Day 186: Willy Takes A Step Outside
It’s too loud in the daytime. The deafening hum of the city below, above and across. Sometimes, Willy can tolerate it. He can puff his chest and face it head-on. But then, there’ll be a siren, a car horn or two trains passing at the same time. It always overwhelms his mind and he retreats to his hiding spot under the bed. He lays there and waits for the delirium to fade away. But it gets easier and easier as the days go on. He adjusts to certain sounds and some simply don’t scare him anymore. But he still waits to retain his nerves of steel. He waits to feel invincible again.
It’s a whole lot quieter at night. The sounds are much more sparse and the trains only come once in a little while. The Fat Man is sitting outside again. Smoking his pipe, drinking his drink, doing the things that The Fat Man does. Mom had already gone off to bed and based on her inability to stir and pet Willy whenever he saw fit, she was out like a light. Willy pressed his face against the glass door and waited. It stayed quiet outside for a long while. A perfect time for an adventure.
After a while, The Fat Man noticed him in the doorway. He carefully stumbled out of his chair, as not to frighten or startle Willy. He slowly opened the door, walked back to his seat and minded his own bees wax. After all these years, he finally learned to respect Willy’s space and privacy. He slowly and carefully walked onto the balcony. The Fat Man settled in his seat and the sound sent shockwaves down Willy’s spine. But he was okay. He was going to be okay. The other sounds weren’t bothering him at all. It was time for him to see. He has to know what existed in the world below him. He softly pressed his face against the mesh fencing and looked down below.
It was a roadway. Surely, he had seen one before, but Willy can’t remember when or where. It must’ve been years. Even though it was dark and poorly lit, there was still so much for him to see. A bicycle glided by quickly and effortlessly as Willy followed their head and tail lights. A couple walking on the sidewalk, holding hands and chatting noisily. A stream of vehicles he had never seen in person before. A truck, a car, a van, a bus, a Mazda, all passed by together in perfect synchronicity. It was beautiful, it was chaotic, it was organized, it was all so brilliant. After a few moments of inaction, Willy ran back inside as he heard the door close behind him.
He leapt up on the bed and tried to stir Mom awake. He wanted to tell her about all the great things he saw. He wanted to brag about how he wasn’t afraid anymore. But she was in a deep sleep. Willy climbed on her further, gently pressing his head against hers. It worked like a charm, as she slowly awoke to pet him a few times and then quickly drifted back to sleep. It was no use. He’ll tell her tomorrow. The world is his oyster and the night is young. Now if only he could get The Fat Man to let him back outside.
It only took a few soft mews before The Fat Man noticed. Just like before, he carefully let him back outside and let him have his space. Willy gazed down in wonder. There’s so many things about the world that he didn’t consider before. So many people. More people than he could ever meet. And they were all living their lives below, unaware of his existence or the existence of each other. He wanted to know more about their lives. What they were doing and why. What their homes looked like and whether or not their cats liked them. The weight of it was a lot and it became kind of overwhelming. He went back inside in attempt to calm down and The Fat Man came in right behind him.
They sat for a while in silence. Him on the couch and Willy on the floor. They looked at each other and then at the window and then back to each other. The more they looked, the closer Willy inched towards the door. The Fat Man got up and they both went outside again. Feeling a lot more comfortable, Willy playfully traversed under the table and chairs to attack The Fat Man’s feet. He played along slightly, but he was too invested with looking down below. They stood against the ledge together and just took it all in. They appreciated the cool breeze on their skin, hair and fluff. They took several deep breaths of crisp air. There’s something special about the night time and the life that goes on in it. Everything slows down for you to focus your mind on one little thing. Willy realizes that it’s important to embrace that slowness and not let the thoughts pile up.
Or at least that’s what he thinks.
After all, he’s just a cat.
But that cat took his spot at the edge of the bed that night, he did so a changed cat. An enlightened cat.
When day came and the humans awoke, Mom had The Fat Man open the door for Willy. He took a few steps out, but quickly retreated back inside. It wasn’t that he was afraid of the noise this time. He just now knows the truth:
Daytime’s for suckers. The night-time is the right time.