Skip to main content

Rooting for the Apocalypse — Chapter 4: Murder on the Orient Depressed




Felipe is passed out in what we call the captain’s chair. It looks like the chair you’d sit in if you were captaining a starship. He’s snoring monstrously. His snore mingles with the drone of the surrounding air conditioners, a drone that never stops in the summer, in the heat, that comes in through our open windows. The drone is monstrous. Felipe’s shirt is ripped open and his belly hangs out, jiggling with triplets. His fly is open. His belly is monstrous. I put a newspaper over his face. It rattles with the snores and then is blown away by a grunt. I put another newspaper over his crotch. It too knocks away, for reasons I don’t want to think about.

Charlie runs down the stairs, black paws a pitter-patter. He rams my leg and nuzzles as though his life depends on it, which it does. I go to the kitchen, three steps away in a rowhome, and scoop some cat food into Charlie’s bowl. Charlie is greedy. He rams the scoop as I feed him, knocking some of the food back into the bag.

“You little Republican,” I say to him. “Your greed is causing you to miss out.”

He doesn’t care. He’s eating. His black fur sticks to my sweaty legs. It looks like I gave up halfway through turning into a werewolf.

“Fucking cat,” I say, affectionately.

I make coffee. Someone has used the ice and not refilled the tray. I walk over to Felipe and watch him snore.

“What do you think, Charlie?” I say. “Should I kill him?”

“Meow,” Charlie says.

“Right, you do it. Trip him going down the stairs, make it look like an accident.”

“Meooooow.”

“People wonder about mass shootings. I don’t. It’s shit like this, day after day, that’s what drives you mad.”

“Meeow?”

“You’re right. That’s a little too dark.”