Black, white and brown snow leopard saunters through snow and pine trees.
snowflakes like gold stained glass

By: Kaitlin Hulsy

Every morning, I wake up to this fantastic contraption that makes me a single serving of generic donut factory coffee. My upstairs parallel neighbor reprimands her children in loving shades of Spanish while my future husband-in-sin kisses my cheek. My fur son hunts for imaginary ants from the piece of cupcake I dropped a week ago. Or a month ago. Time is relative now.

On the last day of February, we rushed to put things in cardboard boxes. We rushed to get him in and out of the emergency room as expeditiously and conveniently as physically possible. We had no concept of how lucky we are that he came home from the hospital virus free.

We impressively packed and unpacked boxes in a new life sometimes surrounded by snow. We agreed that we would be quite athletic here, and would only eat quick, healthful things. My cat is now an expert at protecting me from meditation. He has developed a way of checking my vitals via ramming his head against various parts of my arm skin. I would discourage it, but it would be like hitting the mute button on life.

People are yelling at Gavin Newsom. People are breaking into buildings. People are yelling at China.
People are yelling at Trump.

People are yelling at bats. People are discussing swamp tigers. Tigers are discussing swamp bats.

Some people deserve money.
Some people definitely deserve money. Others definitely do not deserve money. Those who waltz with the sun definitely do not deserve money.

We all collectively made that decision. I can’t remember what day that was. Some of us walked away from Omelas, staring in horror as a grown woman coughed on a Walmart employee. We just exited the urban sprawl of the valley, went into IKEA-made mountains.We played in intermittent snow, and washed our masks.

We will make new lives here. We will be kinder to animals and the different here. We will weep and apologize as newly-comfortable big cats saunter across the 405. 

We will come back for our students. They might still believe in us. We wonder how. They could’ve dropped. We wonder why not?They could’ve escaped to their own mountains with no judgment cast. This is indubitably their 9/11. And yet, they appear. We marvel at their tenacity, and greedily crave it. Perhaps one day they’ll walk away from us. Perhaps, they will stay awhile, watching us like Jane Goodall among the orangutans. The planet has requested an audience. Perhaps we’ll retreat to our IKEA snow mountains. This was only a dream. Perhaps next time, we’ll take the invitation.

Published by Kaitlin Hulsy

Kaitlin is an Adjunct Professor in the English Department at Bakersfield College, and Cal State University, Bakersfield. She truly believes in the power of writing as an effective artistic outlet in very uncertain times. She thanks you for visiting, and hopes that you will share. 😊

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