February 16, 2016

My friend Ken Burch died just before Christmas. His wife Kathy is one of my closest pals, so close that she could, if she chose, write about my secrets and expose just how damaged I really am.

Ken had a nice, warm brown leather jacket that I admired. Kathy gave it to me after the funeral. Now I wear it around town, and strange women approach me and pet the jacket and rub my bald head for luck. I’ve had three proposals of marriage—two said they wanted to marry the jacket.

Today, I got coffee and turkey chili at Panera’s, and two girls in yoga pants wiggled their hips at me. And you know, enough sexism is enough sexism. So I drove home and put the leather jacket on the easy chair in my office. I took my afternoon nap and meditated cleansing thoughts and waited for Scout the cat to join me. She didn’t.

When I awoke, my cat was wide awake, her body planted obscenely on the leather jacket in the office. Her eyes slitted and unslitted: her way of communicating that she was, uh, really-really-really, uh, happy. If you know what I mean.

My first thought was to lift my pussy off of the jacket, to avoid getting claw marks in the leather. When the pussy growled, I reconsidered, avoiding claw marks on my boys from down under. When the pussy bunched the jacket between her legs, I was horrified. I had never seen such female pleasure.

My cat . . . was into leather. It was too late to call Cat Fancy Magazine and ask for help. The vet was closed. Sheila S. didn’t answer her phone. Farmer Orville said, shoot the cat. What to do?

Poetic License: Change of Tense . . . Her purr now, as I write, is guttural, transcendent, whole grain, other worldly, orgiastic, gluten free, repressed Republican, randy, rowdy Rhonda Rousey (who appears in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue with a bathing suit painted on her naked, supple, muscular body), raucous, radiating, rummy, rhapsodic, ravenous, rollicksome.

I open a can of tuna fish. Nada. I spread catnip around the floor. Zilch. I bring in Orville’s male barn cat, the most affectionate cat on the planet. He jumps onto the leather jacket, and now the two of them are necking, catsatiated.

Oh well. I’ve got that puffy winter coat from Bass Pro Shop. What type of woman would pet a puffy coat?

“Hi, y’all. I am Emmy Backscratch—from the Bunker Hill Backscratches. I am eighty-one, and I’m lookin’ for ‘bunny love.’ Know whut I mean?”

Bunny love is illegal in Illinois, but what the hell?











About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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