Friday, August 8, 2008

Recovering with a Deaf Cat

Good morning and aloha,

This is my second morning back on Maui, and I'm still recovering from jet lag from the five-hour time difference between Texas and Hawaii. I'd love more than anything to write a scene or two for my newest horror novel, DEAD OF WINTER, but I feel too pressured to tackle my list of things to do: find a place to live, explore the island, go swimming, take surf lessons, take Salsa lessons, meet up with friends, organize my life. It's hard for me to concentrate on writing when I'm feeling disorganized and pulled in a hundred different directions. I've been on the road for over two months now, living out of a suitcase and wearing the same clothes over and over. All my cherished belongings are in storage. My strongest motivation to write is on my blog, which is a great outlet for me, until I can get settled and back into the swing of novel writing. I can't wait to finish DEAD OF WINTER and share it with the world. Just a hundred more pages to go. But for now I'm putting off fiction writing until next week. By then I should be more stabilized.

Okay, so first on my agenda is find a place to live. I've got just over two weeks to do it. Fortunately I have a place to stay in the mean time. I'm currently house sitting for a friend. It's actually quite nice here. The condo is in a beach town called Kihei and right across from the beach. I walked there yesterday evening after sunset and just listened to the tide rolling in. It was the first moment since I got back that I've felt a sense of peace. Can you hear the waves lapping at the shore?

Where I'm staying, my friend has a cute white cat named Eli who is completely deaf. He understands some sign language though. Like if you pat your chest, he knows that means "Come to me." I found my rooming with a deaf cat an interesting metaphor. I had suffered a hearing loss myself a few years back. I didn't go completely deaf but I had difficulty understanding most people. It was very frustrating. I lived in denial about my hearing loss for years. Only recently did I accept that this was a part of my life experience. Last month I finally got hearing aids and now hear everything loud and clear. Thank God for advanced technology! I used to be ashamed of my reduced hearing, but now I see it as a gift. I made a discovery the other day on the airplane where there was a crying baby. In noisy environments I can take out my hearing aids and escape to a more tranquil place.

So here I am at day two of my Maui adventure and rooming with a deaf cat named Eli. He stares out at the back garden a lot, gazing at the statue, so I'm guessing he's a Buddhist. Because he can't hear, my friend says he's extra sensitive and needs to be around people constantly. He has a tendency to cry in the middle of the night. The other night I tossed and turned while he mewled in the next room. He must have been loud, because I wasn't wearing my hearing aids and he sounded like he could raise the roof. I slept walk into the dark living room, searching for Eli. I spotted his white form in the darkness near the dining table and petted him. He immediately stopped moaning. I talked to him. Even though he can't hear, I'm sure he can read lips. I scooped up the furball into my arms and put him in bed with me, but he didn't stay there long. I'm sure the cat misses his master, who is an attractive woman. After that, the house went quiet again and I went back to bed. As I lay there, I wondered if Eli's crying in the middle of the night might also be some kind of metaphor. Maybe a part of me was sad that I had just left behind all my close friends and family and was starting a new life alone. I'm not really one to cry myself, so I guess that's why the Universe roomed me with a deaf cat named Eli who cries in the darkness. I'm certain he'll end up in one of my novels.

Well, I'd love to continue writing, but you know, I have that list of things to do tugging at me, so aloha for now.

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