The Bones Trickle Down
I didn’t know what I would find there in the house that looked a little like the one I lived in a hundred years ago, in that other life, the one before this one where now I am surprisingly well-adjusted, all things considered, or so people say. I didn’t want to go back there, but no one else did either, and I thought, of everyone, I was strong enough, probably. He wasn’t there anymore, after all, it was just an empty house and who knows, maybe there would be something worth something. I didn’t know what I would find there, but maybe I had some guesses, certainly cobwebs and a thick layer of dust on all the furniture. Doubtless there would be crusty dishes in the sink and elsewhere and clutter all around and broken things in need of fixing, and I was right. But I couldn’t have guessed about Laundry Mountain or Styrofoam River or the Great Wall of Old Bicycles, and all of it makes me think of those carnival games where you win a prize if you can guess how many jellybeans there are in a giant jar, and then I find a drawer of literal jellybeans. And I never could have imagined the room of the Newspaper City with years and years of daily stories stacked as towering office buildings and condominiums. Under a fallen skyscraper there are bones that might have been still perfectly arranged under the papers in cat-shaped formation, a macabre shadow of the once-vibrant creature sprawled in a strip of sunlight for an afternoon nap. But when I disturb the papers, the bones trickle down like twigs in a falling river. Beside the cat’s skull there are smaller bones. The cat had chased a rat through Newspaper City, and the epic tussle had toppled a building and done them both in. Amongst the newspapers and the bones, I cry for a few minutes or maybe an hour, I’m not sure, telling myself it’s because of the cat that’s been dead for probably a decade. A cat died tragically in a newspaper avalanche, and nobody noticed, and it’s just so fucking sad. Really, if I think about it, the rat’s story is even sadder because at least the cat got a last meal. It’s for them I cry, and maybe that’s true for the first thirty seconds, but then, it’s not.
Copyright ©2017 by Angie Tonucci. All rights reserved.