Well, it was quite a vision. Glowing orange sun setting into cobalt-blue sky, then turning dark and full of stars and a full moon. The Mississippi River slowly rippling and shimmering its way south. The thin green line of Arkansas in the distance. And up on stage, with tight red curls and a long black sequined gown blowing in the wind, her arms akimbo and reaching toward the sky, her voice belting out a tribute to Mahalia Jackson, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Yes, you know how I hate to harp, but Im talking about Mavis Staples at the Memphis in May music fest Sunday night. Yeah, Dylan was fine. Yeah, I heard Ben Harper was great. But Mavis. The woman looked and sounded like some kind of soul goddess up there. It was a great moment in Memphis. And because Mavis made her most memorable mark with the Staple Singers at Stax records, thats all the more reason for someone out there to shell out the remaining money needed to get the Stax Museum of American Soul built. Because once it is and the music academy for inner-city youth is up and running, who knows how many other Mavises Memphis might find and teach and inspire. But now Im tired of writing about this (for now, that is; youll be getting much more about the Stax Museum if the Rapture doesnt get us first). The other night, while relaxing on my front porch, I was having a long talk with my cat. She is now 15 years old and has decided that at this age why bother going all the way to the back of the house to use the bathroom, when she can just go right in the living room and licking any piece of plastic she can find to let me know that she would like another can of Fancy Feast because shes just not in the mood for the flavor I have just given her. So I was telling her that, despite these little things that make my life a little more complicated than it would be if I werent having to put newspaper all over the floors and work two jobs to feed her, I loved her very much and was worried because she was getting up there in years. Was telling her she was the real love of my life. You know, all that mushy cat-lover talk. And it finally dawned on me: Ive been talking to this cat incessantly
for a decade and a half, and she has not understood one word
of what Ive said. Not a word. In fact, it was during this long talk the other night that I had this epiphany -- because she cut her eyes at me and cocked one of them, as if to let me know that I was totally wasting my time. As if to say, Pop, youre a nice guy, but would you please be quiet? I am a cat, for Heavens sake. Just stop talking and let me live in peace. So I stopped and now Im tired of writing about this. The other day, I saw the ultimate sign that perhaps that aforementioned Rapture is on its way. I saw a woman who has been homeless on the streets of Memphis for many years. I see her almost every day. Sometimes we chat. This time, however, she was chatting to someone else -- on a cell phone. Yes, a homeless woman on a cell phone. Im telling you, clean up your lives. Then end is near. It was funny too, because while she was out there, a guy on a motorcycle drove up, a guy on a skateboard rolled up, a guy in a car drove up, and a guy on a horse rode up. And who knew her? Only the horseman knew her. Okay. Okay. Okay. Im sorry. Ive been writing this for 11 years. The market for psychotropic drugs has not made that many great new strides.