Deathwish 049: Dante
Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, February 2nd, 2017
"My boyfriend knew that the cat was him."
Great God Above us. O, child in the apartment above us, stop thy crying. Stop thy endless rant against sanity. It was a shock to meet thy crier-ship, fully shaped after months of formless ceiling sobs. In the end, you were purple and tiny and a bit sick, but sweet. Your body wrinkled like one of those hairless cats on TV. Like one of those hideous cats in that sitcom I used to watch every night before bed. What a comfort. What a joke, and that naked cat crawling through my dreams at night, always the last thing I’d see before I woke up. My boyfriend knew that the cat was him. His representative. I walked for hours through the torn streets of Moscow looking for that cat. It was hairless and wrinkled and sweet and was sometimes curled up in the lap of a babushka eating a potato dumpling, or spread like gray butter on someone’s windowsill. My boyfriend promised he’d come visit me in Russia. Then he promised he’d try. You know how it goes. I walked through those torn streets for hours, trying to see anything but the cat, and in the end, on one of my last days in that bronze, onion-shaped city, I saw three great furry street dogs with blood on their muzzles, bent over the cat in a death huddle, their red tongues like huge retractable slides, bloody, a promise fulfilled
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Dante was born in Los Angeles, California, and lives in Kaliningrad, Russia.