Be sure to say hi to Badkitty, he’s a little blue.
She walked through the front door and over to the fat tabby cat, Badkitty. Badkitty had no claws, and he was a strictly indoor cat. She started scratching under his chin and she asked,
Aw what’s the matter Mr. Badkitty?
Yeah, I got that, but why?
He’s not a real, wild cat. His life is horrible.
He seems happy to me, she said rubbing behind the cat’s ears.
The cat purred loudly.
It’s just an act, he knows the importance of staying positive. He’s at odds with himself, right on the brink of his own personal shitstorm. He knows what it would mean for him to stop trying to be positive.
You’re weird dude, she said with a subtle laugh that accented her detachment to the conversation.
She sat down next to him.
How are you doing, she asked him.
I’ve just thrown positive out the window.
I’m sorry to hear that.
It’s not all bad, it’s made me braver. He set his hand on her thigh, on the fringe of her skirt.
She didn’t give him any clues.
And what’s wrong with you, she asked.
I haven’t been laid in six months.
How long’s it been exactly since I last saw you?
Oh, that was six months ago.
That’s what I thought.
Where’d you go for so long?
I like what you’ve done with the place.
The apartment was actually very clean for a single man living alone save his cat. There were posters on the wall that were artistic, artistically placed with thumbtacks and scotch tape. Books laid unread, some never to be read, on every surface. The couch they sat on looked like it was taken from an apartment in New York from the nineteen fifties, because it was. There was no TV. In the time I just spent describing his apartment her skirt was already pulled up to her ribcage.
Wait. She exhaled.
He looked up.
Let’s drink first, she said producing a bottle of screw-top merlot from her purse.
Two glasses were poured. She opted to remove the skirt. They each lit a cigarette.
You know, I think that I ask so much that the question itself has become mutually sarcastic.
She re-averted her eyes from one corner of the room to his eyes.
Hasn’t it? He persisted.
She flicked her cigarette. To you my love, she said raising her glass.
They drank the whole bottle before anyone said anything.
She was, still is, an athlete. Her legs were long and elegant, and she smoked her cigarette like a real modern woman. The skirt, now laying across the armrest of the couch, covered about half of her thighs and was a saturated lime green plaid that would have looked ugly, over the top, or slutty on anyone else. Her hair was a modest dull blonde that, if let down, fell to her shoulders. Her underwear was a light blue, with yellow lace on the sides. She didn’t have any piercings, but if she was to uncross her legs you might spy a tattoo of Bettie Page on her inner thigh.
How long are you in town?
Actually, I’m just passing through. My ride leaves in the morning.
The cat meowed.
Well if he wasn’t depressed before, now you gone and pushed him over the edge.
She put out her third cigarette in her empty wine glass, maybe he’s depressed because you won’t quit projecting on him.
There was a long pause, so quiet you could hear children chanting queer esoteric chanting outside.
How was the wine? She was the one who asked.
It was, wasn’t it.
Yeah, but shitty wine has its merits too. I still enjoyed it.
You’re trying too hard.
She started to crawl over him, and sat down straddling him as she took her T-shirt off. She didn’t believe in bras.
After some rolling around, accompanied by some fooling around they opted to go to the bedroom. The good cat, Badkitty, pawed endearingly at the shut door. When it became obvious that he had been left alone there was nothing he could do but to find his favorite spot it the setting sun streaming through the windowpane. Maybe this is how cats cry.
He woke up to the sun coming in through the window. She was curled up on the opposite end of his queen sized facing away from him, sleeping like human beings used to sleep when they were still just animals. Her body was slender and healthy, and she smelled like sun and grass and a sidewalk that baked in the sun about two years in the past. It was a very specific summer.
The blanket that covered them felt like a light layer of snow on a summer day, rare as that may be. The two of them formed a small valley in the landscaping of the bedding. Everything was tinted gold in the morning light when she began to stir. Without turning around she set one hand behind her in the valley, as if searching for him.
He grabbed her hand.
He seized the desperate opportunity to let is all seep inside, took a mental picture to prove to himself later that it was all real once.
Good morning she said with a yawn, in a voice about as close as one can imagine a human sounding like a baby dinosaur waking up.
I love the way you say good morning.
How do I say good morning?
Like a baby dinosaur, it’s adorable.
Goofball, she said with a laugh. It’s cute, she continued.
She rolled over to face him, planting a tiny kiss on his neck and then cheek.
He slid his hand over her waist, and she hooked her leg over his hip.
They assumed a familiar embrace with nothing in between them, skin meeting skin, exploring one another with their eyes closed, only half awake. It was a familiar and yet rarely assumed position. It’s the kind we all know well enough to know that words could not do it justice. It was the holy of holies, where words didn’t belong.
I think I still love you, he said to her.
I love this, she said. Her eyes fluttered awake, nearly knocking the wind out of him.
What do you do when you’re gone? He wasn’t expecting her to answer, she never did before.
I travel, meet people, squat in old buildings, I just try to survive. It’s exciting, I love it, but it’s made me hate this town.
Do you hate it more than you love this?
She hated questions.
He sat up and walked out of the room after a silence that quickly spoiled. As the door opened Badkitty met him with a polite meow and walked with him into the kitchen.
By the time coffee was done, she was dressed and had her bag shouldered.
You’re going now.
Where are you going to stay
If I knew then that just wouldn’t be the point. A small knife he had given her a year ago was strapped around her ankle.
I’m not the only one am I? He had asked even though he already knew. It never does anyone any good to attempt to be insightful when one is in denial.
She hated questions.
I might be back in a few weeks, she said while she gently pushed Badkitty, who had settled on her feet, gently away.
She walked out the door.
He slumped on the couch, spilling some coffee on the floor.
Badkitty followed, he was still depressed.
They both stayed inside that day and licked their paws.