Most of the time Callie ignores me, but every now and then, when I make her a nice meal or stroke her neck just right, she loves me like nobody ever has. I wish she was more affectionate, but it’s her nature to be capricious, aloof. I don’t blame her, and late at night when I feel her little body pressed against mine and hear those sleepy sounds, I feel enraptured. Though lately it’s like she’s lonely beyond me, primed with primal needs I’ll never meet. I don’t want to share her, but maybe I should get another cat.
Jo’s standing in the kitchen with a paring knife and an expression of torpid decimation, not vacant but vacated. I call out his name and hear the inside of a seashell, the frightening hush of unmeasured depths. He doesn’t move while I slide the knife away, the stillness of it more dangerous than the blade and intrusive in a way that an incision could never be. I stand with him for a time, horrified and curious, enraged by my own inability and actively drawn into dark and quiet introspection. If someone calls out my name, what will they hear?