Just over a month ago, I started my first semester of my MFA at Stony Brook University. During my first class, on that first day, for our first on-the-spot writing assignment, the teacher gave us a prompt from a Cole Porter song and just said “Write.” I looked at the chalkboard where he’d written “Every time we say goodbye, I die a little” and I thought about what to write. I reflected on the fact that I’d spent years dreaming of the moment when I would be enrolled in a creative writing program with remarkable faculty. I thought about the years of planning and determination that had led to being able to have a seat at that desk. And then, yes, I proceeded to write about…wait for it…my cat.
Every time we say good-bye, I die a little. Her green-grape eyes widen at mine as I pick up my keys. “I’ll mew for you, I’ll puke for you, I’ll save a little fur-ball for you,” she conveys telepathically as I reach for the door.
She weaves between my legs blocking my exit, slowing my day until I take a moment to stroke her soft face, just behind the ear, then under the chin to reassure her that I will, indeed, return.
“I might not live that long,” she implies as she turns on her paws and heads for the sofa where, she claims, she will slowly die a Siamese death until eventually I may – or may not – resume my role as servant to my feline master. Until then, she sighs and says “I will wait for you; aging, dying, and wondering why, a little.”
Fortunately, things have improved since then and I am now writing regularly about slightly more important things. Slightly.
Today I’m sharing the link to The MFA Years, and my latest blog post there, where I write not about my cat, but about returning to school after a 25 year summer break. Enjoy!