Friday, October 26, 2007

Waiting for an Existential Stuffed Burrito

   On the way back from Planet Incubus we frequented one of the fine fast-food drive thru establishments that dot our cityscape and suburbia. While waiting in line, this kitty was waiting placidly in the cement expanse of the florescent brightened parking lot. Though the other passengers in the car were entranced by its ridiculous cuteness and we were all of course touched by the stark vulnerability of such a small kitty (note its size in relation to the thickness of the line) it stands to wonder, What is this kitty waiting for? Those of us in the drive-thru queue were clearly waiting to order 2000% of our daily sodium and an epic numbers of calories and yet this kitty, who can't read the menu and probably has enough sense to avoid the food if given the opportunity watched implacably the line of cars in the lot. Though I was still in medium orbit, it seemed clear to me that this kitten reflects a lot of our present situation (or perhaps my present situation) in the modern condition. I think this small creature is waiting for life, liberty, love and a chance. At least I hope it isn't waiting for an empanada. The most pressing question for me during this encounter is why is this kitty not afraid, bright lights, large loud exhaust producing vehicles any number of anti-kitty tires were just feet away from its position and there it waits. In art, animals, especially cats and dogs are often included to bring home a point, or to ask a question of the viewers, to represent some quality of the scene that might otherwise be overlooked, like the dog in Van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding or the cat (that's no kitten) in Manet's Olympia. That night in the parking lot this kitten, its relative isolation was explicit and almost painful, was a jarring reminder, though I cannot presume that others could feel this way I by the same token cannot presume that at least some of those others do not feel this way.