Note: This is the second installment of an ongoing series of pieces. If you haven’t already, please begin with Part I – The Climb.
Part II – The Birth
I begin to think of the incredible sequence of events that brought me to this very precarious point in time and space. I remember getting off the phone with Kate, a tall and freckled beauty with closely shaven copper-red hair and a long, slender, graceful body that belied her clumsy mannerisms. A newly un-closeted (and highly enthusiastic) lesbian, she was one of my very closest friends, and I had the terrible misfortune of being completely and hopelessly in love with her.
Exhilarated by our decision to abandon all we had known and move somewhere else, somewhere new, somewhere we had never been. When I got off the phone with Kate, I was anxious to immediately call someone else and share my excitement. So I called my roommate Allison, a bulimic chef who I happened to be living with at the time in Boston—which itself was ridiculous, since she lived in the room directly next to mine and I could have just walked over or yelled through the wall if I wanted. But I called her anyway, and I told her everything. I told her how we made a drastic life decision to leave school, to do something new. We didn’t know what, and we didn’t know where—but it would really be something, and we were going to do it together! I told her all this, and she expressed her happiness, how wonderful this would be for us, how much we will grow because of this, how….
She suddenly interrupted herself.
“Oh my God! Corey! Come over here, right now!!!”
I had no idea what was going on. I put down the phone and walked to her room. She had this enormously goofy grin, pointing into her closet. “Look!” I peered my head in, and watched to my absolute astonishment as Brandy, the house cat, was giving birth to a litter of kittens.
I felt as though lightning bolts were surging through my fingertips, as though every atom, every molecule, every cell, every bone, organ, and tissue were singing in unison—the music of my organism melting into the music of the universe.
I freaked out; I didn’t know what to do. Was I supposed to boil water or something? And what the hell would I do with it anyway?! I was clearly out of my element. I ran back into my room to call my mother to ask her what I should do. Before I did, I called Kate.
“Um, hi Kate. I know that we just talked but there’s something I really think you should know…”
“Huh? What’s going on?”
“Well, you know how like just a couple minutes ago we made this huge life decision to pick up and leave?”
“Um, well, yeah of course.”
“To go someplace new….”
“To start fresh….”
“Corey what’s going on?”
“Well, um, I went to tell Allison, and, uh, my cat is giving birth right now.”
Ten endless seconds of silence.
“Oh my fucking God,” she says.
“Yeah,” I say.
“Yeah. Well, you can interpret this however you want, I just thought you should know…”
In the end, Kate did not end up coming with me. She broke my heart. But Aphex, one of the kittens born that precise moment, did.