Friday, January 15, 2010

Irvine Voodoo

Last night someone knocked on my door around 11 p.m. As I was idling around in my boxers, I didn't hurry to answer it. When I did, I saw a tiny neighbor of mine with her even tinier daughter, and a thick-bodied middle aged one. My neighbor started talking in her clear high voice. She doesn't have an accent but is obviously not a native speaker.

I know you have a cat, she said. We see her in your window. I was wondering if we could use your cat for something.

I stared at her, wondering what exactly she wanted to use my cat for. The middle-aged women nodded and smiled.

My daughter has this problem with her eye, my neighbor said. I looked at her gurgling daughter and saw a sty over her left eye. My neighbor kept talking.

My aunt is visiting us, she said. My aunt says that if we rub a cat over my daughter's eye, this thing will go away.

The aunt continued to nod happily.

I shrugged and went to get my cat, which I handed over to the aunt. She took Wheezy's tail and began to rub it over the child's eye while chanting rapidly in Spanish. When she finished chanting, she returned Wheezy.

My neighbor laughed.

I don't think it will hurt anything, she said. And who knows?

We said goodnight.