Cathy Eats Her Words

October 24, 2007

Character notes

Filed under: Character,NaNoWriMo — jeanne @ 2:14 pm

Star doesn’t like fish. So Cathy and Husband have to wait until she’s gone somewhere, and then have to keep the doors and windows open and use air fresheners. Star comes thru the room holding her nose and making a big nasty face. Further in her pregnancy, she expands this dislike to I’m getting sick.

Star keeps the TV on all the time, either some reality show or mtv .  She keeps it on all night, and sometimes Cathy has to come in and shut it off after she’s asleep. Sometimes she leaves on scary movies, or it’s the loop of a dvd menu.

Star wants it cold in the summer and hot in the winter. All winter she has the doors sut and the drapes drawn, and the oil filled radiator going both barrels. In the summer she gets a window air conditioner and runs it full blast all the time. The temperature difference between the rest of the house, and the outdoors, is  enough to give someone a stroke.

Mom brings a whole suitcase of special foods and home remedies, over the counter drugs, prescription drugs. She looks like the bag lady of pharmaceuticals. The first day there she goes on about the health benefits of flax seed, drinking a nasty-looking concoction of flax seed and orange juice she says will do her good. The next day she’s all gummed up with constipation because of the flax seed making glue in her guts. The day after she has husband run to the drugstore for stool softeners. The day after that she has him run out for dulcolax, something stronger. The day after tha tshe goes in with a finger and hooks out the sheep pellet-sized constipated shit. The day after that she has diarrhea. By this time she’s running a fever, so she stays in bed all day, watching the TV very loud on either the Xian channel or Fox News. After a week of this, she announces she’s figured out she has diverticulitis, and on the orders of a doctor several years ago, the only thing to do is go completely to bed for three days. So she eats a handful of nuts and other diverticulitis-inflammatory items, and lazes around some more, the idea of going back home having flown out the window. It’s at this point when Cathy and husband start to hide from her.

How does Mom cope with Star’s trying to hide from her bounty-hunter boyfriend? She’s dismissive of the danger. Nobody’s going to capture you and throw you in jail. Nobody’s going to take your baby. There’s no need to keep away from windows (she throws open all the blinds at every opportunity). Answer the phone, will you, Star? Oh, you want to speak to Star – yes, she’s right here. Come on, let’s go to the mall – I want to buy you some baby things.

Cathy spends her days tending her garden and writing a food blog. She’s being an activist, following her old hippie ideals. She’s concerned about pesticides, food additives, factory farming, and the food industry takeover of the FDA. She’s an early disciple of Adele Davis and Jethro Kloss. She reads food labels and is suspicious of any ingredient that she doesn’t have on her own pantry shelves. She makes dinner from scratch every night, and never goes out to eat. She thinks that all the world’s problems can be cured by the proper diet.

Cathy and husband keep sneaking off to have sex. Since they’re old, a ‘quickie’ can take several hours, but they arrange to meet out in the garden and crawl in under the camper top of he truck that’s been laying out in the back yard for months. They go up into the attic looking for things, and Star hears strange bumps. After Star moves into the attic, they hide in her old closet. When Mom comes to stay, they move downstairs to the futon in husband’s tinkering room and try to have sex every night, falling asleep in the middle, and try again when they wake up in teh morning, only to be intererupted by the dog wanting to go pee, or Mom banging on the ceiling for someone to come up and show her how to turn on the coffee pot, or to fetch her the sugar because she’s out of the fake stuff again.

The dogs. Husband’s dog is a mutt, and when they go to the pet store for food, the Eukanuba guy tries to argue them into $50 dog food. He asks what kind of dog they have, and husband says a mongrel, and the guy wants to know what breedd that is? they end up going to the supermaket for the $7 bag of 40 lbs of food. Star’s dog is a Maltese, a hairy little mop of a dog who humps the mutt all day, and comes away with a soaking head, as the mutt sticks her whole head into his maw. The little dog barks at every noise, but they only pay attention when the mutt barks because he’s got better judgment. The little dog likes to shit on thecouch where usband likes to sit and read his book. Cathy has to come around and check when he comes upstairs to take a rest. She also has to clean out the cat litter box three times a day because the little dog likes cat poop – with crunchy bits.  The little dog came from Star’s dad’s place untrained. While there she would go off and pee on the rug in the spare room. When she comes to Cathy’s house, Star refuses to take her out to pee (she doesn’t need to pee), and so Cathy starts a regimen, and with time the little dog becomes housetrained. The little dog eats expensive little dog food, but she wants to eat the mutt’s food, which is full of artificial flavors and colors. The mutt, of course, lives to eat the expensive food, and they both are quite sneaky about it. The people don’t usually notice until they’ve almost finished each other’s dishes.


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