"Hell," in my case, is the city of Los Angeles mandating that all apartment buildings be repainted at certain intervals. The house only now is coming back to order. My cat, Attila, is still at the doctor's place, and won't return until Saturday, until our home resembles "normal" and the fumes from the primer and paint dissipate. All DVDs are still under wraps. The equipment is still covered, except for the smaller setup in the bedroom. That's where I'm headed now, with a DVD collected from its temporary location and a beer clutched in my fist. I slept on a tarp-covered floor last night, determined to maintain some sort of control over things. It hurt to walk to any one point in the place. Dried paint flecks and tarp and plastic and fumes and general disorder and an inability to locate my coffeemaker contributed to my generally dismal view of the world this time last night. And my computer was somewhere under a large piece of tarp. Made me mad. Even dreamed about it. Now, though, my computer is reconnected. Then my next task is to make the carpet safer for Attila. (Heavy-duty vacuum job. Paint flecks everywhere.) This is what it feels like to be a second-class citizen--when someone else makes you do something you don't want to do, something you despise the very thought of doing. Attila was in a total panic when these people invaded our home. I had to call his doctor--the paint-crew supervisor said the primer fumes would be dangerous. Attila's doctor concurred. The little fellow, detained for his own safety in the bathroom throughout most of this, was so panicky that the doctor, who is all of a half-mile away, drove over himself to tranquilize my muscle-driven powerhouse of fur and sharp, sharp appendages. So, I grappled this mighty little cat and held his face to my chest as the doctor advised ("I want him to smell you!" he shouted above the din of the paint crew setting up, in turn thoroughly frightening the ferocious, friendly feline). Attila received his small dose of ketamine. He loosened slightly, but still, in his panic, sunk a claw into a blood vessel in my wrist as I helped the doctor get him into the carrier. I was unable to operate my thumb for the better part of an hour (the bruise was magnificent). Attila's doctor poured some alcohol over my wrist after it had erupted geyser-style. So, I rode with the doctor to the office, Attila loosening up in his carrier. He was pretty much out of it when we arrived at the temporary digs. As I type, only now is the place starting to resemble its former self. The paint looks nice. But I miss the familiar presence either lying by my feet as I type, or in my lap, or curled up on the futon next to me. Yet it's safer for him to be at the doc's place presently. Last night, I was so stressed out, I konked out on my little stretch of tarp at nine, and slept until eight-thirty this morning, just a half-hour before the paint crew arrived to complete the hellish job they had begun. I read a book by Terence McKenna in the back patio all day long, until the paint crew grabbed their foul instruments, took out the tarps, and left me to clean the place up a little better. Hell.