Smell that piece of fish, I can, but if I yank too hard on the leash, Joe will get annoyed and leave me home tomorrow where I don’t want to be because if there’s one thing Beverly hates more than Joe, it’s me. Every day I want Joe to bring me with him – to work, as he called it last night in conversation with Beverly. Beverly said she’s not gonna put up with his work much longer if he doesn’t start bringing home rent money. But he’s a wild rover, he says, or sings actually, and she says that he can wild rover all the way back to his mother’s trailer or a homeless shelter.
Cat. Now definitely cat, the orange tabby that sits in the hat shop window and sneers when I walk by with Joe. She, too, has noticed the golden flaky lying next to the curb, and she’s edging toward it and beginning to sniff it and nibble it, the way they do, sniff and nibble instead of gulp and swallow. Sniffing for finding. Gulping for eating. That’s my way.
Someone walks by and drops a few coins in Joe’s open guitar case. Beverly won’t be happy tonight. It’s not enough. Tabby still nibbling. I can’t take it, but I’ll just lay my head back down on this cold, cold pavement and sleep, and dream, of a world without collars, a world without chains.