Scene4-Internal Magazine of Arts and Culture
Claudine Jones-Scene4 Magazine

Claudine Jones

Cats on Prozac

A sunny, cool, windy afternoon out on the deck with a friend, looking down at the deodar cedar that planted itself in my backyard 17 years ago when its mommy next door was hacked down on behalf of owners who wanted disneyland for their toddlers. I still feel the shadow of the decision; still shudder.               DeodarLavender-cr

At the planning commission appeal hearing, woman complains that her children will get sticky hands. I speak for the tree & up there on the panel an older suit & tie listens & then rolls his eyes.  Someone mentions that my two coastal redwoods might not be compliant.


The baby tree needs pruning since it has gotten the gift of so much rain after years of drought. Everything else out there is responding in like manner: the rodent-planted buckeye, the self-seeded lavender; the horse-trough planters full of weeds that the hens apparently are quite happy to eat if I throw a swath into the coop; the spiky succulents that re-invent themselves in nearby pots.


That house & yard empty after a couple of short-term tenants, the ticket-holders for disneyland gone & headed out into the world; a giant padlock on the two mismatched doors of tiny ancient garage; the scrubby grass recalls the soaking blood of a mangled pet rabbit, boy my grandson's age shrieking no no no no.    


My kitchen no longer has a view of enormous swaying branches partially blocking the afternoon sun and my parlor stands frozen in obscurity; those invitations to visit, to hear my music boxes, my player piano—I hear them practicing, I know they'll make the connection, I want to affect their lives—a study in selective amnesia. O I'm not really into that. O they'll make a mess. They have soccer. You defied us.  Over the fence; they've forgotten. The twin girls were in love with my son's baby. 


When they moved out, piles of detritus littered the driveway; over-flowing, stinking garbage in ripped black-plastic bags. I rescued a sweet worn little oriental throw rug & a coffee maker; called the city to deal with the rest.


This afternoon, we've stumbled into this conversation & then the question is posed: what the heck is karma anyway?


I think it is the time I was still shopping at our old beat-up Safeway a few years back & the lines were long & tempers short & holy moly, mayonnaise still came in glass jars. Our cashier had a case of the slipsies & BAM  shards-n-mayo-surprise everywhere.


An audible groan arose from the weary shoppers. She was equipped with a roll of paper towels & I'm sure her count was correct at the end of her shift & she needed that job, but maybe it just wasn't her day. She froze. I don't remember what the actual customer was doing, but I saw myself in that role—mother of three boys, counter-wiper, sandwich-maker, log-jam-clearer, nobody's-going-anywhere-til-the-basement's-clean-enforcer—as I stepped into the fray. No words were exchanged; perhaps a shot of tired/grateful looks between us.


I believe I got me some goddamn karma points.

Send A Letter
To The Editor

Share This Page

View other readers’ comments in Letters to the Editor

Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.
She writes a monthly column and is
a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2017 Claudine Jones
©2017 Publication Scene4 Magazine



inFocus and Trending in This Issue

City Spires and Masts




Postcards from New York


June 2017

Volume 18 Issue 1

SECTIONS:: Cover | This Issue | inView | inFocus | inSight | Perspectives | Special Issues | Blogs COLUMNS:: Bettencourt | Meiselman | Thomas | Jones | Marcott | Walsh | Alenier :::::::::: INFORMATION:: Masthead | Subscribe | Submissions | Recent Issues | Your Support | Links CONNECTIONS:: Contact Us | Contacts&Links | Comments | Advertising | Privacy | Terms | Archives

Search This Issue


Search The Archives





Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine–International Magazine of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2017 Aviar-Dka Ltd – Aviar Media Llc. All rights reserved. Now in our 18th year of publication with Worldwide Readership in 127 countries and comprehensive archives of over 11,000 web pages (66,000 print pages).

Scientific American -
Calibre Ebook Management -
Penguin Books-USA
Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine