For later

Looking towards Kowloon in the fog

I will remember this winter of 2022 I expect. Every morning I make tea and look out the window at Kowloon. This morning city is strangely foggy, closed off, quiet. There are no runners on the track, no tennis players on the courts. Few folk are out. I cannot see the ICC across the harbor, one of the world’s tallest buildings ghosting me. Neon on other TST rooftops is still on, bleeding though the fog with vague appeals.

This is a rare view of Hong Kong, a city usually bustling and humid. I am grateful for the quiet moments, as they match my life, unemployed and awaiting great change. By the peak of summer’s heat everything will be different, our lives, work, weather, this room, the fact that I sit wrapped in a blanket.

These quiet mornings the past two years have given me time to think. I’ve wasted much of it on reading news and random things, and still around the edges the quiet hours have done their trick. I’m happy here, in the house before it wakes, with my brain before it does likewise. I am glad to tend the cat and put away dishes, to make tea and then watch the treetops of Victoria Park, looking towards the harbor. Even the cockatoos are silent today. Usually they wheel about at seven thirty sharp, expressing their opinions of the morning to the world in loud voices.

The only reliable motion is the trundling busses, double decker ones and mini ones, back and forth on King’s road and up the hill. I love that the only sound is public transportation. There are people out of course, this is a dense urban center, but no more than twenty or so visible, scant different here at seven from two am this morning. There are always ten people visible from our seventh floor apartment. This is Hong Kong and we are never alone.

I wonder what this room will feel like in July. I wonder what my mornings will be like in the heat? Will I run AC in here or enjoy the mornings before they grow too hot? What did I do last year? It’s hard to remember the same as always. I got this chair in June. We gave away the couch that had occupied this spot some time later. The shapes of prior furniture come back to me, vaguely, but not the
feel of their coverings on my skin. Years later and I am still confused by the changes in weather.

Fur drifting

A new season has come to our San Francisco apartment. Like the cottonwood fluff of my childhood, cat fur drifts in small tufts, buffeted by the fan kept on at all hours. Truly warm weather is rare here, and I don’t expect it to stay much into June. Soon Mr. Squish will miss all that soft under fur he has left on the sofa, on the bed, and everywhere else he’s been this week.

Like most good memories of childhood, I’m not sure of the season of cottonwoods, though I remember mowing through grass covered enough to look like snowfall with their white spores. It’s a good memory, now, as I’m safely removed from allergies by time and distance. The cat fur not as much, and I pull it off of my shirt and out of my coffee. Mostly, though, I catch it drifting lazily by, held up by breeze and lingering feline magic. It’s the soft under-stuff that drifts like this, the kind of fur that makes people shocked when they pet Mr. Squish for the first time.

He’s so soft!” they all say. He is, though there are plenty of sharp bits.

Like a rabbit,” some note.

I agree. It’s a luxurious feeling, this cat of long fur that mingles into downy softness. He’s a strange cat, and the fur is definitely a contributor. As Tara says, he really has one job: turning kernels into fur. It’s a responsibility he takes very seriously.

Somehow though this drift doesn’t create much of a reaction in my sinuses, which is why we get along so well, and can share this very furry one bedroom apartment without issue. It’s luck, fate, and probably mostly strange genetics. The furriest cat I’ve ever lived with is also mostly nonallergic. And soft.

As I watch him in the morning, sitting on a stool in the kitchen sniffing the open window, I can see the wind ruffling his fur. Every once in a while the morning breeze causes some to separate, and flutter off out of the kitchen into the hallway. It’s a slow motion, appropriate to the cool San Francisco morning. In the heat of the afternoon he will nap in the sun, and the shedding will be much more active, an intentional reaction to the warm beams.

It’s almost time to vacuum.

Again.