Decisions and Revisions which a Minute Can Reverse
The President of the War on Terror leaned back, reclining his arms on a bough. He barely could keep his eyes open.
"You feel an insurmountable hatred for the language existing before your time," the tree said to him.
A frown shook bark from its trunk. The Mayakovsky Tree continued:
"You are an insatiable thief. The gold of all the Californias isn’t enough for your desire's riotous horde."
"He's staying," the President of the War on Terror said. "I listen to all the voices. But he's staying."
My tail twitched on the window sill. A door opened downstairs. So this is why the virulent squirrels make their wretched home in this tree. They smell him. They know that no predator would come near his execrable punk scent.
A key rattled the lock. Tony and Shelly are home. If I stare at them long enough, I can make them chase me.
"Give it up!" said The Mayakovsky Tree. "Forget it. Spit on rhymes and arias and the rose bush and other such mawkishness from the Pentagon."
The President of the War on Terror waved at me, as if I were a journalist at an Oval Office news conference eating Hairball Control pellets from a bowl.
Why was he waving? How did he know I was watching him?
"Shimmy, I hear the voices," he said, "and I read the front page. And I know the speculation. I'm deciding what to do for lunch. I'm deciding to do yoga in the early morning, without taking any breakfast or even water. I'm deciding that I should keep a journal to track my feelings. I'm the one who decides every morning to hose the blood off Rumsfeld. I'm deciding what I'm going to have for dinner when I get home. And then after dinner, I'm deciding which food I'm going to have for my 10 o'clock snack. Then after that, I occupy my mind while I'm doing whatever I'm doing, by figuring out what I'm deciding."
I heard the crush of Tony's soft burgundy shoes in the kitchen. Is he opening the magic kitchen cabinet? Will he scrape wet food into a dish or chase me? What about opening the goddamn back door for a change -- let me stroll on the porch if it's not too scary and filled with dogs?
The Mayakovsky Tree swayed in the wind.
"Rumsfeld told me we are moving through another important milestone," said the President of the War on Terror. "Unity is at an all-time high in Iraq, except for the civil war."
"There are no fools today to crowd, open-mouthed, around a maestro and await his pronouncement," the tree said.
Plush burgundy shoes, footfall in the spare bedroom. The President of the War on Terror reclined in a fit, just barely hanging on, in the bole of the tree. I sniffed a milk-bottle-cap-ring in Tony's hand. Chase me or throw the ring, or scrape tuna from a can or break a goldfish in half with your bare hands. Give me a catnip mouse that will pull the republic out of the mud.