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                                                                        |___/ 

"You know a real friend? Someone you know will look after your cat after you are gone."
— William S. Burroughs

Early morning dream on Saturday. Leah asked me to meet her at the Asbury Park boards for dinner around 6 p.m. Got myself together and drove down Asbury Avenue towards the boardwalk. Perspective and reality were out of whack because it's a dream. By the time I reached the area where the condos are being built on the north side of Asbury Avenue, I saw Leah sitting on the beach in her black swimsuit and baseball-style cap. As I drew forward I beeped my car's horn, she turned around and her face became that of a zombie for a moment. I guess she rolled her eyes back but her face returned to normal as she got up and began walking onto the boards.
I parked and Leah met me by the street where she began talking a blue streak, making references to things I don't have a context for, trying to ask sidelong questions to elicit an awkward answer from me, but what I recall most was, "And what about that Cindy? You know the one with the pink hair? What was her name when she was a man?"
She was making a reference to my friend in Matawan who isn't named Cindy but her name starts with a 'C' and ends with a 'y' as well. I spent a good amount of time in the dream trying to figure out where she even found out about one of my friends. My brain went full-autism running down everything like Facebook or reviewing the profiles of everyone who likes my dopey photos on InstaGram. Not to mention I was annoyed by her last question because she was always a she in the cisgendered sense. Trust me, I know.
We sat down to eat. The restaurant was what is currently the Stella Marina, except it was hollowed out, dark, and mostly abandoned except for all the people sitting at piles of bricks upon piles of bricks waiting for a server to come along. Here Leah and I sat in silence, sharing a menu and waiting for a server to stop by and take our order. One stopped by but he and Leah went off somewhere else leaving me in the dark, wielding my smartphone and shining its flashlight in hopes of finding another menu so I'd be ready to order my meal.

It was about there that the dream ended, I woke up, had a pee, stepped outside for a moment then returned to bang this out.

My Stray Cat tarot deck arrived today a little before 2:30 p.m. and to say I was excited was an understatement. Etsy said it wouldn't arrive 'til the 8th of August at the earliest. Reckon being shipped from Braintree, MA helped expedite matters, ĉu ne? To my surprise the deck contained the five special cards which I believed only came with cards with the copper lining. In this case the five special cards are Moonlight, Sunrise, Black Cat, Stray Cat, and Nine Lives.

the five special cards particular to the stray cat tarot deck named moonlight, sunrise, black cat, stray cat, and nine lives. moonlight features a white cat facing away from the viewer and looking at a full moon while sitting upon a tree branch. sunrise shows a calico cat stretching upon a treebranch beneath a sun as leaves scatter around the cat. black cat features a black cat with a back turned to the viewer yet the cat is looking back over their shoulder at the viewer amdist a green, halloweeny background. stray cat features a confident, slender tiger kitty striding upon a brick wall amidst trees. a five pointed star shines above the back of the cat. nine lives shows a heavy white cat sitting in a white field surrounding by thorny roses. a lemniscate a.k.a. infinity symbol hovers over the head of the cat.

I shuffled the cards a few times then pulled my first card from the top of the deck to be greeted by an inverted five of pentacles.

an inverted five of pentacles from the stray cat tarot deck. the five of discs features a cat with a bandaged paw being approached by another cat. behind them are five tall gothic windows, presumably a cathedral, bearing a pentacle upon each.

Various sources, online and my copy of The Tarot Book by Jana Riley, say an inverted five of pentacles signifies the return of hope, slowly but surely. A renewal of faith urging one to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty and to seek help when needed rather than fearing rejection.

Being excited, I pulled a card for my friend Rameen in south Jersey and it was the 7 of Cups. The interpretation is to choose what is right for oneself rather than what would be right for others.

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