Many years back I had the most vivid nightmare, that 16 years later I can still remember the details of my worst nightmare:
I am standing in a sea of unfamiliar faces. There is violence everywhere. Red. Broken. Bleeding.
I am holding Pepe, and he is broken. Bleeding. Clinging to me, clinging to life. I rush through the crowd looking for safety. There is no way out. Just angry faces in a sea of violence.
In the distance, I see two police officers. I run to them believing they will help me find a way out of the madness. Believing they will bring me to safety. A safe haven. Shelter from the storm. Free from the madness. Free from the violence. Free from this sea of unfamiliar faces so I can get my bleeding, broken, suffering friend the help he needs to make him well. The help we need to be whole again.
When I reach the podium, the men were facing the crowd. They were standing there, backs to me; they just stood there to face to the crowd banging their black, wooden night sticks while on just standing there Beating their night sticks against their palms. I call out but no one listens. No one can hear me above the roar of the crowd. So I tap them on the shoulder, holding Pepe close to my heart— hoping they will instinctively see the love and fear in his yellow gold eyes. Of course, they would rescue us. Yes, they would rescue us and bring us to safety. Free from the violence, free from the madness. Free from this hell and take us somewhere safe. Somewhere far, far away from here. And then they turn. In unison, they turn around to face me, and I look at them. I am horrified. I am horrified because these are not police officers at all. They are clowns.
Literally, figuratively, in every way they are simply clowns. Clowns in uniform. In unison. In unanimity. Inhumanity. My worst nightmare. The cops were clowns.
Pepe was “only” a cat, but I made him a promise that I intended to keep. I would give him everything I longed for: keep him safe, keep him fed, make him well, I would give him love. Lots and lots of love. Unconditional love. Always. Until the day my perfect little angel would return to heaven. And I did. And he did. And we did.
Alone, together, Pepe gave me strength when I was too weak to care for myself. He could not talk, but he sure tried!
After seventeen years, Pepe died the other day, and my worst nightmare did not come true. I loved him until the very end. Even then he gave me the most perfect and fitting gift. He gave me freedom. He gave me comfort. He gave me hope and he gave me peace.
I know that I can love. I am capable of complete, total, unconditional love. He was like a child. Pure, innocent and completely, totally, unconditionally loved.
Yes, I am capable of love. I am capable of complete, total, and unconditional love. Pepe, my precious angel, may you rest in peace… There is a better place for you now. There always was.
Elyssa D. Durant © 2017