On Friday two weeks ago I was supposed to be on a plane to Australia, beginning my master’s degree and my new life 10,000 miles away. Instead, I was lying in an operating room in my hometown, having a necrotic bone removed from the ball of my right foot.
It’s official – well, mostly official – I’m going back to school! I was accepted into the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing, and Editing at the University of Melbourne and will be moving to (duh) Melbourne, Australia, in January! I’m so excited I could cry and pee my pants at the same time.
You get a very different perspective on life when it's 2 a.m. and you're cradling your cramping bowels as they play the part of Old Faithful geyser for the night (i.e. spewing scalding sulfuric water every 44 to 125 minutes).
That said, the experience wasn't all about nature's bounty. Perhaps more importantly, it was about the pet owners who put on voices to express their dogs' supposed thoughts. It was about laughing at the tiny Shih Tzu attempting to mount my friend's Australian Shepherd, or the asshole beagle who made it his mission to pee in every single bowl of drinking water.
August is upon us, and despite how quickly the summer seems to be flying away, don't you dare let anyone tell you it's over! It's not too late to cram in your last summer reads, and in true Sydney fashion, I've got three micro-reviews of my recent favorites.
Picture this: I’m sitting at a table just outside the action in a bar in Darling Harbour, drunk on one too-expensive vodka soda and one-too-many cups of pregame goon. My head’s spinning. I rest it on my hand to prevent it from swiveling off my neck.
Cats tend to help me tell the story of a place in their always-masterful inhabitance of it. Plus, I just like snapping cat pics.
And so, I give you, the cats of Bermuda -- the rascally little nuggets who roam the cobblestone roads as if they own them, boldly mewling for attention from tourists or skirting into bushes at the faintest sound.
Old Crazy was a fixture of Liberty Park, a landmark as recognizable and immutable as the mermaid fountain in the square.
“They’re watching,” he’d say with faraway eyes and a discordant tone of immediacy.
"You always told me I wasn't allowed to pet the strays!" my teen sister said, indignant. "What about all their 'diseases?'"
"Sydney's lived a good life," my mom replied.
And I have. That good life is made noticeably better by the presence of cats.
No one act of kindness will bring us peace on earth, and no one boxful of office supplies will cure your friend's depression. But the gift my friend gave me was more than just a Get Well Soon card in blue wrapping paper. It was a reminder that life is to be appreciated for what it is — even the temporary phases of transition.