She will lie in wait, hiding her talents… looking like “the innocent flower, but be(ing) the serpent under’t.” She will become a spy of the International Women’s Cooperative and instead of dominating the world like she originally planned, she will carry out counter-intelligence operations for them. As a side-job, she will be the star of a new series of James Bond films. Becoming tired of this, she will retire to Greece, where she will sit in dark cafes, brooding and looking mysterious.
This was my senior yearbook prediction, written by my English teacher. I think about him often. He was the human embodiment of a wreck, his insomnia discernible by the way bags hung below his eyes and his depression transparent from the way his sarcasm stretched over and masked his concerning comments. He was a little man in his early 30s, with shoulder-length, dirty blonde hair and beady blue eyes. He carried around this tattered, acoustic guitar and at-times he sat in his classroom during our lunch break and whimsically strummed it. He was also a cat-dad.
“I have a cat, he’s an asshole. I would rather have a cat than a dog anyways, they look like they don’t have a care in the world. And plus, when I die, he will eat me,” he had chuckled nonchalantly.
I spent a lot of my time mindlessly conversing with him, because we appeared to had found common ground. The interactions were wholesome, and as weird as it may sound to spend the lunch break talking and eating with a grown man who happens to be your English teacher, it wasn’t at all. He was a vegan, and a big advocate for BIO-product based meals, which he carried tucked away in a ragged tote bag to school every day. Whenever I reluctantly took out my Tupperware with my chunky chicken breasts, he barely even acknowledged it and I appreciated that.
“It’s hardly possible to maintain plants at home when you have a cat that feasts on them like a king,” he had stated with a laugh.
“Anyhow, aren’t plants tedious? They require lots of care,” I had queried him with genuine interest.
“They are indeed needy organisms, but so are we, you know?”
“Definitely, but I would assume that human needs outweigh those of plants,” my eyebrows had furrowed together forming a puzzled crease.
“This varies, I believe, from human to human. I mean when you buy a specific plant you can just Google the care that it requires. If you could do the same with people, life would be effortless. Perhaps, too much so,” he explained.
“I can barely take care of myself, I don’t know if I could take care of a plant,” I had paused to chew, “or even more so, A CAT!” I exclaimed when I remembered his cat.
His laugh had boomed, “That’s exactly why you get plants, and even asshole cats. So, by taking care of them, you can simultaneously be reminded to take care of yourself as well.”
I thought back to that, and then back to my yearbook prediction. I, in fact, did not dominate the world while working for the International Women’s Cooperative, nor did I star in any James Bond movies.
But I did adopt a cat who ate the plants that swamped my apartment.