Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Crossroads


I want an unrelated job. I can’t do this any more. The time has come to give this wannabe author thing up. I need something I can do even when I’m stressed that will support me and the cats.

I don’t want to do the endless promoting that is self publishing, and I don’t want to make my writing commercial if that means I lose my voice.
I don’t want to spend years refining and editing a manuscript for it to sell 10 copies… For all the anguish, that’s not enough for me.

I’ll never stop writing, I can’t. It’s who I am, but it will be scaled back to contributing to anthologies perhaps. If it happens to fit. I can still blog and shout into the nothingness, pretending that somewhere my words connect with someone, means something, an other nodding to themselves.

When you need to pay an editor and proofreader out of your own pocket to be able to pub, and it costs more than you will ever make…there’s a word for that, or one that can be reclaimed. Vanity publishing. Dreamer.
It’s time to raincheck. There’s no money in it unless you strike it very lucky. Most of us throw our work out there for free in the hope that our labours of love is discovered and enjoyed by readers. That they will add your name to the list of ones to look out for new stories from. Perhaps send you a kind note.

I wonder what else I can do. 12 yrs in Mexico sure has robbed me of all professional self confidence, despite a wealth of experiences, and numerous arrows to my quiver.

But I’m not going to lie, some days I just want to give up. I didn’t come this far for that. I’ve started over so many times and I didn’t expect to, and don’t particularly want to do it again.
I just want somewhere to land softly. Somewhere I’m welcome. Somewhere to heal. To feel safe and where I can – and want to – stay. Make friends. The kind you can watch the sky with, feet touching, like the rabbits in the picture. You know what I mean?

New podcast episode: Music & Dysphoria


A new episode about my love of music and sound, living with body dysphoria, and being enby and asexual in the world. Some salty language. An 18 minute break from current affairs, only available on soundcloud.

Have also remastered earlier episodes, hopefully you’ll notice an improvement in clarity and sound.

https://soundcloud.com/elisse-rosales/music-and-dysphoria

Wanted: new life

It’s not yet 9 am and I’ve already cried. It never ends with a bang, always with a whimper. The kind where you ask yourself repeatedly if you got this right, is overreacting, or making it up? “face facts” as some might call it. Is it over, or is this another hurdle to push through? Unless it is one more serving of cultural differences, this is the end, because from where I’m looking, I’m the only one trying. He’s coasting along.

It’s deceptive, we get on so well. That’s not enough, I suppose. if there’s sex without love, then love without sex is possible too. but that’s not enough for some. everything is negligible if there is sex, it seems. sex outweighs everything else.

For 12 years I’ve been here, supporting, loving, caring, waiting for his kids to grow up so we could go off and do things. I’ve supported financially when not even their mother does.
After February’s bombshell I was still prepared to forgive if not forget. Try and find a way forward, a compromise of some sort. but there has been no efforts made apart from mine, no attempts to regain or rebuild my shattered trust. Again I wonder if it is cultural. I know his brothers have done the same, but in those cases there is mutual offspring providing motivational glue.

Then c19 hit and focus shifted to just stay alive and get through this first. One thing became clear though; we have very little to say to each other any more.
The first five years we talked and talked, longed for more time together. Now we finally got it, like in so many other situations, it was too late. He refused to talk unless drunk – I don’t see the point then because, a) he doesn’t make sense, and b) don’t remember later.
attempting to start even a civil conversation over dinner is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Cagey, monosyllabic replies, often ending in frustrated, not exactly arguments but something smaller, similar.

What hurts the most – beside the lies – is there is no “we” anymore. No little unit of us in the world.
Hoops I braved and dealt with, for as long as there was us, it was worth it. Now I have to remind myself to, if something comes along, to choose what’s best for *me*, because there is no more us.
I feel cheated, sure there’s been growing and experiences I wouldn’t want to trade, but I was so certain this was forever, not until.

I remember, watching the outcome of brexit and being upset and crying, and he said, “what does it matter? you’re not going back there”. and in the middle of everything sad and gloomy, it felt reassuring. Now, it still means I have nowhere to go.

Last night I was trying to form some kind of fictional hope in my mind before sleep; if I could have anything, wake up tomorrow to a new life, what would it look like? and I couldn’t.

Mexico you have drained health and life out of me, bled me of my savings and will to live. When will I receive something else, something new, something I actually want, a way forward and help out of here?


If anyone who made it this far know of *online work*, real leads, like your company is hiring, please drop me a line. I don’t have the energy to chase and jump through a bunch of hoops right now. I’ll consider most things, except sex and violence and coldcalling/selling. Thank you.

New podcast episode: Nocturnal ponderings.

New podcast episode: Nocturnal ponderings.

I love the night, I love the dark time of day, and not for the reasons you might think.
Check it out!

https://soundcloud.com/elisse-rosales/nocturnal-ponderings

Scribbles going about things

I’m writing this in a small notebook I keep in my bag, in the queue in the supermarket as we inch forward towards the checkouts. People are still unused to bagging their own groceries after three months. My knee is burning, and I’m glad I decided against trying the frozen yoghurt.
Only one person per family allowed in at a time; no elderly, no pregnant women, no kids. I quite like the absence of screaming kids running around and chasing each other, and no wailing babies.

As I added the things we need to the trolley, I am forever reminded of dad, and blink the tears away. It is scant comfort that he is – in this moment – safe and gets his groceries delivered. I miss him so much, and this year there’ll be no flying around the world to visit.

Like countless times before I glance around, hoping against hope to see someone, bump into a dear or at least familiar-in-a-good-way face, or make a new acquaintance. In 13 years that’s never happened but I keep hoping. Followed by a split-second daydream that a friend has come over to surprise me against all odds. Silly me. And this year, right now, with C19, the odds have dropped into negative figures.

There is a feeling of hopelessness that just refuses to shift, so I feel it and breathe deeply behind my face mask, and try not to cry. Not that anyone can see me behind the steamed up glasses.
I feel it in all supermarkets, have done for years. Right now the fear that spiked before xmas and again with C19 has dropped somewhat but it’s still there.
Then I wonder if that desperation and hopelessness I’m feeling is me or this place. If it is my vibrational discord or an undercurrent outside of me.
I’ve felt it for years, and the best I can describe it is imagine continuously throwing a basket ball and only ever hitting the hoop. Never ever getting one in.
It’s a good metaphor for my life, and I wonder what tethers me to this world at all, I feel so lost and lonely in it.

The endless regeton pumped out through various speakers, seemingly to indoctrinate people – as if they needed to be reminded – that life is all about sex. That misogyny is alive and well in this ugly city. Reminding me that I will never fit in.

I berate myself for being seemingly unable to keep my focus on something positive; here and now. That there is food available even if the prices have escalated, and I have enough to feed and keep us.

But I come back to what feels like a wasted life. Mine.
Like people through the ages, I just keep pushing, hoping to push through, and find that break that will make it worth while. Push on, because I don’t know what else to do.

I wonder if it is me, some underlying undiagnosed PTSD or what, that my life seems so not worth living. Like wtf is wrong with me? Besides depression, chronic pain, no local friends, no work, and the general state of the world I mean. I’ve lived with that for years, it’s nothing new. Don’t bother others. No one wants to hear about it. Your problems are petty and you need to snap out of it.

It feels like an eternity when I finally reach the check-out, but when I look at my watch walking towards the exit it’s been about 45 minutes.

On towards the electricity board where the queue snakes out the door and around the corner of the concrete and glass building. Another long goosestep wait to pay the bill at the automates, as usual only half are working. The bill is a 100pesos less than the last one – grateful for small mercies.
I think I can hear a kitten meowing, but I can’t see one. I guess that’s…what…lucky? For what can I do? I can get some catfood from the car and feed it, if it is old enough to eat solids, but it will only prolong the inevitable for an other day. Life as a stray is hash and often short. I wonder why they choose to incarnate into circumstances like that, and what kind of existence would be worse? I don’t go there. It breaks my heart. I want to feed and find shelter for every stray in the whole f’kin world.


In the car going home, stopping to get water.
I wonder if it is I who haven’t got what it takes; enough sticking power or stamina for this world.

It used to be us, a tiny unit of togetherness, metaphorically back to back in the world. Not so any more.
Neither of us are made for this world, and by the look of things
we may not make it to some new one either.
It’s closing in on us. Breaking us apart. It doesn’t feel like any “us” these days. We’re just trying to survive, but no clear motivation why. And I don’t know what to do.

Calling the ancestors

I want to ask my great grandma, who lived through the introduction of electricity, hunger strikes, semi revolution, the 1918 flu pandemic, women’s rights and suffrage, two world wars, and lost her husband to tb in 1944; not to mention the children she buried, and friends and family; how did you do that? Where did you find the strength? Did it feel as overwhelming and surreal as it does right now, and for the past months? Years?
What was your life like? How do you keep going when your tank is empty? I don’t want the ugliness to win.
Where did you and your generation find faith and hope that the future would be better?

I look forward to seeing you, I have so many questions.
The world is such an ugly place right now, perhaps it always was. I don’t want to wake up every morning feeling punched in the gut to be back in this world, wondering what horrors today will bring, and if this is the day my “luck” runs out.
I also want to share a hug. I never got to meet you, and still I miss you.

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Late summer bbq

Late summer bbq, new creepy short story podcast episode available to listen free on

https://soundcloud.com/elisse-rosales/late-summer-bbq-by-catpaw-rosales

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-pfsi3-ddade4

Enjoy

New podcast episode: The new life starts here (or simply Caragh; a short story by – and read by – me)

Finally got the code from NCH yesterday so today I edited another short story podcast for you. I would have preferred it read by an androgynous voice-actor, but you’ll have to make do with me. 
You do not need to download any app to listen, just listen online. I hope you like it 🐾

https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-kcbng-db298a

Smoke (and fear)

Woken up in the night by smoke. This is not unusual; out of the ordinary smells wakes me up. Sometimes I question if it is my migraine brain making it up. Most of the time it is cigarette-smoke (neighbors), or cooking smoke (neighbors again), and it dissipates after half’n hour.
This didn’t. So I went out and up on the roof to see what I could detect. A blanket of smoke covering the whole ‘hood as far as I could see, with no discernible point of origin.

I lay awake for an hour and a half, throat getting increasingly raw. I tried to calm myself with the facts that I was still thinking clearly, and the smoke was not making me drowsy, it couldn’t be bad bad, as in lethally bad. Every time I nearly dropped off to sleep the Danger Danger would go off in my body once more.

This morning Mario found out it was jungle fires around, the wind bringing the smoke to blanket the city. I could hardly speak. 
Lucky for us, the wind has turned and blowing the smoke away. It hasn’t rained for months, unless you count the few drops we just got, minutes ago, and I mean drops. I went outside and I didn’t even get damp. 
Scary, but I’m fine.

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh 💚


At this time….there’s a lot of grief and anxiety floating around in the ether. Feel it, cry if you want to. You do not need a “story” or to know why. Most of us have unprocessed grief, from this or other lifetimes. BREATHE. Let go. Let the tears flow, they are nature’s cleanser, almost like having a shower for your insides.

Feel
Observe
Accept
Love yourself.

an exercise known as FOAL, brought to us by Nora Herold and the Pleiadians. 

99% Invisible

Next up in my “love letters to favorite podcasts to break the writer’s block” – is 99% Invisible.

There’s the podcast itself – which is terrific – and can be found on most podcatchers, and there’ the supporting website ( https://99percentinvisible.org/ ) with so much more than illustrations of what you are hearing. A ton of interesting articles for example to keep you – and me – entertained for weeks, and rekindle one’s curiosity for the world. It’s warm. Engaging. Fascinating. Humane. It reels you in and hugs you reassuringly, a fantastic thing in stressful times.

It says Here! Look! Isn’t this amazing? And it is.
Whether you can’t leave the house right now, need something to do on a long journey, while commuting, gardening, or going for a run, listening to 99% Invisible you can discover the world through a new lens – that of your ears – and add to your bucket list for an other time.

99% Invisible’s fresh take on things you thought you knew keeps it interesting,  they’ve even managed to make some aspects of sports palatable.
It’s the kind of “radio” I wanted to make when I was trying my damnedest to break into radio during the 80s and early 90s. Now I don’t have to do anything but kick back and enjoy it, but yeah, it makes me wonder where I’d have been, on an other timeline. Instead I’m here fan-personing :O

With my phone ceasing I can’t access my highlighted favorites, so I’ve added some episodes I remember in no particular order. Just dive in and see what you like the sound of. Enjoy!

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/gander-international-airport/
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/managed-retreat/
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/depave-paradise/
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/hero-props-graphic-design-film-television/
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/lights-out/
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/uptown-squirrel/
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/mexico-68/

Crossover:
https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/ways-of-hearing/

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