“Love”, she said, “is the greatest pain in the ass. First off, you’re never sure if it’s actually the real thing. So you gotta go find out. If it turns out not to be the real deal, it just leads to everyone involved getting hurt. And if it is the real deal, then that is a metaphysical commitment, with hard work all the way through. Having loved and lost is way worse when you could have made the effort not to lose it”
“Is that why we are opening a pet store?”
It walked to and fro. This was usually an indication that it wanted something, and so too it was on this early morn. Above and beyond the to and fro, it had escalated into rubbing against legs to get the point across. There even was a rare headbuff, signaling that this time the need was dire indeed.
And then it came. The honk.
In truth, it was a very short meow, as if someone had recorded a longform meow and now only partially replayed it. The result being a very honk-like sound, dubbed “the nom honk” by tired minds of earlier morns.
Truly, a hungrier cat never did honk.
The phone buzzed. On it was one new message, consisting of a single word:
In the years they had known each other, a ritual had evolved. Whenever either of them felt down, they would mosey over to the other for some gratuitous cat petting and change of scenery. Nothing much happened during these sessions, other than the taking of comfort in not being alone. The cats, by now more used to it than to anything else in the world, merely purred and accepted the elevated levels of affection.
She answered with the customary affirmative response:
“Tell me a story”
“I have no interesting stories to tell”
“You do not know that. I might find them very interesting”
“But all I have are small fragments of things that happen at the margins. Things that happen, and then you blink and they are gone in a jiffy”
“Reality is a ditty”
“Yes. And now you have a story to tell. About that one time I rhymed”
“That was quick”
“Some stories are long, others not. Tell me a short one”
“Okay. So there was this when time, when I was asked to tell a story”