you and me – POSTCARD #31
This card was sent in by three very special ‘Cageys’ that have known me and my stories longer than almost anyone. Thank you, Anne, Chris and Kelly.
I keep you here because I love you, Kate.
That’s what she told me.
Bullshit, I said. I was a lot mouthier back then. In the beginning. Before the escape attempts. I said you don’t keep anything locked up if you love it. She said I didn’t know what love truly was. I said it was to do with her being abandoned by her fucked-up mother.
She didn’t speak to me for a week after that so I didn’t mention her mother again. She fed the dogs, the cats and the birds but she never even looked at me. Once she was smiling again meant she was feeding me again. I didn’t even care about the shackles she put around my ankle. There was always worse things.
There was one cage where a bird would peck at her hand when she tried to stroke it. It would make hissing sounds as she passed. I saw the hurt in her eyes when this happened, I saw how she started going to that cage last. How she started spending smaller amounts of time there.
As the bird’s feathers thinned out, it started looking more reptilian, it’s ugly squawks more alien, and I saw how the hurt turned to horror as she approached it.
I can’t even remember it’s name anymore, she sobbed at the bars of my cage one night. It’s dark down here, I said. He probably misses the sun.
She unlocked my cage door and slipped inside. I backed against the wall and stumbled onto the cot I slept on.
She looked hurt.
Are you afraid of me, Sam?
I shook my head as my hands trembled more and the ugly cry of the bird was the only other sound that filled the basement.