Walking the neighborhood tonight, I came across a man sitting on the parking strip in front of his house, a giant orange cat on his lap.
"His name is Momo," he said. " I like to refer to him as a momo-sapien."
Puffy orange cat, man in orange and yellow geometric-print shorts and a green botanical-print shirt. White beard. The sun was setting and the sky yawned in tangerines and corals. So much color!
I said, "you know, don't you, that if you were smaller, he'd eat you."
"Oh! That's never occurred to me!"
"Think about it," I said.
"Even without feathers?"
"Especially without feathers."
I continued on, up and down steep little hills, roses spilling out onto the sidewalk everywhere. I thought of a previous life, in the suburbs, when I felt as if I'd die of loneliness, loneliness for this urban neighborhood.
A man and his son throwing a baseball, the son in pajamas.
A couple on their front porch, their baby finally asleep.
The trickle of running water: a backyard fountain.
The tomato-and-oregano scent when I walk past the back door of the little neighborhood Italian restaurant, the clang of pans.
A door slamming.
The breeze kicking up, a shift in the weather, clouds piling up against the mountains.
And then home again, to my humble house that is not a beach-cabin getaway, but home.
Only home, always home, and mine.