Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spring Fever and the new Hendrix Commitment

Today I want to be on a beach, somewhere in the Caribbean...cold Corona in one hand and the latest Vonnegut book in the other. I keep hearing Stephen Stills at the end of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes...I canNOT get that song out of my head today.

Que linda me la traiga Cuba,
la reina de la Mar Caribe.
Cielo sol no tiene sangreahi,
y que triste que no puedo vaya,
Oh va, oh va, va.

For those who have forgotten high school Spanish, the rough translation is:

How happy it makes me to think of Cuba,
the smiles of the Caribbean Sea,
Sunny sky has no blood, and how sad that
I'm not able to go
Oh go, oh go go

OK, maybe not Cuba, but I'd settle for a bucket of sand and a fridge full of Corona on my 39-degree porch at this point. I think they call that Spring Fever.

Instead of trying to find a beach, I did something today to cure my ADD-like antsiness and also to prove that I'm not afraid of commitment. I got myself a pet. Now, keep in mind that I am aware of my limitations at this particluar junction of life. I can't afford a dog, nor do I think I have the time or space to raise one properly (yet). I pondered something very low maintenance like a goldfish or a tarantula, and then I decided on the "I am dangerously close to being 14 again" pet. I got a teddy bear hamster. Black and white. And, I named him Hendrix. After Jimi, of course. He looks like a little rocker.

While pondering my rodent options at the pet store, I asked the sales girl what kind of life expectancy the different animals had. She said a guinea pig lived about 8 to 9 years. A hamster lived about 2.

The hamster was a slam dunk.

Hendrix is a cute little thing. He's quite the cuddler, and isn't very skittish like most hamsters. He squeaks occasionally just to let me know he's alive, and I got him this nifty little Volkswagen Bug to sleep in. It's a red, shiny, plastic little VW Bug with tiny hamster-size windows and everything. So far, he seems very happy in it. God knows I've been happy living out of mine for the past few years. I'm not exactly sure how to tell if a hamster is happy, but I'm assuming he is. I think I may have seen him smile at one point, but it's hard to see him through the tinted windows.

As I proudly walked to the counter with my box o' Hendrix, I talked to a nice gentleman in line who carried a small plastic bag.

"What's in the bag?" I asked.

"Oh, it's a dead, frozen rat to feed to my snake."

Lovely. And, it truly was a dead, frozen rat. He even opened the bag, took it out, and banged it on the counter so I would get the full effect of its solid-as-a-rock consistency.

I told him to stay away from my pet or I'd call the authorities.

So, I'm now with hamster. A commitment that will last me roughly 2 years. I haven't had that long of a commitment from anything since my divorce. A man, a job, or a place of residence. A two-year commitment is a big step, but I think I'm ready.

One small hamster step, one huge step for womankind.