The various animal rescue pages on Facebook are still making new posts, though more and more of them are of two types: pictures of reunions as people return to their ruined property and find cats or, less often, dogs waiting for them, or posts about people who have returned and found the identifiable remains of their dead animals. Given the number of coyotes that patrolled my neighborhood, and the paucity of places for cats to take refuge amid the ruins, I suspect I am unlikely to be in either group.
Its unlikely I'll be able to get up there again anytime soon anyway. None of my numerous relatives in Chico are especially eager to cater to my whims, and I have no practical alternatives for transportation. I can't say their reluctance comes as a surprise. I've never wielded much power in this family, and I'm accustomed to relatives disappointing me. I just regret that my cats, if any survive, might be suffering as a result of my family's ever-weird dynamics.
It looks as though I'll be signing the lease for the apartment tomorrow. I don't look forward to it, though I do look forward to not being here (in the very center of the weird dynamics) anymore. I'm not especially cheered by my long-term prospects. It's unlikely I'll ever own a house again, or that once the insurance company's rent provision runs out I will ever have an income adequate to provide the few luxuries I could afford when I had no rent to pay. I might get cable for now, but I think I'll have to give it up fairly soon, and broadcast signals in Chico are few and weak. The future looks pretty dull and, without the cats, pretty lonely.
The Dead Angels
by Rafael Alberti
Search, search for them: In the insomnia of forgotten conduits In gutters blocked by the muteness of litter. Not far from the pools incapable of retaining a cloud, A lost eye A broken ring Or a trampled star. For I’ve seen them: In the rubble momentarily appearing in the mist. For I’ve touched them: In the exile of a defunct brick, Come to naught from a tower or a cart, No longer beyond the crumbling chimneys, Nor the tenacious leaves that stick to shoes. In all of that. More in those stray splinters consumed without flame. In those sunken absences broken furniture endures. Not far from the names and signs that grow cold on the walls. Search, search for them: Beneath the drop of wax that buries the word in the book, Or the signature on the corner of a letter, That brings the dust rolling in. Near the forgotten fragment of a bottle, The sole of a shoe lost in the snow, The razor-blade abandoned at the edge of a precipice.
Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved
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