Tuesday, December 4, 2007
friday night, camembert and i were playing scrabble, drinking a couple of beers, when he said something that really got to me.
"gloomy," he said (that's his pet name for me), "i don't want to go back to that other place. can't i just stay here forever?"
i saw the desperation in his eyes, those twin blue moons.
"i'm sorry, cam, but that isn't how it works. you have a mom and dad in koreatown who love and miss you."
"if they love me so much, why did they leave me here?" his gaze was fixed on the tile rack at his paws. "it's scary moving around from place to place. it constipates me."
"it was hard for your mom to leave you with us, cam. but your dad has an art show in san francisco and he needs her help."
he licked his paw, considering this.
"i like hollywood better," he said finally.
cam turned away from the scrabble board and peered out the window.
"plus, your apartment is so stylish, and i have discovered many great hiding spots."
i studied cam as he studied the palm tree outside. i have never been a cat person, but this cat was getting to me. not only was he good-looking, but he was proving to be a formidable scrabble opponent.
"i wish things were different," i said.
cam ignored me.
"your tv is so much bigger," he continued. "and i've been thinking about becoming a vegetarian. i don't know if i can't stand to be around all that meat anymore. also, i think my parents are giving me lung cancer from their secondhand smoke."
we were quiet, the scrabble board a grave marker between us. as he stared through the window, i tried to think of a way to console him, but came up empty. i reached for the stick with the filthy stuffed mouse attached to the end. i dangled it in front of him, trying to coax him into play, but cam was unmoved.
finally, i said, "it's your turn."
he studied his letters for a couple of minutes before spelling a word. he pushed each tile carefully, moving it across the board with the tip of his white paw, until he'd spelled something worth the 50 pt bingo bonus:
without glancing in my direction, he lowered his face to the pint glass at his side. cam plunged his mouth into the foam and lapped his beer.