Tag: Susan

The Cat God turns into the Cat Devil

This is what happens when a grieving husband runs out of Xanax:

I screamed at the cat tonight. For the third night in a row, she knocked down the pictures of my wife I keep on the mantel in the living room (now known as the dead room—yet I continue to inhabit it).

I went crazy. I would never hurt the cat — her name is Bella, who I got for my wife Susan when her illness became a lethal presence in our home — or any animal for that matter. But, nonetheless, tonight I yelled and screamed at her like a madman. 

Since Susan’s death last Christmas, Bella is all I have, and I’m all she has. She thinks I am (and I say this as humbly as I can) the Cat God.

But when I yelled at her tonight I told her I was the Cat Devil and that I had killed the Cat God and taken over the house and I howled like a crazy Cat Devil, and Bella — who had assumed a half-hidden supine position on top of the bookcase — looked at me with detached curiosity and I told her, in my Boris Karloff voice, “You think I’m mad, don’t you?”

She just kept looking at me with the feline equivalent of ‘arched eyebrows’ as I continued my mad speech: “Well, let me tell you, I’m glad I’m mad! I’m glad I’ve gone mad, because I prefer insanity over the reality of living without Susan — the Cat Mama to you.”

Whereupon Bella jumped down from the bookcase and trotted over to my armchair and looked at me with a look that said: “I understand. I miss her too.”

Enlisting Silver Surfer to help in my Cosmic Quest

It’s a long shot but profound grief makes one push the envelope.

First of all, let me tell you about this super hero, the Silver Surfer. Man, I can’t begin tell you what he can do (see footnote below). But just for starters, he travels throughout the Universe on a surfboard craft faster than the speed of light.  

Now, as incredible as this sounds, there’s a remote chance that I can enlist the Silver Surfer to help find my wife, who, I hope beyond hope and pray beyond prayer, is somewhere out there, among the 100 billion galaxies in the Universe.

The Silver Surfer suffered his own loss of a soulmate, so he would understand my quest.


I don’t mean to insult any reader, but in case you don’t know, the Silver Surfer is a humanoid alien with indestructible metallic skin who can travel through space on the surfboard at superluminal speed.

He used to be an astronomer, Norrin Radd, who lived on the planet Zenn-La, which was targeted for extinction by the planet devourer Galactus, a god-like figure who feeds on the energy of living planets. 


Radd confronted Galactus and offered to become his herald, seeking out new worlds for him to devour if Galactus would spare Zenn-La. Galactus agreed and transformed Radd into the silver-skinned, cosmic-powered super-being, imbuing him with a small portion of his Power Cosmic.* (see footnote)

Radd basically had sold his soul; he served Galactus for 100 years. But when Galactus planned to devour Earth, things changed radically for the conflicted Radd. It’s a complex story [see here] but with the help of the Fantastic Four, the Silver Surfer rediscovered his noble spirit and his soul.

The Silver Surfer defied Galactus and saved Earth! Galactus took his revenge by exiling him to Earth, where the Silver Surfer joined forces with the Fantastic Four and other super heroes to fight demons and destroyers throughout the Universe.

Heavy duty stuff! So here’s the deal. I have a supernatural acquaintance — I can say no more about that at this time — who has a way (again, secrecy must prevail) of contacting a certain member of the Fantastic Four, who in turn can contact the Silver Surfer.

As I said, it’s not going to be easy — in fact it’s going to be incredibly difficult — but I believe that nothing is impossible in this already impossible Universe.

*Herewith the “aesthetic evil” of the footnote: Power Cosmic is cosmic energy that allows the possessor to perform God-like feats, including creating life, resurrection, manipulating souls, memories and emotions, telepathy, telekinesis, size alteration, transmutation of matter, teleportation of objects across space, creation of force fields, inter-dimensional portals, and, the most formidable of all, mass-scale events such as re-creating dead worlds and destroying multiple solar systems simultaneously.


Spiritual comfort for the bereaved — 80-proof guaranteed


Alcohol is god’s gift to the inconsolable.

If I may steal from an old joke: When people ask me if I have a drinking problem, I say, “No, I pretty well got it down.”

People who are okay with my hobby, ask me, What do you drink, mainly?

It kind of a seasonal thing with me — rum in the winter, tequila in the spring, gin in the summer, vodka in the fall, and brandy at bedtime whatever the season — and (I saved the best for last) the year-round favorite, Jack Daniels, so smooth, easy on your throat, unlike some whiskeys.

So, aided by the above 80-proof alcoholic beverages, I (please pardon the cliché) drown my sorrows, and I’ve had my share. But the damndest thing, I drown them for that night, but they ain’t dead, the next day they pop back up like bloated bodies in a sea of sorrow.

You can’t kill them. The only way to get rid of them permanently, is to drive them from your mind and the only way to do that is to off yourself, as the saying goes, which I’ve thought about just about every day these past ten months since my wife died. But I decided — with help from a certain person with the spiritually seductive name of Renata de Dios — not to do that.

‘Tis preferable, I concluded, to mellow out and fall into bed drunk, and, as Shakespeare penned, perchance to dream… Dreams of Susan, good ones, I pray, where we live over again parts of our life together. But even the goddamn guilt-ridden dreams I can handle, because when I wake, usually around noon, I shake them off and console myself with the thought that there are only five hours to cocktail hour.

Praise the Lord and pass the bottle.

Here’s to you, Dear Reader!

Did my wife see God when she listened to this aria?

From the final act of Puccini’s opera ‘Turandot.’

Susan listened to Pavarotti singing  the aria ‘Nessun Dorma’ the night before she died. That music, and the close-to-God look on her face is my last living memory of her.

Nessun dorma’ is Italian for “None shall sleep.”

But now Susan is asleep, some say forever in an un-life of oblivion; others say until Jesus returns; and others say she is awake in an eternal world of wondrous glory.

And I say, I don’t know. But I fear the worst. That I will never be with her again. And that is why this empty house that we shared now resounds with the sustained high-note aria that moved her soul.