Spending our days outside are fraught with danger. My short-term memory loss doesn’t help either. My companion, Gloria, who I spend long days with has no problem with her memory. You’d think she would use that fact to help me, wouldn’t you? Gloria is never far from my side during the morning or early afternoons. Late in the day she takes to planting her wide arse atop the BBQ. Like she’s waiting for something to happen. I forget each day what it is. I wonder that she is expecting trouble and it’s going to be at my expense.
We lay exhausted side by side as it’s a tough job doing nothing all day. Our bodies extended, half on the edge of the ground floor level windowsill sunning ourselves, the rest settled on the plastic fantastic soaking up the warmth of the sun’s rays, feels like a sauna. We’re wary of that fake grass which scorches our feet in summer. We take to lazing under a tree some days, relief and shelter either from hot sun or rain.
I feel an itch coming on somewhere that I can’t reach. My belly is so round and flops from side to side when I run. My hair is thick and heavy. I profess this multi coloured ready-made rug has me looking larger than I am, my abnormally small head frightens me when I catch myself in the mirror. I can’t for the life of me see my feet unless I fold myself in half, they are down there somewhere.
Something’s crawling, nibbling on me as it feeds. I can’t wait for what I assume is a flea to finish its job as I can’t reach to squash the little bastard. I occasionally raise my head, with ears alert, my eyes a sleepy slit. My nose can smell any disturbance below ground and my ears listen for any noise above. We both watch as birds tease us, we prepare to give chase. By the time we get our act together the birds are usually one step ahead. They flit and prance around us chirping a relentless song like a dare, laughing. Or they sit on the wall crowing at our feeble attempt to give chase. As I’m so large I can’t jump high, not like Gloria.
Then the frantic flapping of crows’ wings with their screeching squawks violates the air’s silence, swooping down and across us, threatening to give chase. The chaos they cause disturbs the pollen. Smaller birds and the butterflies scatter. Gloria and I take cover under chairs, united in our survival.
Some days there is no coaxing us out of our slumber. The day drags on and as the sun settles to the other side of the garden. I jump atop a table to chase what’s left of the sun’s warmth. The shadows leave but a half circle of sun on the otherwise cold concrete top. Gloria nods her head at me from her perch atop the BBQ. This is when I know something’s not right, but for the life of me I can’t remember what. I lazily eye the butterflies, they tease me and just as I think I will give chase they to fly away.
Dozing, my ears still alert I hear a click clack coming from inside. I glance over at the BBQ, a sly grin on Gloria’s face. I raise my head from my spot on the warm table, turning towards the glass doors, the glare of the sun bouncing off the window blocks my vision. It is then that I hear the clatter of a roller blind being lifted. Startled, heart in my mouth, I pounce off the table before I’ve been seen. That old bag will yell at me, she does regardless. I run round the side of the house being chased by the screams of ‘Get off that fucking table you mongrel,’ reverberates in my ears. Glancing back I see Gloria’s body vibrating atop that BBQ in satisfaction. I watch later as her indoors, with washcloth in her hand, sets about wiping my presence from the table.
I creep back an hour later for dinner, Gloria is sitting waiting for hers, a grin plastered all over her face, a satisfied I told you so look.