Chapter 8: Bad Kitty: Vacations, Delusions and Joy

Just as the Friday half day was wrapping up and she had her bag of reading sorted, Joy the new intern had come in and blinked at Bad Kitty. “I should take the mail to the…,” and hesitated, probably Bad Kitty realized, because she hadn’t ever been to a post office. Joy, the very pretty daughter of very very rich gallery owners, made special demands on a limited well of patience: BK found herself tired of pulling up pail after pail but controlled herself. She reached for a scrap of paper and drew a little map to the PO which was a few blocks away, handed it to Joy, saying to get the receipt and they’d reimburse her next week. Stunned, as if the Maid had just given her the toilet plunger, Joy backed out of the office, keeping her eyes on BK. As her last effort, BK waved cheerily and wished her a nice weekend (“at the mansion,” was added only mentally).

It had been a long week.

Finally, letting go of her irritability with rich entitled youngsters, she also let herself rest on Saturday afternoon, after tennis in the heat and a big ocean swim.

Bad Kitty could have used a month’s vacation—with maybe another ocean crossing or a Kyoto sublet or a long train journey—and she could have used a double vodka soda, and she could have used a fat bank account and a new car.

What she had was a hammock on a shady porch and a light beer on ice.

That would do.

And a night heron winged by overhead holding its long yellow legs up in back with his feet tucked one over the other daintily just as a whiter than white egret sloped by going the other way. So much beauty. Such luck. “Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.”

And like that, just like that, with a huge sigh, Bad Kitty let it all go—and felt, suspended there, off the hook and waves of contentment. She let go: The hammock swayed and the grassy weeds swayed. Later she would swim and float and catch waves but now she only swayed. Held aloft and off the hook.

—BKE