Excerpt by Beatriz Salcedo-Strumpf
Once again, I send another cybernetic message in plain sight and patience of my felines. Fritz wants to eat more, as is his custom. I deny him nothing. Soon he will die, and how I love him! Sometimes I think that Fritz was a human in another life. His intelligence astonishes me. He has tantrums when I don’t offer him his preferred cans, and lets me know by refusing to devour his portion. And he demands my love whenever he wants it, asking me for it with his erotic purring. I envy his hedonism. Many times he has looked at me as he himself knew that he will die soon and as he were asking me why, why do I have cancer? “I don’t know either, Fritz.
Sometimes life is so cruel and unjust,” I mumble in his ear. But you must be sure of one thing, Fritz; I will always have you with me; and perhaps in another life we will find each other , and maybe the roles be reversed. I will be the kitty and you my owner. How about that? His profound gaze and melodious meow announce a “yes”. My husband and daughters have fallen sleep. Tomorrow is Saturday, and it is his weekly conference day. I look out the window and a strong wind is blowing. Snowflakes begin to fall. I drink a little red wine before going to bed to read another story by Antonio: “Nueva York.” In my mind’s eye, an adventure in this wonderful metropolis unfolds. I will relate it to him tomorrow.
I’m exhausted and the reading has immersed me in a placid and deep sleep.
The next morning rises with its monotonous grayness. I send the girls to school, run on the treadmill, and before leaving the house, I search the web. Ah, a message from Antonio. Voraciously, I hasten to read it.
(Translated by Hanya Brayman)