A Lived-In Room

A black cat sits atop a closed laptop on the round glass dining room table. The floor is peppered with cat toys–balls that bounce, balls that jingle, stuffed mice laced with catnip–and hasn’t seen a vacuum in months. A green velvet rolling desk chair replaces the metal-backed dining chairs that should complete the small kitchenette set.  Empty coffee cups and PowerAde bottles litter the floor and table around the laptop; prescription bottles with drugs to wake her up and drugs to put her to sleep half-hidden under piles of junk mail and bills she’d been ignoring.
Cardboard boxes strewn along the walls of the open-floor living/dining room serve as bookcases, harboring tattered copies of Steal This Book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, On the Road, Monday or Tuesday. Cheap shoes—Roxy flip-flops, Mossimo boots, 5″ Charlotte Russe heels—scatter around the floor of the apartment; oversized, expensive handbags—Coach signature shoulder bags, Guess satchels, Louis Vuitton Neverfulls—hang from doorknobs and chair backs, each with its matching wallet inside.
Three cats lounge on three chairs nestled under the large dining room window, sunbeams fracturing between strands of black, white, and gray fur. Scraps of paper with scribbled names, maps, and quotes overflow from several small white boxes on the glass table, the couch, the floor, transforming into cat toys in her absences, fragmentary thoughts lost forever to sandpaper tongues


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