The old spinster-maid sat me atop the refrigerator and told me, “This is gonna be a while, for I am not a witch but a cat…”
My face contorted awkwardly in confusion due to my misaligned jaw. She waved it off and continued.
“…And that’s most likely the problem! Y’see, my autumn of discontent bears a striking resemblance to wires getting crossed and sparking against each other from time to time and then eventually breaking down the whole motherboard.”
She wasn’t making a lick of sense but I stayed because I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I noticed she really didn’t have any thumbs.
“For whatever reason, I had quite the visceral reaction to His leaving. I dry heaved in the bathtub for what seemed like an hour and a half but I didn’t cry none, because that was beneath me – ”
I wanted to intercept but she fed me a piece of dry toast to keep my lips from moving.
“A year passed and He came back into town. I wanted to introduce myself but I had lost all the confidence I had momentarily maintained in my early twenties. He spat on me, called me a slut, and walked away!”
I stopped eating the toast and looked up at her. Images and texts were starting to perform an unwieldy dance in my head and I wasn’t sure if they were appropriate for the occasion but were nonetheless entertaining.
“The crazy thing was we had no idea what each other looked like! We were just figments of each other’s imagination!”
I wanted to scream. I wanted to get down. This woman would be the death of me, I was sure of it. Boredom alone could kill all of her hanging plants. I tried to wrap my head around the semantics of what she had just said for a moment but then thought the better of it.
“He went on to marry some redhead with more presentable draping…”
“Collarbones?” I asked.
“Oh sure,” she said looking down at her fat knees, as she cut a potato.
A silence lingered for a bit and thinking that meant an end to her stories, I started to slip down. Startled by its reprisal, I froze.
“All in all, it was good fun I suppose. Responding to ghosts made me think, kept me motivated,” she sighed.
I sighed too. I just wanted another piece of toast.
“But you can’t touch the air between your fingers and you can’t keep it caged like a beast neither, it’d just bite your hand anyway.”
She lifted me off the refrigerator and gently put me down on the floor. I went to bed and tried to forget ever meeting her.