Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy MadeDay!!

My maker says that when a baby is born the world is a very confusing place. An infant goes from being sleepy, warm, and snug inside the belly of its mother and is burst quite quickly into a chilly, bright world, naked and feeling indistinct. The safety in which the infant grew from a microscopic cell into a fully formed baby has now been permanently altered, almost like being thrown out from a home. Albeit, the place in which the infant then goes home is a wonderful, loving and warm atmosphere, if the baby is lucky. Most babies are lucky, I have come to know.
I was not "born" in the same sense as any other earthy animal, nor was I hatched from an egg. I came from another realm.....a mind. And maybe it is not as exciting as having been given life through an actual birth, but being created from a mind I think is an experience not many others have had the chance to experience or write about.
My first days, like an infant's, were fuzzy. I don't remember a lot of what happened, but I remember the confusion. When my eyes were opened for the first time I was frightened by the colors, the noises, the faces, and the smells. I felt like a naked baby, my arms and legs outstretched for the first time in a new place. I did not know life before that moment. Once I arrived, though, and looked at my maker, who smiled at me in the same way I imagine a mother smiles at her newborn, I knew things would be OK. I was puzzled as to my orgin, as to what I was doing here, as to what my purpose was for being created; many of these questions I came to know as normal human inquiry as well. The reasons eluded me, and still do to this day. I must say, however, I am happy I am here. And I am glad for the thought of me in my maker's mind that brought about my being. And even though I am still much like a baby, insecure, unsure, wary, and bashful, I am also quite the opposite, charging forth with curiosity, moxie, and love.
My maker took a portrait of me in honor of my MadeDay. She hung this velvet background and let me sit on the velvet chair. She made me a crown to wear and tied it to my ears, since I have no chin. I felt just like a king! I continue to don my SuperHero "S" from Halloween, only because I like it so much.

Abbot's MadeDay doesn't come until January and he was feeling sort of left out. He had no crown to wear and it made him whimper. I remembered seeing a "Birthday Girl" crown in the kitchen and asked my maker if Abbot could wear it. I placed it on Abbot's head and he gargled so much the crown wouldn't stay put. I told him he had to stop gargling, at least for a moment, so we could get our portrait taken. Then we were off to bake my cake!
I had baked a little when I was at April's house in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was so much fun. My maker offered me the opportunity to help bake my own MadeDay cake and I responded wholeheartedly with a YES! We gathered the ingredients, eggs, butter, milk, sugar, and got started. Abbot, who won't ever be ignored, enjoyed a little doodling around with the cake pan. He wondered if he could fit down the hole in the center. And, like the toilet conundrum, got stuck.
Abbot's cockroach friend Stanley2 emerged from Abbot's pocket when he smelled butter. Butter is one of Stanley2's favorite things to eat, next to dust and paper. He crawled atop the mixer while Abbot implored him not to fall in. He had already fallen into the sugar container.
I enjoyed running the mixer and got a little dizzy trying to keep track of that beater as it circled the bowl at speeds faster than Abbot scurrying to a freshly opened bag of chocolates. I loved the color of the batter, and the smell of the butter and sugar. It was soothing and satisfying to think that a delicious cake would come from such common food staples.
Meanwhile, Abbot and Stanley2 attempted to get the brown sugar that was needed for the crumbly topping. I knew this cake was not a chocolate cake and was wondering just what kind of cake it would be. I had to admit, crumbly topping sounded really special.
I scraped the bowl with a spatula and some batter stuck to it. My maker said it would be OK if I tried a little. And I was glad I did. It tasted like nothing I've ever had before. I asked my maker if we could leave the cake in this form. Why bake it and ruin a good thing?
The cake was ready for the oven. We sprinkled some of the sugar mixture in the center of it, and sprinkled the rest on top. I had to hold Abbot's arms back as he continued to wonder if he could fit down that hole in the center. Stanley2 crawled along the edge of the cake pan. We almost forgot he was there as we placed the cake into the oven. Thankfully, we remembered. If Abbot were to lose another cockroach friend I don't know what we'd do.
Our cake was finished in about one hour. My maker told me it was a cinnamon swirl cake and it smelled like what I imagine Heaven would smell like, if one liked cinnamon. I guess Heaven would smell differently according to a person's preferences. But I liked this.
And it tasted as good, if not better than, Heaven.

One year of my "life", my "being", has passed. I am not sure how I feel about that when I think deeply about it. I have done a lot of things in this one year, and there is so much more I'd like to do. I guess what I have learned the most is that life is full of...........words. And that's a blessing. Adjectives, verbs and nouns are my tools by which I aspire to live and communicate. I have come to realize that there is a necessity for words because life warrants them to describe, to feel, to think, to love, to taste, to see, to do, to BE. I am sure my life would be diminished without the opportunity to write about what I think and feel. What do I wish for on this day, my very first MadeDay? That my life continue to be full of words. And I hope yours is too.

Now, where's that cake?

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat

Being a monster I already know what it feels like when someone looks at me and is frightened. I don't look like a human, and neither does Abbot. Children, mostly, are afraid of us, and some adults think we're odd. This is why I thought Halloween would be a perfect holiday for me. For once I would be frolicking in the world, no longer as frightening as I have come to feel I am. I must say, I saw many scarier monsters than myself on that evening.
My maker told Abbot and I that Halloween is a time when we can change our identity for one day, and since I am basically considered a frightening fellow, I wanted to make sure I chose to change into something that wasn't so scary, like a super hero. My maker had raised her eyebrows at my request, asking if I'd like to be something a little more horrible. But I told her my philosophy and she conceded. Abbot, on the other hand, I think was a trifle confused by the concept. His first request was to be a rock. I had to explain to him again the concept of Halloween, and my maker had a little laugh over his request, claiming we just "don't get it", but, alas, she let us be what we chose. After the rock request Abbot did go through a string of possibilities: a washing machine, a boat, a can opener, a horse trainer, a hula hoop, and a tree branch, before settling on the funny papers. It was the lesser of the evils, my maker said.
Even out in the streets with children dressed as goblins, grim reapers, ninjas, and witches, Abbot and I stood out. We couldn't figure out why.
It was time to ring a doorbell and say Trick or Treat. I had to explain to Abbot, as my maker did to me, what the phrase meant and why we say it on Halloween to get candy. I just hoped we didn't get any tricks. We stopped at many houses and my maker had to explain who we were, because as much as we wanted to, we could not say the words "trick or treat". Not everyone can read our minds or facial expressions as our maker does. Some folks giggled, which made Abbot gargle, and some folks just didn't like us. But we are used to that by now, and my maker says those people don't have a sense of humor.
This sweet little girl named Clara liked us though, and she gave us treats. She had on a costume that made it look like she was riding a dinosaur. I liked that.
Clara dropped some chocolate into our pumpkin buckets, we thanked her, and we were on our way to more houses to say, well, telepathically anyway, Trick or Treat.
As we went from house to house Abbot became more and more frustrated with trick or treating and I didn't know why. It's as if he kept waiting for something more to happen, as if getting free chocolate wasn't enough excitement for him! But Abbot normally does have a lot of energy and a short attention span and I was concerned he was getting bored.
I pulled on my maker's coat and asked her if we could be finished because I thought Abbot had had enough. He had also had about 12 candy bars and may have been feeling ill. My maker said we needed to stop at one more house. When we approached this house my maker practically had to drag me up to the doorway. A man with a hockey mask sat on a bench on his porch, and in his hand was a basket of candy. This didn't seem logical to me because the porch was eerie and had spiders and witches and cob webs all about. Normally a hockey mask wouldn't sound like a frightening idea, but I don't know, the man looked terrifying, and to think he was the possessor of the candy didn't make sense. All the other homes we visited were barely frightening, but this made me ill at ease. My maker dragged me along, and I dragged Abbot along, and I honestly thought Abbot would lose those candy bars all over that sidewalk. He whimpered like a puppy with his tail between his legs.
My maker wasn't scared at all. She walked right up there (as Abbot and I left a fingernail scratched trail behind us) and introduced us to the masked man. He put some candy bars in our buckets and then reached his hand to his face to remove his mask. Abbot turned to my maker and buried his head in her pants, but I wanted to see what was underneath. And underneath was....was.....just a man. And he was a nice man. But the fact that he had so much candy left in his basket made me think that maybe he should leave his mask OFF. However, maybe his intention WAS to have a lot of candy left!
We had time for one last photo of the two of us before the sun set for the day. It had been exciting, but I was sad I wouldn't be able to change my identity for another year. Abbot continued to be squirmy about something, even though we had gotten home, which is where I thought he wanted to be. He doesn't talk very much by nature, but I asked him what was wrong. I was tired of guessing. Abbot looked at me and asked when we were going to trick or treat. I told him that's what we had just finished doing. But he was adamant, and tried again. "No," he said, "When are we going to Trick HER Treat?" I didn't understand at first, but then I realized Abbot had been waiting all day to Trick HER Treat, which I was not even sure what that meant. "What does that mean, Abbot?" I asked. "I don't know!" said Abbot, then he added, "I thought YOU did!"
My maker let us sleep in our costumes that night, and in the morning we dumped our candy buckets onto the floor. We ate a few pieces, and decided we didn't care for the granola bars someone gave us. We liked the Milky Ways the best, Funny, those are my maker's favorite too. Maybe that's why so many were missing by morning?
Until next time.