- Vol. 03
- Chapter 05
Up this close you can't tell if you're in line for a raspy lick to the face or your face torn off. Proportions are indistinguishable at this proximity and what was once your cat could now be the lion I dreamt pouring itself through our bedroom window. The last time you and I were this close we were looking across Victoria Park and further across a lights-through-water London night. You coaxed, bargained and eventually dragged me onto the Ferris wheel and the gentle swaying of the carriage at the top of its arc caused my hands to clasp the seat with the pressure of a prayer. "Look," was all you said as you leant over me and pointed out towards Canary Wharf.
The low rumble of a purr brings me fully back to the morning. The cat, still nameless from my fear of changing its form somehow, tumbles across my chest and arcs back round to inspect my face through a series of loud sniffs. It jumps down and continues its exploration by nosing around the nothing in the far corner of the room. It does this often. Turns its curiosity towards a seemingly empty portion of house.
I don't think I really saw the cityscape you were gesturing to, or at least I don't remember it. I was more concerned with the sudden tilt of the hanging basket we were strapped into due to you shifting your weight to sit next to me. Thinking back, I was probably a world away from where you were in that moment. I couldn't see past the nagging fear that you were trying to kill us both and that I wouldn't return to ground gracefully, but in a porridge of tears and steel. Instead I should have been focussing on the warmth of your cheek fighting the wind striking from the other side, and how I could faintly sense the vanilla of your perfume over the caramel almonds you were holding.
The cat, Cat or You or Kitty, slaloms my shuffling ankles towards the kitchen. Not guiding, not following, it drifts in alongside me and settles itself on the windowsill cushion, reconfiguring your impression with its own. I tread my own patterns of the room, from the fridge to the range to the sink, back again.
We find solid ground easily, of course, and wander the molded plastic pathways laid for the fair. Jumping through snippets of overlapping conversation, we plan holidays, life plans, a home. Excitedly laying out the future even though the dimensions of that future were immeasurable. Now I share our home with a tiny creature that sees you in sunlit corners and in empty chairs, and I follow the paths laid out for us and hold on.