Cat Companions

While my daughters visit my brother in New Hampshire — eating meat, watching Stephen Colbert, the youngest driving his car — I hole up with my laptop and the cats.

My daughters handled a false oil light in the car, nearly had the hood open on the interstate, and — missing a detour — took a circuitous route along the mountainous Kancamagus Highway. (We’re on the Kanc, my youngest texted me. I wrote back, Why?) On their way home, they stopped and climbed beside a waterfall, then returned for dinner, merry and cheerful.

I clearly (and silently) remember what I was doing at 20 — swapping engines between two VW bugs, wandering lost around Boston. Be safe, I think, just be safe.

Home again, back to school and work tomorrow — as much truth as I need at the moment. Despite what anyone with a twitter account might insist, the truth is whether your family is safe, or not, and no sharpie line can change that.

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power…. Power is not a means; it is an end.

— George Orwell, 1984

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

5 comments

  1. There’s really not much worse than remembering what I was doing when I was my sons’ age.

    Do you not feed meat to your daughters?

  2. Sure, I feed the girls meat. My crusading vegetarian days are long over. But my brother is — I’ll just admit it — a better cook. He’s also filled our freezer with meat, for which I’m infinitely thankful…..

  3. Bit my nails a bit while my daughter took the D Coach down to NYC, walked a mile to meet her friend at a theater, went to opening night of her friend’s play, stayed overnight and found her way back to the Coach (and home) on Sunday. Glad for the texts and pictures reassuring me that all was well. One that particularly made me smile: “Google maps is awesome.”

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