by Sarah Giudice, October 10th 2022
I never particularly cared about my future, but never have I thought I would do something like this. Standing in the empty street, I can hear the neighbours doing their washing up and getting ready for bedtime. Someone is fucking their spouse – they’re clearly happy, or maybe they’re making up for some bullshit fight they had in the morning. I don’t care that much, but it’s always good to have an idea of what’s going on. Especially when you’re about to do something not-exactly-legal.
There’s a cat meowing in the distance. It’s getting closer. I can see it with the corner of my left eye. As soon as it’s at my feet, it starts to rub itself all over my legs. I must pet it, and so I do: I scratch its fluffy chin until it collapses on the ground and starts showing me its belly and genitals. It’s a boy!
«Where you think you’re going so late in the evening, mh? It’s cold out here», I whisper. He purrs in response, and flaps around a bit. I guess he doesn’t care either. He doesn’t care that his old-lady owner is currently waiting for him at the door, so that she can go to sleep knowing her cute, furry child is safe and sound in the house. I mean, the area is quiet enough to think he’s going to be safe out of the house, too, but I can understand why one would worry about their child being out after dark.
I wonder what my mother’s thinking, right now. She’s probably sleeping on the sofa, completely knackered after her 12 hours shift. She scrubs toilets for a living. I don’t think it’s the best she can do, but she does not care, and she doesn’t believe in herself. She doesn’t believe in me, either: she thinks I’m going to get a crap job as soon as I graduate, just so I can sell my body to a crap boss who would treat me like shit. I won’t get a crap job. I don’t think I will get a job at all.
The cat is meowing again. He’s showing me his milk-white teeth and his rose-pink tongue. He looks like the sweetest boy in the whole world. I pick him up and we cuddle in the middle of the sidewalk. He’s warm and kind and bonks his chubby face on my hooked nose. I love my nose, I guess he loves it, too. I smile.
«You really are a sweet boy… Your mom is very lucky», I whisper again. I never had a cat, or a pet, for my mother hated the idea of an animal trashing the house. I never managed to get her to understand that a cat is not a cow, nor a horse, but the only progress she did is that she now wants a chihuahua. I hate chihuahuas. They yell a lot and move like they are constantly on the brink of an epileptic attack. I guess she can have her chihuahua, now.
I decide that the cat’s name is Fluffy Boy. He meows at me one last time, then he decides it’s time to go home. Her mom awaits and I get it. We greet each other: I wave at him, and he shakes his tail in the air, as he trots away. So long, Fluffy Boy.
The house in front of me doesn’t have a fence and the door of the building is broken. I know because my mother told me. The residents have tried many times to get the landlord to fix the damned thing, but he never really listens to them and clearly doesn’t care if someone gets hurt because he hasn’t provided for his tenants. Thanks, Sir Landlord. You finally proved yourself useful. Thanks to you, I can now have easy access to the apartment I’m aiming at.
I get through the entrance, and I am met with the yellowish pavement of the empty hall. The light makes me want to vomit. There are fake plants in every corner, so that Sir Landlord doesn’t have to pay someone to care for them. I take the lift because I want to preserve every ounce of energy possible. I have a lot of work ahead.
Inside the lift it smells like bleach. It also smells like used condoms. Ironic.
Today my mother told me one of the guys she’s working for yelled at her for no reason. It was something about her getting too on time and ringing the bell too loud. I think he also whined about her not asking for permission before entering the house, which is a very weird thing to say as a grown ass man. My mother said to me that she doesn’t intend to return to his house, that she even asked him to rip her contract to pieces. Apparently, he was quite surprised about her response and didn’t react. My mother was very proud of herself when she told me, she said she acted like a “real woman”. I don’t know what a real woman is, but I can recognise a little bitch when I see one. I’m staring at one right now. A man is standing at the door. He opened it as soon as I knocked, and he’s now looking like he expects me to give him something. Maybe he expected company. A woman calls for him from the other room, he tells her it’s nothing and he’s about to close the door when I block him with my boot. He is astounded. It’s like he has never been disrespected once in his pathetic little life.
«Are you Giacomo Sfincioni?»
«What? I’m not telling you my name»
«Are you Giacomo Sfincioni or not?», I ask again. I can stand here and ask him for his name until the morning, for what I care.
«Maybe, now move your ass away from my door». I let him finish, but I do not move.
I pull out my dad’s mallet from behind my back and use it to tear the door open. The woman screams but I don’t see her, just yet. He’s too scared to react. He sees the mallet; he doesn’t seem to be able to move. I grab the handle of the mallet with both hands, and I swing it in the air. I squash his head.
The woman is an old, grey-haired lady with a kind face and thin, pink lips. She looks like my elementary school teacher. When I tell her to call the police, maybe an ambulance, too, she runs away and slams a door shut. I close the entrance door with my foot and watch Giacomo Sfincioni lay against the wall. I feel queasy.
I hope everything is quiet, at Fluffy Boy’s house.