After-Image

The cat purrs. A whistling sound comes from its nose. She lies in another room but can hear with her eyes closed. She cannot hear the padding of the cat’s feet.

He’s been practically deaf since age three. Now a grown man, he simply turns down his hearing aid when he needs to think. For example, now in a loud bar, he nods his head while instigating lines of rhyme or reason.

The cat is under the cabinet. She can tell by the jingling of its bells. It must be licking itself or stretching its feet. She chooses to listen to the bells rather than the people speaking on TV.

He sees a finger coil a curl, the snatch of an earlobe. That one smiling and laughing will have trouble sleeping. He can tell by the way her hands tremble while she’s drinking. And how she looks away and stares into the ceiling.

I don’t remember, she says, to one particular book on the shelf. So she pulls it out and begins reading it again. And it all comes back to her, as in a feeling. The cat pounces on her lap. Unexpectedly. She kisses its feet.

He will memorize the bar scene like a movie script and remember it vividly, mostly because he doesn’t drink. And then one day – for the life of him – he won’t be able to recall the details, or the order in which they happened. He won’t remember the reasons. When he goes to the bar again, he won’t even notice the brand new furniture.

The names are new and so is her mood. She scoots the cat off her lap. It lands on its feet. She lies down on the couch. The cat returns to her lap, licks her cheek. She talks in her sleep. It nibbles on the last page read. Something about the beginning and the end.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. poetg65
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 13:22:05

    I love this. Tell me your secret. I suppose I already understand it. Fearless writing. Of all my writer friends, classmates, etc. You are the best at that. The best.

    Reply

  2. Tina V. Cabrera
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 13:39:54

    Why thank you SusieQ! Maybe you can write the blurb for this book if I get it published!

    Reply

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