2.17.2014 Journal Prompt

Photo by Lee Friedlander
Photo by Lee Friedlander

February 17, 2014: It was her cat.

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One thought on “2.17.2014 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    I hate cats. The presumption of them and the claim they make on you. Like it’s the cat that owns you and not the other way around. And they rub themselves up against you and they put themselves under your hand so you are stroking them without realising that you are, and they call to you when they need something, making a sound like a baby crying.

    Lisa had a cat. I didn’t know at first. We met in a bar and we made out in a motel room the same night. We were both a little drunk and a little high. And it just sort of happened. And Lisa smelled of flowers and her hair was long and silky and her breath was sweet as peppermints. And it was just what it was. Except that something happened when we woke.

    Shit, she said and she leapt from the bed as though stung. And she pulled on her underwear, which, trust me, is sexier than seeing a girl strip, and she kept swearing under her breath. Then she rushed back to my side and she said it was not me and that she’d had a good time and I should call her. Then she wrote her phone number in blue eye-pencil across my stomach and her name in case I’d forgotten.

    She looked as pretty then as she had at any other time and she kissed me slow and soft. And I knew in an instant, though it broke all the rules, that I’d call her. A cab was waiting outside and it sounded its horn and Lisa broke from me, climbed into her dress with her hips shaking like she was dancing, and she grabbed her shoes and left.

    There was a smell of her in the room after she’d gone. The smell of her perfume and her peppermint breath. Just faintly. Caught on the cotton of the pillow she’d slept on and in the sheets. And I saw that she’d left her purse.

    So, we met again – we had to – and we drank too much, same as before, and this time she took me back to her place. It’s a second floor apartment on the East side with more windows than I can count, and the floors all stripped wood and Persian carpets, and real paintings on the walls, and flowers in glass vases so the place smells like a florist’s, and her bedroom as big as a hall – everywhere so big you could get lost there and never be found. And the lights from the street spilling into where we were so the place was lit up gold and the shadows were soft and shrunken and hidden there was a cat with its half shut eyes watching us.

    We could have been something, me and Lisa. I called her on the first day and we were in her bed again that same night and that had never happened before. And I spent the day, after I’d called, just saying her name over and over in my head, or I wrote it on the wall of my one-room bedsit, in pen. And I played music too loud so the neighbours started shouting and hammering on the door. And I didn’t care.

    Then I woke in her bed and the light was white and sun-filled and there was a weight on my chest and I thought it was her arm and it felt good at first. Like she wanted me as much as I wanted her. Then I found it was not her arm or any part of her. It was a cat. And Like I said, I just don’t like cats. Fact is, I hate them.

    It’s name was Pookie. And there’s another thing that annoys the hell out of me: the names people give their cats. It just irritates, you know, too soft and too gooey.

    I pushed the cat from me and onto the floor, and it just purred like it had been stroked, and it rubbed itself against the leg of a chair, and it walked slow and easy from the room with its tail held high.

    I dressed quickly and made my excuses and left. Lisa called a couple of times, but I never did answer, so then she stopped. Think me shallow if you want, but it’s a cat thing and I never can stand them.

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