• csalisbury
    1.4k
    The thread about Cat Person reminded me I wrote my own (very) short story about a Cat Person a few years ago. Figured I'd share it here

    Cat Story

    At noon, I paused. I turned and took a picture of my cat. I let the cat out, then uploaded the picture to my laptop. My desktop wallpaper was an older picture, of a different cat. I opened up the new picture and changed the tone to sepia. It made the picture feel old-timey. I imagined my cat as a gunslinger in the wild west and laughed.


    From next door came the muffled sound of a classic rock station. All the hits, I thought. Gifts from our fathers, I thought.


    Cold light came through the kitchen window. There was still frost on the ground. A million frosted blades of grass. I imagined that I was the size of a bug and that I was walking through the lawn.


    I coughed once, held my breath, then coughed twice more in quick succession.


    The world is getting old, I thought. The temples have all crumbled. I imagined my cat as a scavenger and myself as a wizened druid, forgotten, squatting among toppled masonry. I imagined that my cat felt guilty because he was a scavenger. I imagined myself rising slowly, from behind a great stone block, and walking to him, offering him absolution.


    I poured some coffee and sat at the kitchen table, staring out the window. I could hear the neighbors arguing. After a while, the neighbors’ kids appeared in the lawn and began playing a halfhearted game of catch.


    I imagined that the neighbors’ kids were old eskimos and that my cat had put them on an ice floe and pushed them out to sea. The air would be cold and salty all at once. I imagined the salt clinging to their eyelashes as their bodies grew cold and their minds slowly evaporated into the icy air. Maybe, in their senility, they would imagine that they were their parents and begin arguing. I imagined them dying that way, arguing, as my cat stoically mushed his sleddogs back inland.


    I began to leaf through the pile of unopened mail on the kitchen table. A bill, a bill, some coupons, a letter from my brother. A postcard. The neon nightscape of Reno on one side, my brother’s sprawling handwriting on the other. He was getting married, he said. I know it’s weird to tell you in a postcard, he said, but I thought you would like the picture. She’s thirty-five, he said, and she’s been married once before. She says everyone has two great loves in them, he said, and that the second one is the truest. She studied theology, he said, but she is not a priest.


    I imagined that my brother was in AA and that my cat was his sponsor. I imagined them playing scrabble in a diner at night, drinking coffee and talking about how you have to take it one day a time.


    The neighbors kids had stopped playing catch and appeared to be trying to pick the lock of the apartment next door. By now the frost had melted. The older one, the girl, appeared to be frustrated with her brother. Her eyes were big and she was gesturing violently. I watched with satisfaction as my cat appeared from around the corner of the building and walked coolly past them.

    The vessels have all broken, I imagined my cat saying, and I alone persist.
  • Baden
    6.2k


    Needs a bit of an edit here and there in my view, but it's a lot better than "Cat Person" :) . I interpret it as the cat being the narrators' "magic" or free self that can roam outside while he is one of the "broken vessels", "the wizened old man", stuck inside. The magic self, the scavenger, can still get something from society whereas to him there is nothing of substance left out there "the temples have crumbled". The magic self is able to "stoically" handle the problems of the cold social world, such as the fact that kids lose their identity and turn into their frustrated parents. The cat/magic self alone persists as everything else false falls apart. The narrator then gets to have his cake and eat it; he can stay locked away from the world and remain morally suitably perturbed by it whereas his magic self can explore it unperturbed, and heroically (like a "gunslinger in the wild west" ) traverse its painful landscape.
  • csalisbury
    1.4k
    Needs a bit of an edit here and there in my view, but it's a lot better than "Cat Person"
    Well, the first draft ended with him texting the cat 'ur a sult' but I've grown a lot in the past four years. Now it's just implied that he thinks the cat is a sult (which he is.) Thanks for the feedback, and interpretation. It's funny - I wrote story about 4 years ago on a lazy day off work, drinking coffee and scrolling facebook. I've always been kind of fascinated by the 'flatness' of older's people facebook presence. Of course that's probably just attributable to their lack of familiarity with social media, but I thought it would be fun to do a story in the voice of someone who really was that flat (" 'all the hits,' i thought'' etc.) But then as I kept writing, it became a little stream of conscious-y and ---- I think your interpretation is dead on. It's basically a unintentional 'schizoid' self-portrait.
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k
    Revisiting this weird piece; I made the music.

    https://vimeo.com/187837105
  • Baden
    6.2k


    That's pretty cool :up: . Did you make the video too?
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k


    Thanks; no, just the music. The dancers improvised their movements within a short space on the walkway when no one else was walking; slowed down, I like how it makes the pedestrians almost part of the choreography, so I tried to accent those moments with the music. I could watch that footage over and over again indefinitely, regardless of any music. What's cool is that I think this collab highlights differences of philosophical perspective; the filmmaker is a self-proclaimed "Duchampist", which comes through in his approach to setting and direction of the dancers. But I'm not a follower of Duchamp at all, and what I saw in the movements was Kairos, as opposed to Chronos (Greek words for time; Kairos being the opportune moment when the divine "timelessness" cuts through into finite "timeness", etc). So, conflicting viewpoints working together to create something that creates the opportunity for yet more viewpoints.

    Edit: I love the guy's embarrassed smile around 2:10. A hardened New Yorker finally shaken out of his shell.
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k
    Ehhhh

    I "co-produced" this track, which means my dear friend Charlene wrote and partially arranged it, and then sent it to me for completion. I changed some song structure stuff, removed some stuff, and then added some of my own stuff. My only problem is that I did a rough mix, but was late on delivering a final (my fault), and so she had her other mix guy do a mix. The mix is not that great. Nuances are lost. Dynamics, especially. But I love her melody and lyrics enough that I can look past it (I guess). The emotion still mostly comes through. [headphones recommended, to pick up the nuances that are barely there...anyway...]

  • Posty McPostface
    4.3k


    Get's awesomely close to spiritual singing in some Arabic fashion at the halfway point.
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k


    Thanks! Isn't she great? I can listen to her sing all day; I'm lucky enough to have her singing on some tracks of mine as well, forthcoming.
  • Posty McPostface
    4.3k
    Thanks! Isn't she great?Noble Dust

    Superb, I would say.
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k


    Right? I had nothing to do with that section (vocally); her friend originally did it, singing a Mahmoud Darwish poem, but she decided to do it herself, and totally killed it; hearing both versions, her updated version elevated it to something totally different.
  • Πετροκότσυφας
    783


    I like! Both the vocals and the drones.

    Speaking of Mahmoud Darwish poems, here's one, in translation!

  • Noble Dust
    3.1k


    Oof. Thanks! Sadly I had more to do with the moments where the drones are broken by actual chord progressions; not because that's my thing; just because that's what the track needed, occasionally.

    Still listening to the Bass Communion shit I posted, because I'm a stickler. Will check out the Darwish poem asap. :up:
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k


    I like the poem. I mean this in the worst possible way, but the rhythm reminds me of the sort of stuff I write. This person seems to have a better sense of community, though. Translation is always awkward, but it's good.
  • Πετροκότσυφας
    783
    Oof. Thanks! Sadly I had more to do with the moments where the drones are broken by actual chord progressions; not because that's my thing; just because that's the what the track needed, occasionally.Noble Dust

    You mean stuff like the ones that are heard between 1:47 and 2:25? At any rate, I didn't mean to be that accurate. The backbone seems to be the drones (not even sure if the term applies, but that's how I categorise it), so by drones I mostly meant the instrumental part (as opposed to vocals).



    Yeah, I'm not sure how good it is as a translation, since I can't understand arabic, but I like it in this form nonetheless. I like the rythm too, although, I'm pretty sure it would be different in my head had I read it first and not listened to the recitation.

    The Bass Communion tracks is nice too. I had only listened to "Ghost on Magnetic Tape" before.
  • Noble Dust
    3.1k
    You mean stuff like the ones that are heard between 1:47 and 2:25?Πετροκότσυφας

    Exactly; those chord changes are mine. I was so inspired by this song though, because her melody so strongly suggests a chord progression; It's so rare to work with a vocalist so intuitive that he/she can just sing melodies that basically create their own chord progressions. So, with this track, I had the luxury of deciding how and in which context, if any, I wanted to highlight the chordal structure that she was suggesting, intuitively, with her voice. Thankfully, the way I did it ended up working for her; she agreed with how I heard it.

    The backbone seems to be the drones (not even sure if the term applies, but that's how I categorise it), so by drones I mostly meant the instrumental part (as opposed to vocals).Πετροκότσυφας

    Oh totally, the backbone of the track, in terms of emotion, is the "drones". But I think that the melody, especially the chorus, is what carries the track from point to point.

    I like the rythm too, although, I'm pretty sure it would be different in my head had I read it first and not listened to the recitation.Πετροκότσυφας

    Same; I don't know. Hearing the translation sounds really nice. I don't know what that means.

    The Bass Communion tracks is nice too. I had only listened to "Ghost on Magnetic Tape" before.Πετροκότσυφας

    Word. That's his big piece, for whatever that means. Molotov And Haze is waaaay better.
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