the songs they wrote together, Hedwig is bitter and cynical, keeping people at a distance and putting a strain on all the other relationships in her life. Other than the costumes and makeup and humor and scenery, by far the best thing about this movie is the soundtrack, which has never left my iPod. I dare you to listen to “The Origin of Love” and not think it’s brilliant.

Garden State (2004) 102 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0333766/?ref_=nv_sr_1garden state sundance channel dot com

I think Garden State may actually be my favorite movie of all time…I know I’ve said other aforementioned films are my favorites and I just told you how much I love the soundtrack to Hedwig, but this might be my one favorite movie and movie soundtrack of all if I could only list one. Zach Braff wrote, directed, and starred in this as well as personally selecting all of the music. This left him with very little money left in the budget for things like say, filming, but also earned him a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack album for a motion picture, television or other visual media. Braff plays Andrew Largeman; a quasi-successful actor living in LA who reluctantly returns to his home in New Jersey in order to attend his mother’s funeral. Shortly after the burial he meets Sam, played by Natalie Portman, who changes his entire view on life in only a few short days. The story is quirky and has a randomness to the way events unfold that goes well with its strange sense of humor. These surround a poignant and genuine-feeling drama that I believe nearly everyone can relate to on some level. Overall the tone of the movie manages to remain light even though the plot centers on a traumatic loss, and combined with the superb performances by the supporting cast members it is most assuredly an experience you won’t forget.

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) 98 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045772/?ref_=nv_sr_1I Love you pm pic

Another film starring both Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, I Love You Phillip Morris is by far the lightest and most humorous of all my weird/funny films. Carrey plays Steven Russell, a man who meets his true love, played by Mr. McGregor, while in prison for insurance fraud. Everything after that is wine and roses- the only problem seems to be his complete and utter inability to tell the truth. There are some wonderful tender moments, laugh-out-loud moments, shocked and scandalized moments, and plenty of coarse gay humor. I highly recommend this one for a great time and anyone who can appreciate a good sight-gag.

This extra list is comprised of films that most people have seen before and nearly everyone has at least heard of. They’re fourteen of your more your traditional V-Day movies but if you must go that route these are what I recommend as being the best options. (You might also want to keep them in mind in case your first selection from the list above crashes and burns with your viewing partner’s film tastes.) No synopses, no links- just some titles to keep in mind. I can’t do all the work for you, can I?

Last of the Mohicans

Titanic

Moulin Rouge

The Painted Veil

Black Swan

Knocked Up

Legends of the Fall

Warm Bodies

The Notebook

Untamed Heart

An Education

Sixteen Candles

True Romance

What Dreams May Come

2014-valentines-day-facebook-wallpapers1So instead of seeing Endless Love or Winter’s Tale, which both look stupid, stay in and save your money for more important things- like comic books. And remember: if your bf or gf asks you to watch any part of the Twilight “saga” dump them post haste and run like Hell.free-clip-art-of-valentines-day

Your Bitchy WMD Valentine,

Dianthrax

Sources: the internet movie database, history.com, SundanceChannel.com, movieposters.com

In Memorium of My Beloved Sabrina: A Tribute Video

My cat Sabrina died on Sunday April 15th.

This was what I wrote about how I felt at the time (with some help making my point,)  It’s also a photo collage that I assembles, did some editing, played around with, dug up old photos for…you get it.

Then finally there’s a video tribute to her that I’ve been working hard on. It seemed important to get done for some reason…and it helped me not cry all the time by requiring me to focus on some internet work-like stuff.

But this is what’s been going on with me- why I’ve been such a slacker with my posts when I have so much I wanted to say. Now I just try and get through each day- one day at a time.

Anyway, I hope you like the tribute. Or at least the video. It was all made out of love.

My mom and I had been in Fresno and decided to come home Saturday night instead of Sunday night, otherwise I would’ve just found her dead. As it was I came home and she had been sick all over the living room. She came to the door to say hello to me as per usual, but when I fed her she couldn’t make it to her dish without limping. I brought the dish to her and figured it was a sore hip- arthritis, you know? She was, after all, about 15 years old.

She ate and once again I told me mom that I think someone thing’s wrong with her- that I thought she was sick and needs to go to the vet. My mom’s replay is that she’s “just old and sick and probably going to die soon.” This had basically been her reply every time I’d brought this up over the last few months regarding Sabrina’s deteriorating health. My mom wasn’t a big fan of pets- even though with my sister’s help, SHE was the one who picked out Sabrina because she had liked cats. She’d even made a few comments about her just “hurrying up and dying already” even though she knew it really upset me and pissed me off.

Somewhere along the line after my mom rescued her from the shelter, Sabrina became my cat. Everyone says they don’t know why, even though I’ve explained the reason why I think it happened that way.

Because I stayed up her first 5 or 6 nights in a row with the pathetic little kitten bed my mom made & expected her to sleep in, all alone, out in the cold living room up in my bed with me. I curled my arm and my comforter around her so that every time she woke up at 2 or 4am crying and freaked because she’s just a baby and suddenly in some unfamiliar place away from her siblings, I was right there to show her she wasn’t alone- that someone was protecting her and watching over her. I’d soothe her back to sleep no matter how long it took, even though I had to be up and go to school the next day. I explained this and still everyone complained about how I didn’t even pick her out- that I wouldn’t even go to the cat shelter to pick out the one we wanted (which they took to mean I didn’t care.) Part of that is true- I really didn’t care which cat they came home with; I knew I’d adore her and somehow I just knew that she was going to be mine.

Sabrina was an amazing cat- unlike any I’d known before. She wasn’t afraid of anything; she could sound as fierce as a tiger and she made sure no other cats dared to venture into the yard of our old house- it was her turf. I’d seen her make dogs 10 times her size turn and run.

You know those news stories about cats that save their owners by going all feral and crazily attacking a full-grown bear or some other large predator that wandered near the house and the attack is so swift and startling and frenzied that the bear ends up running away from the house-kitty? That’s the kind of cat Sabrina was; she had a wildness that never went away and I carry my scars with pride.

That doesn’t mean that she was in any way vicious or unfriendly or mean- quite the contrary. She was sweet and friendly and never once scratched or even put her ears back at my little nephew while he was running around, desperately trying to pet her. She loved being touched and cuddled and would scent-mark (rub her cheeks against) my face and neck and fall asleep right in your lap, purring up a storm.

Sabrina was so different, too. She loved rather than feared water and while I took baths she would push her way into the bathroom to walk around the edge of the tub and swipe at the water or sniff the bubbles or sometimes just sit there with me like she was reading over my shoulder. She loved to play and I bought and made toys of every type imaginable. We had these little mini-tennis balls- slightly smaller than a ping-pong ball and not terribly heavy but with a bit of heft to them. I’d roll or send them bounding out of the room and Sabrina would go tearing after them. Then a minute later she’d come trotting back with it in her tiny kitty mouth like it was no big deal, and drop it in my lap to throw again. I swear it was just like a dog playing fetch only without all the nasty slobber.

She was indoor/outdoor and needed to run and be free and patrol the surrounding area looking for fights (actually she mostly stayed in our front & back yards. Anyway…) but every night she always came inside. This is because inside is where the food dish lived, but even if it wasn’t time to come in or if she was already in the house and just hidden away in some nook somewhere, no matter where she was or what she was doing if I called her she always came to me. She only did this with me.

We had a language of purrs and chirps and meows and high-pitched tones that only she and I understood. I know it sounds stupid and you probably think I’m nuts for thinking I could speak cat. My family didn’t believe me and thought it was stupid too…until I stood in the driveway and showed them that at any time of day no matter what, if I called her she came to me every single time. That was why she never slept outside; I called her in to go to bed and she came up and got in with me. I could only demonstrate that part of it, but I knew by her meow if she was hungry or thirsty or hot or cold or bored and wanted to play, even when she wasn’t feeling well. I knew she had something wrong with her before we took her to the vet and she told us she had worms.

She knew how I felt too. When I was crying she came and wouldn’t leave me alone- kept jumping into my lap or on my stomach no matter how many times I pushed her off and told her to go away until I gave in and let her stay, and her cuddles and purrs always calmed me down and stopped my crying. When I was really depressed she’d do the same thing, and when I had surgery on my abdomen and was in a lot of pain she jumped up on the arm and walked along the back of the couch to get over to me and lay by me on my pillow. She went completely around my whole midsection; something she’d never done before, to get to my chest and neck for cuddles. It was awesome.

She was so special; my first cat.  She was there for me for so much that I don’t think people understand what losing her has done to me.

For one thing I’ve never experienced grief or loss like this before. It’s like every second feels like I want to throw up all of my insides while tearing my skin off and screaming! I’ve been numb for so long- I don’t even remember the last time I really truly felt something with all of me. The closest feelings of happiness or joy I have like that are the births of my nieces and nephews, starting to seriously date someone I really like, and going to Comic-Con (before it go all lame and insane.) Those are probably some of, if not the only, happy times I’ve had, yet parts of them still don’t feel the way I remember joy is supposed to feel. It’s not supposed to have a dark haze around the edges like some fog-covered unreality that’s going to turn dark like the contrast on a screen at any moment. Is it? I remember a time when it didn’t.

Then there are these feelings: grief and loss.

I am totally not prepared for this!

Treating my depression with something as radical as ECT scared the crap out of me and I lost so, so much because of it. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve lost and what that’s done to change me and the plans I had for my whole life. How I’m still discovering side-effects or ways in which my original side-effects have distorted aspects of my personality and life and daily living. Unless you’ve been through it, no one will ever understand what that damage does to a person.

Yet I’m here. And believe it or not this is considered better. The Novocain has worn off- I’m not numb to all of my emotions and the beautiful gift we call “living life” anymore. I feel everything.

I FEEL EVERYTHING!!

It’s not like going from black and white to color- it’s like going to a world made of fluorescence and neon signs so bright it makes your eyes bleed! People’s cruelty or insults don’t hurt my feelings- they devastate me! Oh, and I discovered that I have one Hell of a temper!  I want to rip everyone to shreds who pisses me off! I want to ruin the lives of the assholes that hurt my friends, and I want to yell at my family for expecting me to do everything they want when they don’t know a Goddamn thing about me!! When they’ve poisoned me and could’ve killed me more than once because of their ignorance and laziness!

I want to yell and scream at my mom for sitting in her room watching The Lakers and doing nothing while I’m curled around the body of my dead cat on the living room floor, crying like I think I’ll never stop!

I was numb when my grandparents died and I loved them very, very much. But I was in the middle of my depression and I couldn’t feel anything like my sisters could. I had to create and read the Eulogy for my Gramie and I read it without so much as a tremble in my voice. At first they said they were impressed with my composure, but when I tried to explain how I wasn’t inconsolably upset because I couldn’t be- I just couldn’t feel it.- they called me a heartless freak. Because I never cried in front of them I didn’t love her as much as they did. Do they have any idea how very much I wanted to cry and hurt along with them?! How desperately I wanted to feel sadness for the loss of someone I loved so much?! I have a disease and that is a symptom- that’s what it is and I have no more control over it than a Diabetic does over his own damn insulin production!! Aren’t you supposed to have some fucking understanding for people who are sick and suffering?? I was so hopeless and sedated and miserable and being punished for it.

No one even knows how many times that cat had saved my life. She seemed to know when things were the worst with me and she’d jump in my lap and wouldn’t leave me alone until I lost my window of opportunity or changed my mind.

“Who would take care of me once you’re dead and gone?” She’d look at me with little angel face and seemed to say “Don’t leave me here with these people; I’m your cat dammit!”

Knowing my family she’s probably end up at a shelter or something, never getting adopted, eventually put to sleep- just like me. She didn’t sign on for that. How could I look in her big green eyes and condemn her to death? There were times when I came close, but I never could. She loved me and saved me and last Sunday I couldn’t do that for her when she needed me to.

I feel asleep on the couch and after a bit noticed her nosing at the edge of it, but she couldn’t jump up. By the time I reached for her she was under the table a few feet away where she likes to sleep. So I dosed off again and didn’t think much of it.

When I woke up an hour or so later to get some water I saw her lying on her side by the sliding glass door, mouth open, panting a bit, but her chest barely moving. I dropped my water and went over to her and started petting her and talking to her- and I saw she wasn’t panting, she was gagging. I lay flat with my face near hers and she tried to meow and roll when she saw me, but only the faintest of sounds came out and she couldn’t roll. I started crying. I yelled “help!” several times to my mom but she was watching basketball in her bedroom and either “didn’t hear me (fucking unlikely) or just didn’t care or want to be bothered by/deal with it.

I lay down with my cat and told her I loved her and petted all her favorite spots: her soft chest and ears and forehead down to the bridge of her nose and cried the whole time. I kissed her and stayed right next to her and saw her beautiful green eyes disappear behind huge black pupils. She made one last gasping sound and then she stopped moving. My beautiful Sabrina just lay there staring at nothing. I tried to close her eyes but I couldn’t do it.

I stayed right there, just like that and cried like I don’t remember crying in years. I don’t know how long we stayed with me holding her to me like that but it was long enough for her tiny body and its soft grey fur to get cold. I remember my mom looked at me from down the hall very briefly. She saw us like that and said “Oh no.” Then she walked away. She walked away and left me there, going from her bedroom into mine and a minute later her usual cheers and curses that accompany a Laker game on TV resumed.

She also stepped over both of us in order to get through the glass door to go outside. Bitch.

I can’t remember crying like this- hurting like this.

Oh God- I can’t fucking take this!! I take it all back- I want to be numb again!

Please make me be numb again- I can’t handle this neon-green grief that burns and burns and fills me up with bile until I want to cut my insides out and pull them onto the floor so I can stomp them until there’s no feeling left inside me!

My head aches constantly from all the crying and congestion and my eyes feel like they’re alternately going to burst out of my sockets with the pressure, or wither up and dry out like crusty, puss-covered raisins. It’s not right for one person to cry so much and to make these sounds! Keening and gasping, this choking broken sobbing sound can’t be coming from inside of me, or any human being for that matter! Why won’t it just stop!?

我想昧耳,昧心,變石頭・我想昧耳,昧心,变石头 !

 


I can hear my baby kitty’s least breath playing in my head over and over and over like some horrid broken record. It was a death-rattle; an actual, real-life death-rattle. I’d heard about them and read about them but never actually heard one, you know? It’s that last shuddering breath dying forces out of the lungs of someone you love while you watch the light just go out in her eyes. I’d read and heard about that too; seeing the light leave a person’s eyes as they die. Well now I know what it looks like; that exact moment when she goes from seeing you and looking up into your face right there- right fucking there in front of her– to suddenly seeing nothing. It’s just a silent, blank stare that will never see anything at all ever again.

She died right by the doorway- I have to see it every day. I can’t go to sleep at night without seeing it. I’m going to sleep alone forever and the night before she died I was too fucking lazy to pick her up and put her in my lap when I noticed she couldn’t jump up in it.

The last night I would have had with her and I was too tired and rejected her.

I’ll never get over that.

My lungs are on fire and I’m coughing, curled up in bed taking basically a Soma holiday and trying to forget the world. It’s not too hard- my mom isn’t really speaking to me. She didn’t even say goodnight the other night. My sisters each sent a text saying “sorry about your dead cat” the day it happened. Then a day after that I get a picture message from one of them of this Hello Kitty cake she baked with her new pan she just bought online and my other sister and all my cousin’s ooo-ing and aahh-ing over how cute it is. Hoo-fucking-ray for you Mel! A Hello Kitty cake is EXACTLY what I want to see right now! Maybe you could make it grey instead of white, put Sabrina’s name on it, and then all the kids can make like Chris Brown and smash it!

Be sure to take a picture of that and send it to me.

I literally have no one so I turned off my phone. Why bother when no one has anything decent to say? My closest friends are atheists and while I know they care about me what are they going to say that would make me feel better in even the slightest way? “Sorry your cat died and your whole making-a-headstone-for-her and having that little funeral service thing you’re planning is foolish because there’s no God and no afterlife and she isn’t chasing butterflies in some iconic cat heaven; she’s just ceased to exist”? They’d never say that but I know what they’re all thinking & what they believe and there’s no comfort to be found there. Sympathy, sensitivity and love- but no real solidarity or understanding. Which I don’t hold against them and I’m still unendingly grateful for each one of them that I have in my life. They are my real family.

I don’t know how to design this stupid headstone! Doesn’t a person ever freaking run out of tears? Christ…

You see, this is what happens whenever things start to go ok for me for a while; when the other shoe finally drops it lands on & kills my fucking cat!

 

Sabrina- you were a perfect example of the best kind of cat anyone could ever hope to have for a pet. I’ll miss you every day. This is for you:

R.I.P. Beana