o f e l i a h u n t
My boyfriend wants me to leave.
My boyfriend says, "Where's my razor? Did you use my razor?"
"You're a bitch," I answer. "I should cut off your finger."
"My razor," my boyfriend says. "Where is it?"
When I was thirteen years old I decapitated a kitten with my best friend George. I decapitated the kitten with a kitchen knife while George held the kitten down, then threw the little kitten-head out my bedroom window into the street and let the little kitten-body bleed onto my carpet and stain my carpet even though I knew my mother would be angry and probably beat me or something. Then George kissed me and stuck his tongue in my mouth. That was my first kiss.
My boyfriend walks into the kitchen with his shirt off. There is shaving cream still on his face. "Have you seen my razor?" he asks.
"I ate your razor because it was made of licorice," I say. "You didn't know it was made of licorice but it was and I ate it and I'm not even sorry. It tasted good."
I think, 'I could cut off his fingers with a kitchen knife when he is sleeping and cook them with licorice and eat them or something, and I could save the bones and decorate them and make little jewelry pieces and sell them on a blanket on the sidewalk for a lot of money to teenagers who love the idea of death and sadness and who like words like 'melancholy' a lot.'
I say, "I think we should buy a kitten."
My boyfriend has found his razor and is shaving now. I walk into the bathroom. I say, "I think we should buy a kitten."
"We could probably torture it or something," I answer.
My boyfriend doesn't answer.
I put on my rain-parka and walk outside where it is raining and where even the AM/PM seems like a dim and sad place and I think for a while about kittens and boys and tongues and other things. I walk past the AM/PM to the park and think about swinging on the swing-set but decide not to and keep walking until I get to the bus stop and I wait until a bus comes and I get on the bus. The bus has many people but no kittens and it takes me around through the rain to some other place where I get off near a pet store.
I go into the pet store. It is very bright and quiet and there are many animals but the cashier and I are the only people. I think, 'I am almost the only person.'
"Hello," I say to the little finches.
"Hello," I say to the lonely beta fish.
"Hello," I say to the glass case of kittens. The kittens roll around and snuggle and do other things kittens do.
The cashier approaches. "Hello," she says. "Do you like kittens?"
"Hello," I answer. "Kittens are the only innocent creatures in the innocent world, aren't they, because if god exists, or whatever, then god probably made kittens to be innocent and stuff, and that means that kittens are probably the only happy animals in the animal kingdom."
The cashier sort of nods.
"If you put a kitten in a death-match with a pit-bull, in a cage maybe, a cage-death-match, do you think the kitten's innocence and goodness would slowly defeat the pit-bull until the pit-bull came to love the kitten and lick the kitten all over?"
"I don't know," the cashier says. "Maybe."
"Do you love the kittens?"
The cashier looks at the kittens kind of sadly and I feel her sadness and it makes me also sad and I'm even sorry that I asked her the question but at the same time I really want an answer to this question and it seems like there is nothing more important than the answer to this question about whether or not she loves the kittens, and maybe it will change my life in some kind of meaningful way and it will be scary and sad and I will be nervous for a while but it will be like life is supposed to be and I will look on this moment fondly when I am old and tell people about it randomly, on street corners, probably until I am dead.
"The kittens are nice," the cashier says. "Do you want a kitten?"
I think, 'I want to take a kitten home and throw it at my boyfriend and hit him in his little black eyes and the kitten will open its claws and stick its claws into his little soft face.' "No," I say. "I don't want a kitten I just want to look at the kittens and think about the kittens' goodness and innocence and stuff like that."
The cashier slowly moves away and is quiet until I can't see her anymore and I am alone with the kittens again. 'I am alone with the kittens,' I think. I am scared. I don't know what to do so I put my hand against the glass case and stare at the kittens and the kittens notice me staring and gather together in the far corner and lay on top of each other and transform into a strange little bundle of fur and eyes. I imagine myself as a little bundle of fur and eyes. I say aloud, "I am a little bundle of fur and eyes." I text-message my boyfriend. I send the words, 'I am fur and eyes.'
He doesn't text me back.
When the cashier's not looking I steal a kitten. I hide the kitten in my rain-parka and take the kitten outside where it is still raining and I walk down the street near a different AM/PM and put the kitten in a mailbox and close the mailbox. I am afraid again. I run from the mailbox. I think, 'I must get far from this mailbox before they catch me.' I get far from the mailbox and nobody catches me. I think, 'I really want to do something.' I think, 'I don't know what to do.'
I call my boyfriend's cell-phone.
"Take me home," I say.
"Where are you?" he asks.
I look around. "I don't know," I say. "I'm somewhere."
"Fine," he says.
I think, 'My boyfriend will find me if I wait long enough.' I go inside a café and order a cup of coffee and wait by the window. The café is full of people and they are noisy and they talk a lot about things I don't really know so I watch outside and the cars and I think, 'I hope that kitten is okay.' There is an empty car parked in front of the café. The empty car is dark and dented some, and the hood doesn't seem to close all the way. I wonder about the car and who might have parked it in front of this café and why it is dented so much until my boyfriend calls me and then I think about stealing the car until I change my mind.
OFELIA HUNT currently lives in Portland and Seattle. Poems available online at Apocryphal Text and Dusie. Fiction chapbook (of which this story is a part) titled My eventual bloodless coup forthcoming (Bear Parade, 2007). Read work in progress at Elephants seals negate the tactile universe.