I don’t have a column today. I was gonna come up with something, and almost-excitedly, because after a 4-month-long smoking hiatus, Mama’s back—bet you couldn’t tell, huh? It’s like in the movie Spanglish when Tea Leoni tells Cloris Leachman she’s a drunk and Cloris Leachman says she hasn’t had a drink in, like, 3 months, but nobody bothered to notice. Anyway, I was looking forward to waking up today and start writing again as a stoner, but that dream died at 7:45 this morning. And I’m up at 745 in the a.m. because no matter what substance I abuse the night before, I wake up early now, which wouldn’t be so bad if I could simply move to the couch and sit idle for the day, whatever, but I can’t because once I’m up, I’m awake. No transition time. I hate it. Hate it. Mama likes to sleep. I love to sleep more than I love to do most anything else. But I don’t anymore. And so I was up this morning, ready to greet April 20th with the reverence I thought it deserved when shit got real. My out-the-kitchen-window neighbor saw me standing at my stove, boiling water for my bougie French press and she screams desperately: KATE! WHAT DO I DO?!
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, you have got to be kidding me. Not only am I no longer in a perfect state of sleep, I have to immediately jump into, based on her delivery, what I can only imagine is humanitarian task where my three-sizes-too-small heart will be tried and tested to see if it can handle whatever level of empathy is required at this inopportune moment. Keeping in mind I’m 24-hours out of a rather unpleasant surgery, heavily medicated, and whatever help I can offer will be tepid at best, and it involves a woman I’ve just told—three short weeks ago—that she needed to stop dropping by my house unannounced to talk to me about how much she hates our building owner, Vicky, because it gives me anxiety knowing she watches me come home, and then comes right over. I wrote all this in a note and put it in her mailbox. Haven’t heard from her since, until right now. Kimmie calls her Martina. She has Nordically blonde hair, and one time I saw her walking to the tennis court in a half-shirt and her tennis skirt (she’s 50), and she’s always screaming in this shrill German-ish language from her stoop all day, like, shrieking ‘TAH-KOHH…TAH-KOHH’. Ugh, anyway, that brings me to Taco. Her cat.
Taco was just hit by a car out front. I live on a small, peaceful, residential street that always has parking, and it sits right next door to Beverly Hills High, which, during morning arrival and afternoon departure times, has the highest concentration of aggressively entitled parents, and resulting teenagers, in all of world. Their driving practices are not only obnoxious, they’re downright dangerous. One of these gems in a black SUV hit Taco. Martina was crying and screaming to me through my window, one floor up, as I stood at my stove, with the gas on, boiling water, wearing no bra, see through tank-top, red-and-white striped boxer briefs, and, gracias a Dios, great hair. Her clogs are clomping all up and down her stairs as she hysterically asks me who to call and what to do. I am now involved. I told her I’d meet her outside and she clomps down in her clogs and races to meet me. I make my way to the street where I see the crowd. Her teenage daughter is inconsolable on the curb, a few neighborhood ladies have taken charge to slow and caution traffic, Martina is running out behind me, and Taco is in the street with his bloody head, bulging eye, short breath and pretty-much-dead half-meow topped only by Martina now scraping him off the street and into her arms. Oh. My. God. You serious right now? No, I am serious, are YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?! WTF?! It’s 7:45 in the morning, on a Friday—Friday, 4-fucking-20 and I’m peacefully and blissfully at home with prescribed pain killers, a quarter of weed and the next week off and this is how it’s going to start?! I don’t know what to do! It’s not my usual lack of empathy, it’s an absolute panicked fact: I have no idea what to do! Like, here’s the thing, Taco looked rough. I mean it, this was like some shit on TV. He wasn’t gonna make it; there are 5 people already on the scene so my input isn’t necessary, but I did come out at her behest, so I had to do something, you know? So, I went inside and got a Restoration Hardware bath sheet (it’s, literally, the only towel that would have done anything, and ugh, I felt like I had to sacrifice that, ugh, okay, whatever) because while there were a lot of yentas all up in the mix, none of them could do anything but act concerned. So I got the towel, and went out back and got her cat carrier, because someone had already pulled up a car to race Martina and Taco off to the Animal ER—I should mention at this point that this isn’t even the are-you-fucking-kidding-me?! part of the story—and they hopped in the car and raced away and it was all over as quickly as it’d started and the crowd had dispersed. Except that there was still fucking blood and brains all over the street and blood all over our front stoop—I am not kidding about this shit—so I went inside and got a pitcher of water and washed the blood off the steps and off the street and then, when I got back into my kitchen, to attempt coffee and the entire start of my day again, I saw out my window that her front door was open because it all happened so fast that she just left without worrying about anything else. So, I went downstairs, and around to the back, and up her up her stairs and pulled her front door closed. But she’s super freaky about security and how she thinks someone is always trying to break into her house (I’m serious), so—still standing outside—I just reached around to make sure the door knob wasn’t locked or anything because she definitely wasn’t thinking to get her keys, and I saw a gun on the entry table with the clip full of bullets lying next to it. I SAW A GUN ON THE ENTRY TABLE WITH THE FULLY LOADED CLIP LYING NEXT TO IT. It is now 7:55 a.m.
So, I start my 4/20 smoking a bowl out of necessity, not luxury and after I reboiled the water and finally made my coffee, I didn’t have enough creamer to make it that perfect delicious, which is so annoying, so the only thing I knew how to do to shake this off (and I learned this from my mother, if you can believe it) is clean, so I’m cleaning. Cushions-off-the-couch, attachments-out for the Dyson. I need to burn off some steam—on account I just saw a cat die and a gun at the ready. Shit. I’m having an impromptu Chipotle dinner tonight because where else would one finish this kind of day? I’m going to try the off-menu ‘quesa-rrito’ which is when you ask the Burrito Artist to make you a quesadilla and then they open it up after the melt and turn it into a burrito. You fucking heard me. Sorry about not having a real column next week, provided there are no other ridiculously horrific distractions that come up along the way. Happy Friday. You may be at work right now while I’m stoned in my living room, but at least you didn’t see a dead-ish cat. Get after it, and know I love you regardless of the decisions you make; that’s not true, my love is conditional, but consequences are not, they’re inevitable, as such, it behooves you to make good choices.