He’d always thought of Malory as a cat person. She referred to cats in conversation energetically and often, so when he visited her apartment he expected to meet a few. Malory set him straight. She was two when her parents gave Bo and Greco away. Mama and Dad, three children under four, an ailing dog and two cats were too much. They could not all be borne. Rip was on meds for anxiety, his pee pooling in the old floorboards. The cats threw his kibble at him and shed disdainful tufts. When Rip and the baby both stopped sleeping through...
I couldn't sleep with her next to me. And the funniest thing is, I'd been waiting for this moment for three years. Margaret, me, alone in Randy's apartment all night. Was she even asleep? Was she playing possum? I held my breath to see if I could hear her sleeping. But Randy's air conditioner was too loud, and Randy was clearly snoring in the loft bed. I shifted on the couch. My skin had stuck to it; it felt and sounded like I'd ripped a bandaid off.
Margaret didn't move. She had to have heard it. I determined she must...
You can count me out. Everybody knows he's not my favorite person. I'm not debating that.
Take the way he eats: He makes these noises. He SINGS the chewing. It sounds sort of charming right at this moment, but in point of fact it's gross. Nobody wants to hear a turkey dinner set to Ave Maria. Two weeks planning a meal, you want a moment of silence. Some good old-fashioned reverence. What's happened to that -- what is it -- an emotion? These days, it's gone.
As I said, I don't like the man. But I also don't like crows...
"If you don't settle down I am stopping the car."
That shut them up. There were lions out there, real ones.
I looked over at Martin and he actually rolled his eyes, shook his head. I don't know when the contempt began.
"Where will you go?" I asked, quietly.
"I don't know. My mother's."
"Look at the elephant!" Beau shouted, delightedly. Karen kicked the seat, hopping up and down. Her seat belt tugging at her. They had forgotten already, but that’s kids for you.
"They said not to make any sudden movements,” I reminded them....
He likes his own room, but he likes mine more. He's five. Half the time, if he had his way he would climb back inside me. He can never get close enough. Half the time. The other half he's complaining. Scowling. "You're interfering with my personal space!" Like he's breaking up with me.
So when he stands there, waiting, in the corner, and he asks if he can share our room, our bed, our space, I do what any rational human would do. And that's to pick him up and hold him, smell his head, that getting-bigger head, and say,...
Tell her, he told himself. Tell her before it's too late. From a scuffed-over, leather-upholstered chair near the front window, he watched her. She turned the crank on the machine. Or knob. It made a screeching sound. On the counter she banged something hard. Again.
He looked around. No one noticed.
She swiped at the counter, then her hair. She was wearing some kind of kerchief. That's not right, he thought. And scrambled for it, what do they call it: This pleased him.
Haltingly, he crept forward. Praying no one would notice him, because they might stop him before he...
I rolled down my window. "Can I give you a ride somewhere?"
"Ditch the car."
"I thought you wanted a ride." I had pulled over. I'd been trying to help her out. She had green hair. Green, then, white, then medium brown at the roots, but it looked passable on her.
"You are ruining this city. This city is a tomb, because of you."
"You're a sweetheart, aren't you?"
But I was worried about her. "Hey, where's your mom?"
She didn't move. I waited. "Where's your mom?"
Frozen. I backed up, signaled, parked. It was so bright I...