Bill Murray

My wife informs me that she had a romantic dream the other night involving Bill Murray. I asked her whether it was Ghostbusters-era Bill Murray or present-day Bill Murray. She wasn’t sure but said that his hair was definitely gray. It seems that as we age our notion of what’s attractive in members of the opposite sex keeps pace with us. When I was eighteen, I remember thinking it impossible I could ever find a thirty-eight-year-old woman appealing. Now I’m amazed to think that I ever found eighteen-year-olds appealing. When I’m seventy, I suppose that fifty-year-olds will look like pre-adolescents. At any rate, I can hardly blame Mr Murray for taking his chances with my wife.

Meanwhile our cat has died. More precisely, she was euthanized. It turns out that she had cancer in her bowels, which probably explains why she had taken to shitting in the hallway and vomiting over par this last year. She was just shy of twenty. I married into her acquaintance, but my wife had adopted her as a kitten from the Humane Society, back when Bill Murray was notably less gray than he is now. I used to make morbid jokes about the cat, as if I might willingly hasten her departure from this vale of tears. But in fact I miss her getting in the way when I’m reading on the couch. I miss her too-early good-mornings and the patter of her little feet on the wood floors.

Praying at bedtime with the kids, we ask God’s mercy on the soul of our cat. I suppose that cats must have souls as well as people. Why not? We miss them similarly when they’re gone. Reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey the other day, I found this poignant bit on mortal farewells: “The world gives and takes away, and brings sweethearts near only to separate them again into distant and strange lands; but to love is the great amulet which makes the world a garden; and ‘hope, which comes to all,’ outwears the accidents of life, and reaches with tremulous hand beyond the grave and death. Easy to say: yea, but also, by God’s mercy, both easy and grateful to believe.” It’s the kind of passage I might like to have read at my own funeral, by Bill Murray.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Bill Murray

  1. I quite agree about how our notions of attractiveness change with age. I remember the visceral horror I felt at 21 when a rumour went around that a girl we knew had lied about her age and was actually 27. The horror!

    In recently years I’ve noticed how women in their 40s and 50s have started to seem more attractive. I suppose there’s an unspoken rule of thumb that if someone is old enough to be your parent or young enough to be your child, the idea of being romantically involved with them induces a slightly queasy feeling. Hugh Heffner obviously wouldn’t agree.

  2. Douglas Dalrymple

    There do seem to be some exceptions, like Mr Heffer and these mythical “cougars” I keep hearing about. We can assume they’re suffering from some form of arrested development.

  3. Highly amusing post!! Thought you might be interested in my short film Death Is No Bad Friend about Robert Louis and Fanny Stevenson in San Francisco: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/death-is-no-bad-friend/x/1089930 Best regards, G. E.

  4. Douglas Dalrymple

    Thanks, gegallas. I’ll take a look.

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