OtterSummer 8.45-Coda

coda
The OtterSummer ends as it began, with Crash the cat quietly crowding between The Muse and I to stretch and scream purr in the wee hours of a summer morning. I was already awake. The night before, the house had been filled with The Grand Otter’s packing clutter, so the cats understood that something was happening that would break their routine. The cats always know.

The last supper proved satisfying. The Muse declared the mystery resolved, that she finally understands who showed up forty nights ago and who has slept through the almost forty days since. The Otter ate more than she usually does before excusing herself to continue her epic packing, certain that she’d need another bag to hold all of her stuff. I volunteered The Muse as an advisor, since she knows how break the space continuum and squeeze anything into a single rollaway bag, though she gave up when The Otter couldn’t decide what she’d need left out for the morning. “I’ll help you in the morning,” The Muse muttered as she walked away.

I went to bed early, knowing that I’d sleep little. No pixie dust was sprinkled in anyone’s eyes last night. I watched unalarmed as the clock ticked down to alarm time, ready for the final passage. The Otter was already up, photographing herself in the bathroom mirror and sending the pics to her waiting friends on the other coast. The coda signals that the repeating theme’s finishing, that this will be the final iteration of this now familiar rhythm; this season’s melody.

Tomorrow, nobody but the cats will see three am around this place. Nobody except the cats will sleep past the crack of noon. Nobody, and I mean nobody, will drink those last few remaining swallows of cranberry juice in the basement fridge. I will no longer have one ear constantly cocked in anticipation as I move into another role identity. This will be the last OtterSummer piece I’ll write this year.

Whatever else happened over these hazy days, I found my voice again. Every singer occasionally loses theirs, and not usually from over-use. A voice seems more likely to squelch when uninspired than over-worked. I’d misplaced my anthem and could find nothing to crow about until The Grand Otter promised to come. Turns out that she didn’t need my attention half as much as I needed her presence, like an oyster needs his accommodating grain of sand to irritate his pearl into existence.

The Grand Otter’s still a little girl inside, like I’m still a little boy and The Muse perhaps the littlest girl in this bunch. Grandparents are good for remembering when, for recalling the sources of their Grand Otter’s unfinished parts. It’s more difficult for Grand Errants to remember their earliest years, since nobody’s left who’s ear was cocked to hear their nascent malodies. But we’re all little people inhabiting big people bodies, even when we don’t look that little to anyone any more.

Sometime during this OtterSummer, I was explaining to The Grand Otter how I hate rap music, though I have an under-appreciated gangsta side that few people have seen. She snickered. “Oh, no,” I insisted, “I can be one tough hombre when I need to be.” She snickered again, louder. I continued explaining like the nerd we both know me to be, and she kept on snickering.

Let this movement, this song, this OtterSummer end with snickers—cloaking lumpy throats—fading down the travertine walkway toward that waiting 737. We’re one tough crew here, you betcha.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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