Upon discovering that the shoot had led not to one or two, but
to twenty YouTube segments, I shrieked loud enough to rouse Roger. It took much
coaxing to return my lapin to my lap.
His shedding notwithstanding, Roger has been my best substitute
for ordinary amity since sugar-free brownies. I can confide to him the entire
array of things female while thinking nothing of the fact that Im
revealing goings on about which women ordinarily avoid drawing attention.
Although my sweet typically answers me with a snort or a fart, I make do;
fledged kids and a dead husband have left me needy of his soft fur and reliable
Its not that I had trouble breaking up with my most
recently acquired brilliant boyfriend or that I ached for too long
for mature affection. There are hosts of men who specialize in helping
deprived widows. Further true than not, I turn to my hare because I lack
the necessary patience to play the titular lady love of middle age
courtships. Chivalry becomes boorish quickly.
Last week, for instance, I informed my students that unoriginal
proffers of commitment make for bad poetry and that their work would be graded
accordingly. No one cares whether or not a couple stays together for forty
years. Its far more interesting to read about a finger stuck in a blender
than about some mans decades-long adoration of a single set of
tresses. In addition, I instructed my class, that a successful relationship,
like sound writing, needs much reworking, ongoing salesmanship, and a
willingness to embrace a certain level of madness. Since few folk reach that
apex, verse that reflects such blather winds up not in broadcasts, but at the
bottom of budgie cages.
Analogously, Ive been pulling my orbits away from those of
balding bachelors and of would-be adulterers as well as from makeup, wigs, and
other personal artifices. Given my druthers, I would have worn shades to my
photo shoot. As of late, self-fulfillment means being vetted as a piece of
furniture so I can avoid fuss, go home quickly and write.
My preferences, however, were immaterial to my publicist. She
insisted on lipstick, as well as on earrings, and made me glue on bonus lashes.
Popping eyes, especially those wrought from nonprescription contact lens, she
claimed, have become the rage and rage, she snarled, sells books.
In hindsight, it would have been easier for me to earn a living
through selling old comics via local newspapers or by culling online jobs from
The Chronicle of Higher Education. Trying to pass as a worldly writer proved
far harder than did gaining tenure by dint of encouraging the advances of a
department chair. If I had been willing to make due with massaging a human leg
instead of with rubbing a rabbits foot, I could have circumvented the
trauma of contemporary wardrobing.
Yet, my passion to become an author overwhelmed my common sense
to the extent that I was left burdened with an agent with small patience for
midlife mitosis. My gal, the one who, during the hours before my shoot, had
exhausted herself carrying and catching the soapy children used in a dog food
commercial, had given no residual credence to my relaxed frumpy style. Despite
the fact that Im far from fatigued by my wild woman/earth mama
ways, I was unable to argue her into allowing me to be photographed as a
hedgehog in heat. She wanted no part of my weightlifting gloves or soiled
sweatband and did not agree that a fifty-five year-olds flushed cheeks
could be sexy.
Consequently, I was poofed, polished and nearly puking from
powder before the camera crew even arrived. Whereas my advisor did not force me
to I reveal those body parts I ordinarily keep private, she made sure that I
was duct taped or upholstered as needed.
It seems that consumers, especially readers, are incapable of
thinking of human physicality as a bridge that spans childhood to the golden
years. As a result, media spinners, mine included, insist we oldies morph into
teenagers and that young heroes get shaved, shorn and costumed as children
before allowing any of us to deign to grace a single book jacket.
Its of little wonder that shortly after I finished with
all of that pomp and posture, I found myself transporting Roger to his vet. Not
only is my coney as empathic of a bunny as ever existed, but it is likewise
true that I stroked him a bit extra for six months thereafter.
Our animal doc reassured me that a daily tab of Prozac and an
ounce of gin, chased with tomato juice, would quiet my rabbit. Fortunately, my
familiar didnt need to have anything administered; it was my task, alone,
not to squeeze so often or so tightly.
Prescription faithfully administered, I now giggle in my sleep.
To boot, Rogers no longer shedding copious amounts or hopping around in
circles. Its a pity that the veterinarian is married with children; his
tummy pooches out only a little and I imagine that his blue-gray eyes must look
wonderful when not obscured by his glasses.
I comfort myself with the fact that my honey bunnys become
litter box trained and that my book has pushed into the stratosphere of
Amazons graphic novels. Just last week, I made the best one hundred
sellers in that category. It was savvy of me to give up Moliere and Hemingway
in favor of OMalley and King.
Although Im still troubled about whether Im a
scholar or a creative, and although Im still nervous when my press agent
touts my origins as not from Pittsburgh, but as from The Bronx, or Amherst,
Roger remains fidel. My dear boys only palpable concern is his making it,
in time, to the lip of his potty. Life, in that bun-buns mind, consists
of a series of sunny windows, feed, and chamber pots. Hes so much more
trouble-free than a manager or a mate.