Signs of a Delusional Mind
These are the chronicles of the esoteric . . .
the strangest time in my life . . .
I realise it may be somewhat arbitrary, while in the midst of it, to declare a period of life the oddest of all. However, I feel as though I am at this time experiencing the proper circumstances to make such a claim. That is, the situation I am currently finding myself in decidedly warrants the predicate of the strangest - if not at least one of the strangest - times in my life.
It begins with Thursday evening just before midnight, when two people - whom I have never met in more than simply a passing - drop by my place to deliver a very special package. This couple is an acquaintance to me through my fiancee, who in turn is friends with the husband's sister. While I have seen them both on campus, whether of high school or university, I have never said more than one word to them, if even that much, until this very moment - and now they are entrusting to me an important four month responsibility of which I would be hesitant in the first days that followed.
Friday, the next day, would hold another fateful evening for me that nobody could have predicted - despite a foreshadowing by not one but two of us I would notice afterward - and yet everyone should be prepared for. It was not long after 8PM when four of us sat in the heated shed at The Forks tying up our skates, readying to take the round trip of the River Trail (we may have seemed uncertain to one another, but each of us knew we were going for the full 9.2km trek). 830PM saw the four of us stepping out onto the ice with one readily adjusting to the feel of it while the other two skated ahead like nothing changed - and I was left behind attempting to steady myself as I struggled to recall the movements of this activity.
I sat with my fiancee in the living room after the couple had left, pondering what had gone wrong and reflecting on my reasons for agreeing to do what I had done - a search for justification. This was not something to take lightly - and this is not something I would normally do. Nobody would believe this was happening - not even, at first, myself. But it was happening - it did happen - and I knew that for a fact - it was a reality - because she kept wandering into the living room where we were seated, exploring and becoming familiar with what would be her home for the next four months. It would take some getting used to - and yet not as much as I had anticipated.
A little over an hour had passed and we were a mere two minutes from the half-way point - the point where we would turn around, after taking a rest, and make the return trip down the ice trail. I had made it this far without falling or veering off the path as I had done a number of times on the last skating venture two years ago (one of which would see me lose my four year old necklace). I had stumbled a few times, yes, and nearly fallen; but it would be here that I would take my tumble.
The next morning I would awake to find that the night before was not a dream. In fact, she would remind me of that, somehow knowing that I was no longer asleep. I lay there as she asked for attention, wondering all the while how I, of all people, ended up with a cat.
I began to stagger and my attempts to re-balance myself were in vain - as I started to fall forward the blade of my left skate would catch in the ice and cause my knee to twist under me in a way that it should not. I felt the sudden painful jerk and spun myself to fall onto my side. I called out to those ahead of me and lay there on my back - it didn't hurt yet, but I could definitely feel something was wrong.
For the rest of the day I would adjust myself to living a life with a new roommate - a roommate of a sort that I never once dreamed of having. Sure, I like dogs and wouldn't mind having a dog (okay, so maybe a very specific dog but I'm not saying her name is Dandy) - but a cat? It's not that I don't like animals for I do love birds and have had budgies as pets before in my life - but a cat? I never found a cat as a pet appealing in the least; cats are too independent, too head-strong - unmalleable and moody. And here I was with one of them. It would be easy with a dog - you can train them and teach them and play with them - or a bird - they have no choice but to take what you give them - but a cat does what it wants and seeks your attention when it is convenient for them, with complete disregard for what you may be doing. A dog can become attached to you and remain loyal - a cat will be your 'friend' for as long you feed it and keep it happy when it wants you to provide contentment and entertainment. What good are cats? Why would anybody want one? Why do I have one?/p>
The other three skated back to me, unsure of what had happened. I lay there on my back, laughing, and told them I had twisted my knee. Chris asked if I needed help up - I told him I wanted to wait a second. I sat up and started feeling a bit light-headed, a little like I was about to faint. I was given water and waited until I was ready to stand - Chris offered his hand and helped me upright. My knee felt okay, if a little more loose than it should be. We would make it to the half-way point, rest at the tables for a few minutes and then begin our trek back toward The Forks. Skating was fine - albeit my knee bubbled, popped, and shifted strangely in its place - and I made it back to the heated shed with little to no pain at all. Then it started - I could barely get my shoe on; walking up and back to the car was really more of a limping. And the limping would continue for the entire weekend until I finally gave in and went to a doctor Monday morning.
It took me a day or two but I finally found myself able to call the cat by name - Lyra - as opposed to it or she. It was around this time it became clear to me that I was, dare I say, growing fond of her. Our relationship was transitioning so that it was, at least to me, more than merely 'guardian and captive' but instead was 'master and pet' - in the sense that we sort of like each other. Of course, her fondness may stem from the fact that I actually am her guardian, but she does indeed show some signs of affection. It moves me to reflect on the creative power of love - that is, when love is given it creates a special bond in the process of a becoming where the one loved becomes - is created to be - the beloved. So by loving, the lover shapes another into more than merely an acquaintance - more than simply an other - but in fact makes them into someone loved, someone known - and thereby makes them into someone who is able to give love. This process of course leaves both parties for ever changed not only if it is requited - for even in unanswered love there is creation of a relationship, albeit of a different sort, but a relation is made nonetheless. It is in this sense that Lyra, the cat, has slowly won me over. This is not to say however that I, who have always been indifferent and oft-times hostile toward felines, have now become a 'cat person,' but it is to say that I do in fact like this particular cat. Thus, it goes to show that I can't judge a creature until I get to know them - a few negative experiences cannot preclude any potential positive ones - since there are always exceptions and one or two or even three cats cannot be the standard by which to hold all cats. Hence, it is not that I have been converted, for I still will be indifferent and perhaps oft-times hostile (although likely now a little less so) toward a cat, but it certainly is far different once the cat has become my cat. And so indeed Lyra, the cat - this cat - has slowly won me over.
After waiting all morning (well, three hours) to see the doctor, I was told that I have sprained my medial collateral ligament - and possibly have caused a minor tear. After X-RAYS in awkward and sometimes painful positions - and in an embarrassing manner of having to pull my pants down in front of the nurse - any potential bone damage was ruled out. And so I was fitted for and shown how to use my knew companions - a knee brace and crutches. Life with these has been quite a task. I know that I should be glad it was not anything worse - still I have been finding it frustrating to adjust. I am no longer able to put on mine own shoes (and mine own socks if I want to avoid anger); I am no longer able to help around the house - or carry anything for that matter; I am no longer able to 'walk' for more than a few minutes without experiencing pain; I am no longer able to comfortably go to the bathroom; I am no longer able to playfully chase my fiancee - or even hold her hand when moving; I am no longer able to work; I am no longer able to drive. Indeed, it seems that I have been confined to the passenger seat not only in the car but also in life. It is not that I do not mind sitting around and doing nothing - reading, or snuggling, or watching movies, or chatting - but to be forcibly confined is upsetting, especially when to exist comfortably means having my leg up with a pillow underneath my knee. It feels like I can do virtually nothing and have been experiencing more feelings of uselessness, helplessness and frustration than anything else. It has been difficult to be waited upon as I very much like to do things for myself and also for others but can do neither of these. All I can do is sit and wait for healing. Hence, I have found this injury to be a lesson in humility, patience and dependence.
It seems to be only the peculiar things that happen to me - chronic headaches, heart gurgles, skin infection, passing out for no reason (twice) and now a sprained MCL - not to mention having a pet of which I'd normally loathe... It makes me wonder what could possibly be next. With my very own wedding coming up in a mere four months, I can't help but think of how this has got to be some of the strangest things to ever happen to me. I am stuck hobbling around at home without work, unable to do anything for myself, bent over wedding and various other worries - and with a cat always on my trail. What odd circumstances. Yet I cannot shake the feeling that it could not be any different or even any better than how it is right now. God is good. And really that's all there is to it.