conversations with other women

by Charlotte

A little over a year ago, a woman came up to me with a cat in her arms.  His name was Sly (Silver Sylvester, for long), and I’d be doing her a favor by taking him.  Now then, I’d known someone with a cat called Sly and have a complete inability to say no to this sort of thing, so I took him home.  Obviously, he’d have to be called Clive.  Obviously.

Spot Clive.

Spot Clive.  Also, tell me what you do with the crappy books you get as presents from family members who are all, “You like books.  Here is a book!”

I’m reading a book for class and this book references all three other books I’m reading right now, and every non-contemporary novel on my wee summer bookshelf.  (The Protagoras, Portnoy’s Complaint, and The Recognitions; for class, on the go, and for fun, respectively.)

My friend was at a used book sale and found a one of those fill-in journals.  She flipped open the book and the first name she saw was of one of her closest advisers in undergrad.

I play this game all the time.  Aren’t I lucky to have stormed out of my editorial meeting early and to have been given Clive?  Isn’t my life the perfect example of how we can’t escape intertextuality?  How funny it is, the way things work.


I called my mother the other day, and one of my aunts answered the phone.

F.: Hello, Bunny!  Your mummy is on the road.  Is there anything you need?

Me: Oh, well, my roommates found a gigantic waterbug, and we’re unsure of how to proceed.

F.: Get a gun and shoot it.


After coming in from a weird, aggressive stand-off with a chestnut-hued squirrel in my backyard.

Me: K., I think the squirrel in the yard wants to kick my ass.  Or maybe he had rabies.  Not sure.

K.: Maybe he’s had a hard life.

I put some almonds in the yard for the squirrel, contrite.


Oh?  Me?  Just hanging out on this fence, watching you work, not in a menacing way or anything.

Oh? Me? Just hanging out on this fence, watching you work in what’s basically a blurry, bodega security cam photo.  Not in a menacing way or anything.

Me: So, I’ve been getting followed around by these huge black birds.  I’m not sure if they’re rooks or crows.

Mummy: Maybe they like you!

Me: They blocked my path on the way to the coffeeshop, sat beside me in front of the student center, and now they’re in my backyard!  One swooped down right in front of the window when I was writing my paper!

Mummy: Did you say hello?

Me: They’re PORTENDS!  Maybe I’m dying.

Mummy: Maybe you’re not being friendly enough, love.


Me: My roommates were gone for the weekend and I got home super late and there was an unwrapped, unrolled condom under my bed.  It wasn’t there before, all of our doors and windows were locked, and I left the house after everyone else.

My dean: Talk to housing.


Me: [forwards email to housing]

[one week elapses]

Housing: Thanks for letting us know.  We’ll alert the supervisor.


This morning.  I wake up to a riot of crows (rooks?) squawking outside my door.  They have eaten the squirrel’s almonds.  (I live in the basement and have my own entrance.)

Anyone familiar with the famous legend of the unrolled condom, insects, arachnids, and/or glimmer murder of crows?  I’d be thrilled to know.  I hope this answers any “Why don’t you blog more often/answer emails/acknowledge my existence?” questions, friends.  Obviously, I’m here, awake, not dying of a rook attack.  Obviously.