So today I decided to strap on our Baby Bjorn, and look who jumped in . . .
Everyone, this is Maxine. Maxine, this is everyone. She’s been with me for about 10 years and what you should know about her is that she’s crazy. But unlike the rest of us, she has an excuse.
When I first moved to Tuscaloosa, I lived on the wrong side of town. In the apartment next to me lived . . . I have no idea. There were about 47 people who randomly came and went, and I was never able to pinpoint exactly who the tenants were.
There was also a mangy black cat that hung around and begged those 47 people for food. She was not exactly their pet. She had no hair on her head, scabs covering her ears, and about 10,000 fleas. You think I’m kidding. When she sometimes wandered over to my apartment to try her luck with me, I would duct-tape a ruler to the end of an old comb so that I could “pet” her without having to douse myself in gasoline.
So, anyway, one night I was sitting on my porch feeding Maxine, and one of the 47 random dudes came over.
“T’sup, man?” he said.
I smiled at him the way you would smile at a person you suspected was on meth.
“So you’ve met Drug Kitty?” he asked.
“Who is Drug Kitty?”
“This black cat here. We bring her inside sometimes and give her acid.”
“Wow,” I said. “I’ll have to try that sometime.”
Of course, I did not try it. A few weeks later I also decided to move before the apartment next to mine exploded. In the wee hours of the morning, I took everything I owned and crammed it into the backseat of my 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage. You’ve seen cars like this before, right? Stuffed so full of books and clothes and CDs and dishes and food and laundry that you fear they’ll collapse? Well that car was mine. I was not sure I would have room to drive. But after I finally got the back door to close, I surveyed the situation and decided there was room for one more thing.
And into the sunset we rode.