you and me – POSTCARD #51
And so we tip over the halfway mark into the abyss with #51 ‘Found In An Old Man’s Belongings’.
Thank you, M from USA.
Found In An Old Man’s Belongings
You know those days where your cat won’t curl up with you? Where it sits close enough to touch, but with it’s back to you. That’s how Celie was. Her languid body sprawled beside mine but her mind elsewhere. If I ignored experience and attempted to embrace her she would silently endure. Then leap from the bed. I’d watch her saunter down the hallway with an understanding of what all those cat-haters were on about.
Celie didn’t care for pets. That’s how she said it, with her slight accent and proper English. I told her that was an interesting turn of phrase because that was the whole point – you cared for them. She shrugged and replied that French was far more interesting a language. I stared out the window until Celie sidled up and stroked my face.
Let’s go for coffee, she says, and I could try to resist and make a point but there wasn’t one.
Her eyes soften at an old man sitting with his dog in the café. She sips on her coffee and tells me she will take me to Côte d’Ivoire one day. She’ll show me the markets where her Grandmother used to sell bread and biscuits. My heartbeat thunders in my ears at how casually she says this but before I can answer there is a crash. The old man has dropped his cup and the dog is yapping and Celie is kneeling gracefully beside him collecting broken ceramic and handing him the contents of his spilled wallet. She winces but doesn’t recoil as the dog leaps and licks at her face while the man thanks her.
She sits back beside me and I’ve never wanted to touch her more but I don’t because I understand. Because I’m more of a cat person anyway.