You Are The Stewardess of Graceland

by

AW!

And I thought I was just a house sitter.

I like this moniker much, much better.

I’m going to Graceland, Graceland,

Fruitvale, BART station, Oakland, California.

Ok, so it doesn’t quite have the same tone as going to Nashville, Tennessee, but frankly, I have never had much need to go to Tennessee.

Oakland, now that’s a different story.

Another story to add to the pile of when life happens it happens wild, wooly, and weirdly.

I am going to be heading off to the great white alkaline dust bowl that is to be Burning Man this year in approximately one week.

Oh my God.

I still have to pack.

And when I get back I will be going to Graceland, to be the afore-mentioned Stewardess to the property.

My friend is going to Chicago to do some extremely important, life changing, big time work.

I will let you guess what could possibly be so important at this time in our nation’s history, as I am about to become an ex-pat and watch the elections from afar, and you may have an idea how important this work is.

I will be taking care of hearth and home for him while he looks after helping those who need to help others to actually live in a palatable country.

Ahem, I digress, I am not much of a politico, but I respect the fuck out of what he is doing and how he is sacrificing his career, life, and comforts of home to do something so important.

So, to be called upon to provide a service to him and his home is a lovely thing for me to do to round out my Bay Area experience of the last decade.

Jesus, it really has been nearly ten years since I moved out here, it goes by so quick, just the wink of an eye and I am almost ten years older, and dare I say, just a tiny bit wiser then when I naively fled the Midwest for this lovely shore.

I am excited to go to Burning Man and I am excited to go to Paris and I am really quite thrilled to be going to Graceland.

Perhaps because I won’t have to pay rent, thus setting aside my first months dues when I get to Paris.

Perhaps because there is a great big claw foot tub for me to recline in and scour all the dust from every nook and cranny on my body when I get back from the dust-apacolypse.

Perhaps because there is a gigantic, and I do mean gigantic kitchen with every single food gadget known to man kind to cook in.

Or maybe it is the garden with its plethora of tomatoes.  I will be heartily imbibing off the vine, especially after the Commissary becomes the “Commiscary”, which it inevitably does on about the fifth or sixth day of the event when the fresh stuff starts to run out and the fruit looks a little like last years and the bloom is off the rose so to speak.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, oh my, oh my, oh my.

It could be the enormous washer and dryer, which will be getting a lot of use as I wash the dust from my clothing.  The fact of having laundry on site is so devilishly nice, one must account for that perk, not having to go to the laundry mat, not having to set aside quarters in a little pile of wash money, not having to drag it back and forth.

The allure may also be in the high, high, high cathedral ceilings and the warm wood floors.  Or the golden wine of light that pours through the windows.  Graceland was once a church after all, there still lurks a spiritual essence in the circling heavens about it.

I imagine a quiet afternoon or three nestling on the couch with a book, a cup of tea, and the most divine creatures of all, the Maine Coon cats.

Oh!

I love me some cats, yes I do.

I regaled the owner with the history of my cattery, which I had actually forgotten about.

Yes, I am a cat lady.  I did breed cats for a while in my early twenties, shut up.

They were not just cats though, they were Bengal leopards, a cat of a different spot, so to speak.  Wild Asian leopards that had been cross-bred with domestics that officially became a breed in the late eighties, early nineties, if memory serves.

Roaring cats, as opposed to purring cats.

Roaring, signifying a cat that still, yes, roars.

Now granted, the roar was not of a lion, but the damn things were talkers like no ones business.  They put Siamese to shame with their parlance.  I once had the cops show up at the house to rescue the neglected child that had been called into the police.

It was not a child, although he was definitely a baby, it was my cat Ren.

Ren, short for Renfield, from Frankenstein (the one that eats the flies, go re-read your Shelley you neophyte).

He was wailing up a storm, I was late from work to feed him and my neighbors truly had called in an abandoned baby to the police.

The cops were literally outside my door about to bust it down when I showed up.

Good thing for the ex-boyfriend who was growing pot in the closet that I got there when I did.

I explained it was my cat and the cops did not believe me, they had heard the “baby” crying and were quite concerned.

And of course, the little brat stopped meowing like his hair was being ripped off by duct tape as soon as he saw me.

The cops wanted to check the premises and I knew what they would find.  I hustled down to the kitchen and got a little scrap of raw meat from the fridge, came back to the cops and said, “listen.”

As soon as Ren smelled the meat, he went off like a small child dipped in diaper rash and colic.

The cops all jumped back and in some disbelief, apologized while my cat gobbled down the raw hamburger and made disgusting little greedy grunting sounds mixed in with, yes, mini roars.

I like cats.

I get to hang with two delightful creatures, bask in the warm glow of sunshine in Oakland and sit in a claw foot tub and soak my weary away.

Yeah, pretty amazing when I think about it, if I choose to think on it instead of just wondering in awe how things like this keep happening.  I would say the Universe is doing a damn good job of taking care of me–

I’m going to Graceland.

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