Beetroot & I #12

April 20, 2011

“If you don’t mind me saying… it’s not healthy” he said. “It sounds to me like your relationship with this cat is really putting the skids on your relationships with real human beings.” I nodded. He was right. What he was saying made perfect sense. Deep down it was everything that I had thought myself but never had the guts or eloquence to vocalise. “For whatever reason, whether it be out of convenience, or fear, or perhaps it’s something from your upbringing, you have handed all the power over to your cat. You have relinquished responsibility for your own destiny – your successes and failings are now longer your own. Now I’m not a doctor. But I’ve seen this kind of thing before. Obviously not with a cat, but the same rules apply.” I couldn’t believe what was happening. This man was taking me seriously. I had never talked about my relationship with Beetroot to anyone before. The fear of rejection, of disapproval, or repulsion always prevented me from doing so. But somehow I had opened up to this man and he was willing to listen. He was willing to help. He would be my hero, my saviour. “You need to set this cat straight. You’ve got to sit her down…”
“Him” I politely corrected.
“Him?” he raised an eyebrow. His whole demeanour changed. He was looking at me differently now. The look of sympathy in his eyes was tinged with a faint hint of disgust suddenly. “Oh… I see” he muttered. He was looking at the floor now and took the smallest step backwards. There was a heavy silence.
“You were saying?” I offered, trying to get things moving once again.
“I – I don’t want to be sticking my nose into someone else’s business.”
“No, please. I’d love to hear what you have to say. I’d really appreciate it.”
“I’m sorry. I have to go.” He couldn’t look me in the face now. His face was red and he was fidgeting with his hands.
“But you haven’t read the meter yet.”
“Ah… I’ll just take an estimate” and he started down the stairs.
“But it’s just here.” The door below slammed shut and the Gas Man was gone. Damn.

Shane

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