Oh, the indignity, she thinks, wiping up her own pee on the hall carpet. She’s tired, has to get dressed for the day, for appointments with her doctor, dentist, and now this. She didn’t make it to the toilet in time. She should surrender. This project was never going anywhere. Just go on to the next project: dark air, damp ground, deep hole.
Her little Puff was in the ground already. Long time ago. She was little herself then. Now she has Samuel, not as soft and cuddly, irritable, getting old. Accidents on the carpet. She is becoming her cat. Fifteen in cat years is seventy-six in human years. Perfect symmetry.
She peers out the window, at the clouds with their shifting human faces and cigars and coughing into new shapes. She thought that when she retired, she would have canyons of time. She wouldn’t have to grade papers, construct handouts and syllabi. But now the canyons are devoted to filling out forms for Medicare, visits to the optometrist, the doctor, the Social Security office, friends in memory care units, funerals of the departed, dear and not-so-dear, the ones she tauntingly outlived. And for what?
This is because Eve stole the apple. She snorts. There she is, blaming someone else for her own rotten apple of a life. So typical. Bob would have laughed too. She hadn’t thought of Bob for hours. Did that mean something? Or nothing. Was she going to join him in the Great Beyond?Certainly at some point. Maybe sooner rather than later. Maybe today. The signs are everywhere: she saw his face in the clouds; she peed on the floor; Samuel peed on the floor.
Perhaps she should just stop taking her medications: atenolol, Lipitor, Fosamax. But who would care for Samuel?
Skin flaking away, she is getting to the essence, blood, bone, nerve. A creaking voice. She might as well be a cricket. Her name is Sybil, after all. Let her move into a cricket cage. Let her chitter alone.
She lies down on the floor of the living room, stretches out to practice the corpse pose, hands relaxed at her sides, head sinking into the carpet. The posture feels comfortable.
There is a knock at the door. Maybe she can give Samuel to the visitor.