You’re feeling a bit like Alice, hmmm? 

“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” 

The blue pill refers to a make-believe world in which people exist as parts of a program instead of individuals acting according to free will. The blue pill is the easy route. It’s short cuts and Pleasantville and Facebook posts. The red pill refers to a human that is aware of the true nature of the Matrix. The red pill is taking a longer, harder route instead of a shortcut in order to get the most experience and knowledge. The red pill is working out and meditating in place of diet pills and Prozac. Every morning I have to make a decision: do I take the red pill or the blue pill?

The red pill is when you read the book instead of just watching the movie. The red pill is leaving the simulated world and following the White Rabbit into reality. The red pill is when you wake up and instead of buying a Red Bull to wake up, you eat a real breakfast and go for a run. Every morning is a decision, what route am I going to take? The road less traveled or the Matrix? Wonderland or whatever comfortable situation everyone seems content to just exist in? Comfort or truth through the doors of perception?

Neo, like Alice, is the chosen one. He has to see how far the rabbit hole will take him. He has to believe in himself and everything he’s capable of and that he’d never imagined.

“I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

While the blue pill makes you believe that if you write your favorite author they’ll read your book and write a blurb for you and you’ll get your name out there and succeed at life. But it’s human bondage. We are all born with shackles- to our parents, to society, to human nature, to sloth and ignorance. The red pill is a chance at self-awareness, at self-direction; the red pill is a chance at freedom. 

Humans in The Matrix who suddenly wake up from the Matrix are instantly rejected by docbots, who disconnect them from their pod’s umbilicals and eject their bodies into the sewer system from ancient human cities. This is where the hovercraft crew retrieves each newly freed human. 

My hovercraft is a place in my head between anxiety and depression. It’s where I find the will to keep going. 

It’s May 29th. I’m broke. I’m half asleep and exhausted all day. Charley is in a bad mood so I avoid him. I give Dakota a bath and baby massage with Lavender lotion. We listen to Au Revoir Simone. We’re in our own bubble. Nothing else exists but the two of us and Au Revoir and the Cactus Blossoms and John Denver and La La Land

Maybe this is the blue pill. Or an entirely new pill, a reality without punishment.

The next morning, our cat is missing. Not the large fat gray temperamental one, but the small white, angelic one with blue eyes. She liked going on rooftops. I wonder if an owl got her. Charley’s freaking out. He cries and calls his mom.

In a 1997 Taos News article pet store owner Carla McGinnis said,  “I absolutely do not leave any of my dogs or cats outside during the night, even in the summertime.” That way, pets are protected from things that may go bump in the night. 

I scan the property for any sign of her- a little white fur on the wood pile? Or hanging from the roof? Nothing. NOTHING!

“They’re less likely to be taken down by some night-time predator like coyotes, or owls. Your cats can get swept up by owls or hawks,” McGinnis said. I look behind every closet door and under every piece of furniture. Maybe the little white cat followed the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole. The silence is like a funeral. Fuck.

Charley finally laughs. He’s in an NA forum on Facebook and the top three suggested members are two of his alcoholic friends, and a kid from Minnesota who’s in and out of prison. 

“How do they know that? Algorithms?” 

“I guess.” Dakota keeps trying to grab my phone and eat it.

“I can’t imagine what people go through losing a kid,”Charleys says. 

I don’t want to even think about it. When someone returns to the Matrix, after taking a red pill, awareness of this virtual reality allows them to bend the Matrix’s rules and exceed any physical limitations. Imagine what I would do if I could exceed the limitations of this reality? It feels like I should be able to do that. 

Charley cries again. “Why why why why why??” This is a mess of a world, too comfortable and very uncomfortable.

I’m positive it was an owl. Swept her from the rooftop. I have owl paraphernalia everywhere- even the door knocker is an owl. I feel like an accomplice.

“Let’s get a bobcat. Or cerval. Or caracal,” Charley is googling all the tough, larger cats. He doesn’t want it to get eaten.

“But what if it eats our baby?” Never mind, exotic cats are illegal in New Mexico. A state where coyotes and owls prey on jackrabbits and house cats; where 100% of the population is driving drunk; and you can’t walk around the block without fifty dogs barking ravenously through thin fences.

Maybe Zia took the red pill and disappeared like the Cheshire Cat, or Alice, into the real reality. “I’m not crazy,” the Cheshire Cat said with a mad grin. “My reality is just different than yours.”

In Norse and Celtic mythology, white cats have goddess affiliations and are believed to represent trust, goodness and light. The chariot of the Norse goddess Freya is pulled by two white cats. In some countries, white cats are considered harbingers of good fortune and happiness, while it’s the opposite in others. An old UK myth believes a white cat entering the home indicates tough times ahead, and a white cat leaving the home takes all the luck out the door with her. Well shit.

Whatever the true fortune surrounding Zia, aka. Zi Zi aka. Meow Meow aka. Ham Sandwich Blueberry Pancake, aka. White Cat, I hope she found a good home, in this world or the next, and I hope there was no great suffering involved. 

When we first got Zia she was Ham Sandwich Blueberry Pancake and a couple stoners from Idaho had saved her by Old Pass Road, near the Wyoming border. They’d seen her at an old Mormon family’s house, where the dad was always yelling. She “ran away” and they swept her up but didn’t have room in their moving van to Oregon, and needed to find her a good home. That’s where we came in and added her to our growing family. By the time I was sent to the hospital with pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia to wait on bedrest for two months, Charley had a house of six animals- three dogs and three cats- a move to New Mexico, no money and an alcohol problem. And then I returned with a baby.  

Ham Sandwich Blueberry Pancake, I was just getting to know you. I will miss your loud meows and graceful swagger. I will miss your beautiful blue eyes and white geisha face. I will miss you. 


I completely agree.

I still expect she will walk sleepily through the door in the morning, wondering what all the fuss is about.