Girl, Cat, Fish

Some days, I feel like the girl in the tub with the fish in the comedy show hitting so close to home but so far out in left field that eating popcorn while I watch doesn’t seem nearly as awful as eating chicken wings during an episode of Criminal Minds. Me and my dying cat curled up on the floor, my hand stroking her tail — and only her tail because otherwise she thinks I’m about to stick another pill down her throat and she’ll run to hide from me. It’s a terrible thing when a part of your heart runs and hides from you, but I don’t blame her. She likes me best now in the mornings, too tired and stiff for any chase. Instead we curl up, like the girl and the fish in the tub, floating there in the early morning hours as if nothing will ever change.

©2022, Jen Payne. Scene from Hulu’s Life & Beth.

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