I Fail Inspection

Kage Baker was a firm proponent of the phrase “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Nor was she a soft practitioner, one of those people who endeavours to make pleasant small talk when inside they are barely controlling the urge to Hulk out. You all know who they are, Dear Readers.They may be making eye contact over the coffee counter  or smiling as you discuss the World Series  amid cocktails: but a close look reveals that their pupils are pinpoints, their teeth are not revealed in a smile but merely bared, and you’re probably about to get your jugular ripped out.

These are folk unfit for human contact. Some people never come out of this state – they becomes professionally passive aggressive, or evolve into serial killers. But most of us just hit the unfortunate state from time to time, cope with it (badly), and ultimately sleep, walk, read or drink it off.

But Kage was right – it’s best not to try and talk. Eschew social contacts. Fort up. Quarantine yourself. With the last of your rational mind, fight back the nasty-tempered chimpanzee hiding in all our genomes, and slink into a cave for awhile. The thing to remember is that it goes away. If you can control yourself until it does, all will eventually be well. Or at least better. Or at the very least, different.

I am in just such a horrid state today. I keep checking the stages of grief, but evidently my soul has never heard of them and will have nothing to do with such a tidy progression of emotions. I’ve been definitely dancing with acceptance the last few months – and a lovely dancer he is, too – but suddenly, with summer on the very horizon, his hands full of plums and Bass Ale, I have slipped back into anger. Depression, too, but mostly anger.

I need one of those giant African rats trained to seek out buried land mines. He could run all about and tell me where the pockets of destruction are buried in my id. Then we could stand at the edges and throw rocks at them until they go off harmlessly …

Exploding something would be nice.

Anyway. I really do have nothing nice to say, but I’m not as much of a lady as Kage was: I just cannot keep my mouth shut. so I’m taking palliative steps. I had chocolate-covered marzipan for breakfast. There are fresh berries with dinner. The little black cat and Harry seem aware of the dangers, and are both clinging to me sweetly – she purrs and he sings, and they both snuggle.

I’m going to read something of Kage’s, I think. That’ll make me feel better; or at least confine me to somewhere I would rather be until it’s safe once more to walk abroad.

The rest of you, Dear Readers, have a nice night.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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7 Responses to I Fail Inspection

  1. Mike Young says:

    Mother we all love you and understand that you may sometime be overwhelmed.


  2. Jane says:

    I love the title and you’ve described angry grief perfectly! Time, as you’ve noted, has little grip on the heart. I miss my bird and monkeys crawling up under my hair, and clinging to me when I was upset. Animals do what humans fear to do: they approach when our body language says don’t touch. Aren’t they marvelous?!


    • Kate says:

      They are, Jane. I’m very grateful for my family’s animals – they are a soothing influence. And they won’t take *No *for an answer.

      Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com


  3. mizkizzle says:

    It’s just no damn fair when people we love are taken from us. It’s a further outrage when downright evil people (like a certain former president I could mention) flourish like the green bay tree and good people die. When I die I plan on demanding an explanation.
    Does the little black cat have a name?


    • Kate says:

      The little black cat is named Alexandria, and familiarly known as Lexi. She is compounded of velvet and mist, lives on dew drops and popcorn, and is the sweetest cat in the world. We suspect she is not, in fact, a cat at all – but a benign and quixotically disguised alien who has gone native.


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