Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bob Dylan and the Cat

“what are you thinking about ?“ she murmured… he looked up abstractedly “mmmmm”?
“where are you?, your miles away”…..
he smiled “ I was thinking about Dad” she stopped what she was doing and listened to him, his Dad had died nearly 35 years before and he rarely talked about him.
“ Did I tell you about the time he kicked the cat across the kitchen”
“ He wasn’t a violent man, just frustrated and at the end of his tether, and the cat tripped him up”
“What happened?”
“the cat squealed but landed on his feet and ran away”
He went back to his paper and she looked out of the window.
Later that evening she came back into the house after shopping and found him sprawled on the settee, sobbing. She went into the kitchen and packed away the groceries. The phone rang, it was their daughter.
“ How’s Dad ?
“He’s fine” she lied.
Three years later the Israelis started bombing the Palestinians in the latest round of their never ending war.
“ Israeli jets bomb Gaza” bleated the Sunday Times. “Like they care” he thought “Rupert Murdoch probably has shares in the company that makes the F16’s”. He watched with feelings of complete impotence as the TV spewed forth more images of other peoples despairand made a mental note to stop buying the Times. He reached for the remote and switched to an old movie channel, he had decided to avoid thinking about things he could not change, and The Middle East, Rupert Murdoch and world peace all firmly fell into that category. However he could do something about how he was feeling, and he switched off the TV and turned on his computer, “Calliope’s Coffee House” was a blog he had just found and its author, Jacquie the Imp had posted a challenge to write 500 words about a picture of a cat. Jacqui’s book list hadn’t inspired him, but she had replied to his comments with an alacrity which surprised him. His own blog and the project he’d been on for the last year using Bob Dylan’s lyrics as a way of creating art was in need of a fresh impetus. The bold oil paintings of last year had become pen and wash illustrations of the Dylan oeuvre which was never his intention… “What are you thinking about?“ she murmured…
Three days later on a pile of rubble in Rafah a cat lazily licked at the dirt. He was quickly shooed away by the aid worker who was looking for survivors of the recent air raids. He scraped away the soil and brickwork to find a hand.
When they carried the corpse away the dead mans face was caught by an Al Jazeera news crew.
As he sipped his coffee he reached for the Times. He blinked as he looked at the front page photo. A corpse dragged from the rubble in Rafah stared up into the unthinking sky. It was his dead father.


  1. That kind of gave me a shiver like "someone walked over my grave". I'll need to read it again but for some reason I like it, even down to the comment about my book list being uninspiring :P Good piece Jim thanks for posting it.

  2. thanks jacquie
    now do I feel a heel about the uninspiring comment.
    for some reason my stories seem to have a gothic twist.
    must be because I'm a bit of a drama queen

    joe (my brother is Jim)

  3. Can't believe I got your name wrong doh!

    Hey my reading list was uninspiring even to me :)

  4. The main thing is your passionate about reading and communication

  5. I think you're turning into a guru! Insightful you are... and I sound like Yoda HA!

  6. guru? yoda ? loada

    make mine a soda