You ask her if she’s been out on her balcony, drying her hair and singing wistfully, but she replies that no, she actually hasn’t washed her hair in weeks—she was out on her balcony watching the cars pass on the street below, contemplating the futility of existence, how we’re all so focused on moving forward that we don’t even stop to appreciate the things that make moving forward worthwhile in the first place. The faraway look in her eyes as she says that last bit alarms you and keeps you from pressing the subject any further.


You find out that she gets up early on the weekends, and you wonder if she’s going off to have some fascinating encounter at a men’s prison (something you assume is a tradition of hers) that you can use as inspiration for the novel you’ve been working on for the past seven years, but she mumbles out the explanation that she has to get to CVS early to refill her Zoloft prescription, because if she has to wait in line too long, she’ll space out, disassociate, and forget why she’s there in the first place.


You naturally thought you’d find her standing in front of the windows at Tiffany & Co., eating a pastry and looking glamorous in the early hours of the morning, but instead you stumble across her standing in front of the Walmart jewelry counter, wearing sweatpants and staring into a case of mood rings with a glassy-eyed expression, absent-mindedly eating an entire bag of Totino’s Pizza Rolls—still frozen—that she has yet to pay for. Behind her is a screaming three-year-old in a pink Lightning McQueen shirt getting her ears pierced.


You find out that her cat is named “Cat,” and you ask if the reason for that is because she holds the passionate, free-spirited belief that living things do not own other living things, that none of us can tie each other down like that, that it is simply not a power humanity should be allowed to wield, but she just replies, “I don’t even know where that cat came from. I don’t think it’s mine…” As she trails off, she restarts The Office on Netflix for the twenty-fifth time and pulls her couch blanket over herself.


She climbs in your window and crawls into bed with you in the middle of the night. You are understandably a little surprised and ask why she is in your bed. She doesn’t reply. She’s out cold. She sleeps straight through the next twenty-two hours.

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