A gentle cat walked over to me as I sat on a stoop in the East Village. I wandered outside a crowded jazz bar near Tompkins Square Park after listening to soothing sounds of jaded musicians fueled by cheap cigarettes and tinges of anarchy, which spew out of their eyeballs when confronted with conformity. I whistled at the cat, and spoke in my best Elvis Presley voice, but she just smugly sauntered past me, ignoring my malicious taunts and my Ukrainian curse words. The inebriated, registered sex-offender, the old man who worked at the Cuban restaurant next door set out a small plate of beans and pork rinds, one of the cat’s favorite meals.
I woke up starving and craving mashed potatoes with biscuits and gravy and a extra large plate of cheese fries, usually after long desperate binges, three day and week long spurts of hardcore, excessive debauchery, loaded with amusing tales of high sea adventures with hammer wielding penguins and leftover Polaroid pictures of a high school orgy that I happened to stumble upon. The pictures, some distorted, others just covered in Bicardi rum and semen (mine, I hoped) made me smile when I recalled the goofy songs that we sung, the expensive bottles of Bombay Gin that we broke, and the erotic words that we slowly slurred into each other’s ears while we held each other’s tired and sweaty post-orgasm bodies.
Sometimes I broke a solemn promise I made to myself, and in a moment of dire weakness, I peeked at her pictures, all bundled up in a neat pile in the bottom of a closet somewhere. Still around, but nowhere in sight. I recalled how soft she spoke on cold Winter nights, when I sat alone in a room without any heat, and I could see the trails of my breath in the damp and chilly air, while I attempted to chase the ghosts of Shakespeare and Kesey. I escaped eventually to warmer and sunnier climates for a small period of time, only to find myself back on the same darken streets, smoking the same tenebrious drugs, fingering the same dour housewives, stealing from the same moronic tourists, and attempting to pet the same stubborn orange-bluish colored cat, the one with the extra long tail.