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The Smell of Cat Piss in The Morning

05/18/2011

A couple days ago I bore tidings of augmented batshittery in the near future. Until the end of May, said batshittery is likely to come mostly in the form of fiction excerpts.

I will try to write a few posts on other things, but I’m aiming to write around 3700 words of fiction every day remaining in May, which for me is a lot.

This is how Chapter Two of Taking Stock begins. I hope you enjoy it and the other excerpts I’ll post in the next couple weeks.

The morning after getting out of the hospital, I wake up drenched in piss. It’s on my neck and chest. It’s in my hair and mouth. The sheets are soaked. My throat is raw, and the air is thick with the pungent odour of ammonia. The cat looks at me from atop the computer desk, twitching his tail.

“You little bastard,” I say in a hoarse whisper.

My Mom used to say that belongings should embody social relationships. That’s why they’re called belongings. A keyboard helps you e-mail your friends, a book can be borrowed, a painting elicits discussion, a glass holds a guest’s drink. She used to periodically purge all her possessions that didn’t facilitate her interaction with others, and she taught me to do the same. During these cleansings, if she came across an unwanted item she thought I might like, she’d toss it on my bed. She called these culture bombs.

The day she died, all my belongings died too. Objects that used to represent my relationship with my mother—inside jokes, conversations, memories—were dead things, now. Inert. Inanimate.

Except the cat. The cat, who used to rub up against the legs of guests, who used to suffer even me, and who adored Mom. The cat who now stalks around the apartment on its toes, fur bristling, hissing. Who shreds my books and scratches my ankles. Who pisses on me now, apparently.

Mom named him Brute. For obvious reasons, I call him Marcus Brutus.

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