Now it’s on.

Lately I’ve found myself thinking, “aw man, if I had an iPhone, I’d get a picture of that!” whenever I’m in the presence of something pretty, weird, or pretty weird—forgetting that I have pre-camera technology attached to my face, and I have free sharing software in my brain.

Somehow I think I’ve let myself forget one of my favorite things about me: my compulsion to randomly jot down the minutiae of the daily.  (Hold up: I just found a way to use “me,” “myself” and “I” in one sentence. And that makes me glad.) Bummed that I can’t snap an instant photo of something, I forget that I can describe it almost as instantly, and share it just as effectively, with words.

Reading The Moviegoer for the second time, I find I appreciate Binx Bolling’s meanderings and musings much more than I did as a college student. I had no patience for his descriptions then. I wanted the Instagram. But now I find myself longing to meander. Longing to have something in mind that’s worth musing about.

Thinking about this post, I heard the “click…click…” from the start of Grandaddy’s song “Now It’s On” in my head as I imagined clicking photos. So I looked up the video, and realizing I’ve never seen it, I took a minute to watch the whole thing. (What an extravagant internet choice, watching an entire video, start to finish.) I’ve loved this song for almost a decade, and now I love the video, too. (If you have an affinity for twinkle lights, stuffed animals or anachronistic dudes in giant hamster wheels, I have a feeling that so will you.)

Cat lady.

I’ve been feeding this stray cat for a few months now. I suppose he’s no longer a stray, really, then. He’s sort of my cat. My cat who has never let me touch him, though he’s warmed to me considerably since those first encounters. (Warmed: he’ll stay on the porch when I open the door, vs. bolting across the yard if I look at him. Only recently he’s started to meow at me. Warmed.)

He’s skinny and black & white with the adorably Hitler-like facial coloring around his kitty mouth that has earned him the name of “Kitler.” (Cats-that-look-like-Hitler. It’s a thing.)
As far as I know, he could be a she.
Like I said, we aren’t that close.

I feed him before I leave the house most mornings. He stays just far enough away on the porch to keep me from coming near. As I put down the food and walk away, he cautiously approaches. I say, “it’s okay.” I say, “I’m not going to hurt you.” I say, “I love you, Kitler.”
He cowers. He crouches. If I get too close, he runs. This is our routine.

(Pause.)

Today I saw the movie Beginners at the Moxie, with my friend-turned-boyfriend-turned-ex-boyfriend-turned-friend. (The savvy reader might reply, “which one?” Shut up, savvy reader.)

I used to love romantic comedies. Many a high school hour was passed sighing along to When Harry Met Sally. You’ve Got Mail. Notting Hill.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve developed a taste for what my parents call “Moxie movies”: the melancholy, atypical romances like Eternal Sunshine. OnceLars & the Real Girl.
But always in a glass-half-full sort of way: where love wins and it “works out”…even for quirky, flawed characters who dress in thrift-wear.

Now I watch a movie like Beginners—with themes of love & loss & death, where the protagonist chronicles past relationships and their expiration dates, with no wide-eyed hope that something better will come along—and I will myself to become more comfortable with the idea that sometimes the girl goes home by herself at the end of the movie.
She says hello to her cat(s) and she faces a Sunday evening alone. Alone, alone. Not without friends, not without family, not without work to do, not without fun to be had. But alone, beneath all of that. With plenty of quirky, flawed storylines behind her, all of them ending the same way.

No “don’t cry, Shopgirl, don’t cry.” No last-minute interrupted wedding. No almost-midnight-on-new-years Bill Crystal speech. You aren’t Meg Ryan. You aren’t Reese Witherspoon. You aren’t (thank god) Katherine Heigl (I mean, who is her agent?!).

You are the girl who feeds the stray cat, with a sigh, “maybe someday you’ll love me.”