Saturday, December 24, 2005

My War

She was nowhere. Shelly was gone. I broke into the closet every night and slept on her backpack. I left thatches of my dazzling hair on it. This always gets attention. Confirmation that I exist. Not this time. I ate leaves from plants in the South and North Forests of the living room. I tried to throw up a hairball. I ran the full length of the apartment -- spare room to couch -- and knocked over a garbage can. (No dental floss. I checked later.) I mewed in the bathtub even though the spigot was running. Did you just see a dainty succession of shadows glance the wall? I will catch one someday. I rummaged in the laundry room when Tony wasn't looking, and knocked around a milk-bottle-cap-ring I found there. I can slice into a pigeon -- its tender, clattering fear -- and will trot with a string of mouse tail dangling from my magisterial mouth. If I want. When Tony tried to write, I whined to get on his lap; when he put me on his lap, I jumped away and made bleeping noises. But Shelly never came out. She hid somewhere for a whole week. She's back today, trailing a suitcase. This doesn't mean I have to notice.

I was rattled by her absence all week -- just like you feel when the street cleaning trucks churn back and forth on the street, or when the dryer buzzer goes off, or when a yoga mat is unfurled. I'm sleeping all right in the wicker newspaper box again, after several turbulent days of horrifying bleach-smell. Their cleanliness is virulent. I want a bag of moths.

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