Tiny Town, USA – He dreamt vigorously the night before Sunday and beheld many strange things, among them: All the things that never happened when he was awake. Which is to say, he was an ordinary man with oversized yearnings and his Mind begrudged him for it and played lavish Devil-games with his poisoned imagination when he was off-duty.
He could hide this from himself in the daylight hours and even in the skirmish that is a man's evening, which, as he aged and hunkered, fell like a slab on his small plot of knowing.
But the Jets won. They won during a season of not-winning and that provided a stir. Not a great stir, not a relief from this middle passage that never passed, or so he told himself (because it was passing and damned quickly). To him, he was a third person alternative to his first person reality and it was a relief to press word along to this other Self, that even the Jets, in overtime, survived (they didn't win, really) against a winning team. The Jets had pulled it off.
It meant nothing, and it never did, even if ever the Jets won the whole shebang -- once, and importantly, they did. Nothing really had that much weight any more. Nothing. Not love, surely ... Except.
The way the cat jumped on his belly in the morning when she'd had enough of his not-getting-up. This was not the man who saved her feral ass from a winter's death! This was not the man who took her in, pregnant, when it was everything he didn't want to do (and she seemed to know this too, or was, perhaps, late in discovering so), and even helped her to birth four robust kittens (okay, one of them was a little retarded, and He felt sorry for it, so He kept it, but that little retard got fatter and fatter and some days he hated the offspring) ...
The others went to "good homes."
He was the same man. And she raged at him in the mornings, when he was supposed to place the hunt he had gathered before her. She forgave, but she did not forget. Not the Mama Cat. She jumped on his belly, even when he was sore from the illness and once -- omigod! -- he swatted her! Nope. She would not let him die or layabout in Her presence of a morning. It was NOT acceptable!
Still, He seemed to be slipping beyond her persuasions.
So she brokered a deal. She worked it so the Jets won that Sunday, against the odds, hoping in that vain hope of felines that this would change him somehow.
It did not.
The dismal outcome of Mama Cat's incredible efforts, however, are not as interesting as the fact that she rigged the game so that her keeper's once-favorite-now-a-memory team won a middle season game it should not have won.
Some time around dusk that Sunday, he napped. She lay on his belly and, uncharacteristically, padded for the briefest time to nest and, she, too, rested. When he rose -- extremely cautious, for he would rather, like the fabled Arabian King, cut off his hand then to disturb her sleep -- she held her place in the space he'd created in absence of his belly, and pretended to sleep. Unusual. And later still, the young fat child joined her. There was a stillness that comes with early evening and no 60 Minute-think, and no need for dark or light. There was no need to win, lose, or play any games. It was Sunday night, far away from Boston, and that was tiresome enough.
– Robert Sharrows, a former Jets fan