In like a lion out like a stray
With below seasonal temperatures, March came in like a lion and I too arrived with a certain cat-like superiority. The asshole kind of cat that wears fancy boots and eats perfectly cubed meat from a crystal bowl. The kind whose name is preceded by a title. After five years of flogging my writing, I had achieved a literary pat on the head in being named a finalist for the CBC literary awards. As a result I moved through the first few weeks of March with a sort of flawless execution. Navigating challenges with a certain feline air and cat nip optimism. Then the CBC short list was announced and I learned my essay had not advanced.
Despite a letter telling me to be proud of my accomplishment – over 5000 entries! – I morphed back into the ali cat of February – the bedraggled kind – mouseless, milkless and according to my sister, fully mustached. I don’t have a moustache, I argued, examining my upper lip in the rear view mirror. An hour later I was perched on my bathroom vanity having it burned off. Why don’t you take out my claws while we’re at it? I have since spent much of the last month wondering if I was secretly the one with the moustache. Is that your mom? No, she’s over there – the one with the moustache. Or, is that your trainer? No, she’s over there doing lunges. The one in the green shirt? No, the one with the moustache.
Rejection, as does the suggestion of a moustache, blows. The process of submitting your work for publication is highly personal. It’s like showing up at a job interview, butt naked and asking the panel you like? You like?
So here it is, almost the end of March. Still like a lion. Frost this morning. Temperatures below zero. Black ice and fender benders. Cold fingertips. Snow. And me, sans moustache, in my jacket with the fur hood, giving me the temporary appearance of a lion – a sign perhaps that I too may go out like a lion and not a lamb. Meow?