Since PP has had negative writing time for the last several weeks, and she’s leaving for Italy imminently, she’s going to summarize the highlights or give the highlights or offer summaries....Hell, you know what she means.
Here’s 3 PP stories that never got written:
Russian Cat Lady
PP has been in a dither about what to do with her cats while she’s in the Old Country. “You don’t want to leave him out in the cold, poor baby,” Sandy declares after PP explains her dilemma about the cat peeing in the house when she’s gone; the raccoons intruding the house if the cat door’s left open; the bitter cold and rain if he's left outside for 3 weeks.
From her left, PP hears her. The Scoff. As she finishes up her naked downward dog in Utopia. The scorn in her scoff is as thick as her accent, “Cooold? You think this is cold?” She turns sideways, stretching a round white limb over her head, “In Russia, the cats. They are outside all of the time. They know cold. Here, it is not cold.”
“Very true,” Sandy nods, “but you can’t turn a housecat into an outdoor cat even in Northern California.”
“How do the cats in Russia do it?” PP asks. “Do they have extra thick Russian Cat Fur?”
Russian Cat Lady eyes PP for a moment, serious, considering just how much Russian Cat Lore to divulge.
“Those cats, in Russia, they are outside. But....” she pauses; it’s here that PP knows Something Bad happens to Those Russian Cats. She doesn't want to hear it. RCL intuits this. Russians: They are Intuition. At least according to Tolstoy. Or maybe it's just according to PP.
Sandy leaps in, “Yeah, well, I’m sure that those Russian Cats are Some Bad Ass Cats. They don’t let a little cold get them down.”
RCL nods, lets loose a little smile.
“Yes, they are...Bad Ass Cats. That is very good way to describe.”
She sighs deeply, picks up her towel and saunters out of the sauna.
DL’s eyes are wide as she inhales her pale shapeliness. Later, when PP brings up RCL, DL just grins, “She was stupendous.”
“Oh, Baby, it feel so good in here!”
PP nods, sighing inside Hilltopia after another ‘cold’ swim. Not as cold as Russia, she’s sure, but for her, if the pool isn’t at least 84 in the middle of December, well...it’s cold!
“I been in that water for a whole hour,” she chuckles, letting her cane fall on the bench as she plops down.
PP had seen her in the pool. In the walking lane. Her bright blue turban matching her royal blue suit. A large white bandage on the side of her sunken below the color bone area. The brown skin withered and ancient around the band-aids.
PP thinks she musta just had some surgery and she was in the pool for her water therapy. Post Surgery Walkers love the walking lane at Hilltopia.
“An hour!” PP exclaims, impressed. She can never last that long. Gets way too cold.
“Ummm....yes ma’am. And then I was up on them machines for a hour and half.”
“Wow! That’s amazing!”
“Ouch!” Hour Walker cries, reaching up to her face and pulling at her ear. “That gets so Hot in here! My earring.”
“Oh, no!” PP eyes her anxiously, “I bet. You okay?”
“Oh, yeah, don’t you worry. I be fine. I just need to tuck it up here offa my neck and then it don’t bother me none.....my little granddaughter, she tell me, 'Grandmamma. Just take it nice and slow.'” She laughs softly, shaking her head.
“She’s got it right,” PP says, still worried that she’s going to have to peel some hot metal off of this frail grandma’s neck.
“There! That’s it!” She sighs, sits back against the wall, pats her band-aid. “And my arthritis. That can be the clincher!”
“Do you ever take that Arthritis Water exercise class?” PP asks. “Rusty Hinges?”
She laughs, “No, baby, I can’t do none of that. I gotta keep my self dry here.” She pats the band-aid, thick and white and clean and dry.
“I’m on dialysis. This here is My Lifeline. I can’t get it wet.”
“Oh, of course not,” PP murmurs, wondering how the hell people do it. Here she is complaining about the pool being a less than ideal temperature and other people. On dialysis. Shit.
“Yes, 13 hours a day,” she nods, closing her eyes.
Did she really say 13 hours a day? PP can’t remember now, but it was a lot of time and she seemed so blissful about it.
Pool Therapy. Will do it every time.
And for PP, as you all know, it’s her Lifeline.
“Oh, my that’s a pretty suit! You mind if I ask you where you got it? I been looking all over for a suit and I just for the life of me can’t find one near as pretty as that one. I went over to Big 5 cuz I thought, well they’re a sporting good store and swimming is a sport and I did find one that I liked, but it was a used one and I just didn’t’ think that was right for me,” she finishes, giggling softly, her round brown belly jelly between her silver brassiere and black panties.
PP had never heard about used suits at Big 5. In fact, she thought that this must be wrong, but hell, she wasn’t gonna question it. Maybe they do sell used suits at Big 5 and she just didn’t know about it.
In any case, Round Belly Woman was right about one thing. A used swimsuit is wrong.
“I’m not sure where this suit is from,” PP answers the original query instead. “A friend of mine got if for me. I think she goes to Ross.”
RBW nods, “Ross, okay. That’s a good idea. I didn’t think of them.”
“Yeah, but I dunno, it’s winter now and they may not have swimsuits,” PP laughs. “Even though we all still swim in the winter.”
Chuckling, RBW nods, “That we do. That we do. And I know it’s time for me to get a new suit. Mines is getting all stretched out and you can see....” She pauses, grinning, or at least PP thinks she must be grinning though it’s hard to tell in the darkness of Hilltopia.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” PP saves her from the embarrassing description that every swimmer knows. The point where the suit reveals the butt crack.
Gross! PP can’t believe she just wrote that.
“You have yourself a Happy ..... Christmas” RBW seems to hesitate, just for a moment before the word ‘Christmas’—like no one is supposed to say this anymore in case we’re not all Christians? Hell, PP has never been a Christian, but she has no problem with being wished a Merry Christmas. It’s the sentiment, right?
And PP does. At least today, “You have yourself a Happy Christmas too,” PP answers.
RBW beams. “Thank you, I will.”
And PP wishes all of her readers and all of her non-readers a Happy Christmas too while she’s in Italy.
How do you say it in Italian?