Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Night I Dreamt That Patti Smith Cut My Grass


I live alone in a very large home but I do have three tenants in my garage - a siamese cat and two generic tiger cats.

I feed them daily. I do this for two reasons: 1) because they're hungry, and 2) because I'm not supposed to. Their bellies get fed and my appetite to be subversive is sated. It's a "win/win" situation.

Feeding them has also allowed me to sleep better because the one tiger cat and the siamese used to squeal and wail and fight the night away. Now they share the same food bowl and cuddle in the same corner of the garage. I guess a full belly takes the fight out of cats, too.

The food and water bowls are kept outside the open side door of the garage. This allows me to feed them without invading their living quarters.  
It would appear however that while in a dream state last night my curiosity got the better of me and I walked inside the garage. There, curled up in the corner, was none other than Patti Smith, late 70s and early 80s punk singer/songwriter/performer extraordinaire.

Obviously I was stunned.

I said "Patti?"

She stirred a bit and then said the last thing that I expected her to say.

She said "Kevin?"

I asked what was wrong and she explained that she was a little "down on her luck."

I asked her if I could get her something to eat. She said "No - that's fine" while nodding towards the door and the cat food and water bowls.

Then she got up on all fours, arched her back with a stretch, and crawled across the garage floor and through the door to eat alongside the cats.

After eating, Patti mentioned that she was going to be moving on but wanted to pay me back in some way for the use of the garage. I told her that I hated to cut the grass and so she agreed to do that - and also to "edge" my walk.

We sat down on my backyard sidewalk to chat some more. She showed me how you could pull up large clumps of grass that had grown across the sidewalk without the hassle of pushing my old-fashioned edger.

I told her "That's good to know, Patti."

When she was done cutting the grass and edging the walk we stood at the back gate for awhile. I told her that I was certain that she could get her life back together because "people have the power." Patti smiled self-consciously at my nerdy fanboy song reference.  She said that she was really going to miss the cats. We hugged and gave each other a kiss on the cheek.

Then Patti started walking down the alley. 

She turned around a couple of times to wave.  I think that she wanted me to know that everything was going to be fine.  

For her and for me.  

And for the cats, too.

"I was dreaming in my dreaming
 of an aspect bright and fair
 and my sleeping it was broken
 but my dream it lingered near"
 (P. Smith)

for your listening pleasure:

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