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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015

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Lucas Stensland
Tampa, Florida, USA


Love Seat

I am sitting on my torn-up faux-leather Ikea love seat with Delia, a big white cat with a black smudge on her face. She's not on my lap, but on the cushion beside me, slowly inching her way over. We're in the living room, watching They All Laughed again. A thud in the hallway bolts into our little Brooklyn apartment. It's not like a janitor's broom hitting the marble floor, but more like the janitor himself hitting the marble floor. Instead of looking to the door, from where the sound came, Delia and I immediately turn to each other. It's funny our initial reaction was to make eye contact as if to say, "The fuck was that?"

I really like Delia. Maybe a bit more than that. When I'm gone she waits for me by the front door, or maybe she's just waiting to be fed. When I get done with work, I go home to see her instead of what I used to do: aimlessly roam Manhattan, going to various bars and restaurants, usually alone, finding people to ignore. In my mind, The Supremes' "Come See About Me" is my and Delia's song.

peavine
any which way
but home

Becoming a homebody may be good for the spirit, but it's nonetheless taken a toll on me. I've gained quite a bit of weight, though my blood pressure has greatly improved. But I'm happier and more relaxed than I've been in years. Again, I really like Delia. But don't get me wrong. I never call myself a cat dad, and I realize if Delia and I switched sizes she would—in a heartbeat—torture, kill and eat me. But we haven't switched sizes. She sits on my lap, or between my legs, or cuddles up to me on the love seat—like she's doing now—because I earned her trust and give off warmth, especially now with my extra fat.

There's a sliding sound coming from the hallway, like a corpse being dragged away, dragged away for good. I look down at Delia to see if she's returning my look. But she's fast asleep, purring deeply, satisfied with whatever this is.

tracing her tail
with my finger
happy ending

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end

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