Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta frustration. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta frustration. Mostrar todas las entradas

martes, 2 de agosto de 2016

Pet party

   As Mary got out of the bank, she realized there was only one more chance to get her dreams to come true. If she couldn’t work it out this time, she would be done for good, as she had nothing to fall back on. She had quite her job in a prestigious company and now she had withdrawed every single penny she had saved. Once she got him, she started making plans for every single cent, knowing how she would spend her money in order to make her dreams come true.

 Since she was a little girl, Mary had a tendency never to get what she wanted. It was always some other kid, more likely her sister, who got all the attention, all the love, all the gifts and presents and everything from everyone whereas she had to settle with whatever landed on her lap, basically. The times she complained, her parents argued that she was jealous of her sister and that she shouldn’t be such a nasty little girl. That kind of response was the main reason why she hadn’t spoken to any of them in such a long time.

 She wrote on a small yellow notebook every single plan she had in order to make it all a success: she had to invest some money buying stuff and then there would be a time of a few months in which she would have to reduce the amount of money she spent drastically in order to survive and have enough time to be successful. She had read several books and informed herself of what she had to do, so it wasn’t like she had rushed herself anywhere.

 As per usual, no one would help her achieve what she wanted. Mary had broken up with her boyfriend a few weeks ago and they didn’t spoke at all after that. It had been a very healthy break up, when she had accepted her mistakes and he had been very surprised she hadn’t attacked him or tried to make him stay. The truth was that Mary had changed quite a lot and simply had no time for such behavior now.

 After she quit her job and decided t be independent, she also realized there would be hours and hours of free time as her business began to from so she decided to exercise at home and also try some kind of diet. It would help a lot to spend less money and it would make her a little more agile and awake, what she needed urgently because of her new lease on life.

 Even if people hadn’t seen it, she had always been a very careful young woman, with her money and what she chose to say and not to say. Mary had never been distracted but rather very focused and driven. She knew most men didn’t like that and her family thought she was just jealous of everyone so her achievements had always been clouded by the shadow of someone she really wasn’t.

 The idea was pretty simple. Since she had been very young, her ambition had always been to have a pet. She had tried to make her parents buy her a dog but that didn’t happen until she was fifteen and her sister got one but she was twelve and wouldn’t really take care of the animal so Mary ended up having to feed him, and groom him and do everything for him in order to be healthy.

 She noticed back then that the food pets got could really use some work. They didn’t seem to be really delicious and she even tried one to check out the flavor. Her sister saw her doing that and immediately told her parents who told her she was disgusting and that they wouldn’t let the dog near her if she did it again. And yet, she kept looking at his toys, the ones that they sold at the stores and how the dogs interacted in the park and, even back then, she had the idea.

 Only now she was making it a reality. She had many designs and recipes kept on that yellow book, thousands of small idea she could bring to life if she only had the money and the energy to do it. She had not tried it before because she was certain the idea would fail but now it was different. Maybe it was that she had heard about her sister recently and was jealous of her, as they had always claimed. Or maybe it was because of that man that tried to have his way with her at work. Whatever reason it was, she was thankful for it.

 She bought ingredients, fabric, even clay to do small versions of the toys she would like to produce. She tried the food with the pets in her building or at the park wearing a vest and a hat she had sewed herself with the potential name of her company: Pet Party. Some people were interested and happily gave their dogs some of the treats and it was surprising to see how they all wanted more. Of course, there was no sugar or nothing like that in them, only vegetables and various proteins.

She submitted her toy ideas to several factories and many of them rejected her ideas because she thought she was joking or because they didn’t think her designs were good. But she finally found one specialized in pets and they were thrilled to work with her ideas.

 Everything was slowly falling in to place. She was making some dog’s clothes by herself, she had many ideas for smaller animals like rabbits and hedgehogs and also for larger ones like horses. She really had thought her idea through and was hoping to be able to achieve the dream of her life. She wanted to prove herself that what people had always told her was just a lie and that she was a good person and a smart one too.

 Right then though, her parents made an appearance. Of course, they criticized every single thing she was doing, they hated the fact that she was doing a diet and that she had gotten slimmer, saying she just wanted to be like her sister. They talked about her all the time, telling her how successful she was as an actress and the fact that she had paid for their trip, including the hotel and business class in flights and all those things they had never enjoyed because of having two kids.

 Mary did not say anything, trying not to let them get to her. However, her father found her yellow book and started reading it. He mocked her for her ideas and told her that she had to realize those perfect businesses where everything goes perfect doesn’t exist and that they are only achieved, if they exist, by people that have talent and that special thing that she clearly didn’t have.

 She didn’t love them but in that moment she understood how devastating it truly was to have always been a disappointment and a mistake for her parents. She let them know how much she had tried to be a good daughter and how awful and despicable they were. Mary told them about every single time in her life in which she only needed her parents to love her and she had to do everything by herself because no one got her back, no one was there to support her at all.

 They tried to argue but she just told them she was done with them for good and not to talk to her ever again. She pushed her out the door and asked her building’s security guy to come and fetch them and never let them in again. Same went to her sister, who she never heard about anyway, unless it was trough his parents. She just quit to having a family and it was surprisingly a very easy thing to do for her.

 Six months after quitting her job, her business had begun taking off. She received a lot of orders for her pet food and also for the dog clothes she had designed. The toys were a bit cheap in their build but people bough them anyway. She kept an online store for a while until she was able to pay the rent of a small store not far from her house. In a single year, she had won much more than in the rest of her life. She hired an assistant and Pet Party was an example of good planning and success.

 Mary loved the fact that she made people happy. She wanted to make everyone feel that their pets deserved better, as she had deserved better all her life and had needed a push to just do whatever it was that she needed to do. And she was grateful for it. She had never been happier, even if she had to give up her blood relatives in the process.

lunes, 29 de junio de 2015

Stranger tour

   I had just met him but I didn’t want to walk around a whole new city without someone to tell me what was what. You see, I had arrived in Barcelona only recently and I’m one those people that understands things better when someone else is explaining. I get lost easily when I’m all by myself but I learn rather fast, which has always helped me get through things. Anyhow, I was having my first cup of coffee today and this guy was just really nice and I just asked him if he could show me the city. I know, he could have been a serial killer or something. Actually, it would have been worst if he had just said no but he was very nice and gave me his number, asking me to send him a message at night to see what he could do for me and my request.

 I did write to him from my phone and he answered rather quickly. He explained that he wasn’t from Barcelona either and that he understood how nervous I was for being in a new city so he proposed to go out the following weekend and show me the places that he thought would help me get to know the city. The weekend was only two days away so the wait was very short. He came to my place, where I had recently moved. I offered him a cup of coffee but he said he would rather start right away. He seemed very serious and not in the mood to talk, so I didn’t say a word. We just walked a few blocks until we got to a subway station. There was a map where he explained me where everything was: downtown, Montjuic, the industrial areas, the beaches, the mountains and the bars and discos.

 We entered the station and he bought my ticket, in order to show me how it all worked. That part was fun because I knew how the system worked, I had traveled from the airport in the metro. But I decided not to say anything because he seemed a little bit fed up with the whole concept of explaining all these menial things to an idiot from another country. We sat down side by side in the train but wouldn’t even look at each other. Maybe it was best if I just let him go and be miserable alone, because I didn’t wanted my own weekend to be spoiled. I would just walk around and people would help me. I had noticed people were very nice so maybe that was my real thing. I had no idea when or how I had decided to ask that from a stranger.

 The train stopped and he got out so I did the same. He walked rather fast so it was difficult to keep up with his pace. When we came out of the station, I realized I had been there before: it was the main square of the city called Plaza Cataluña. There were lots and lots of people everywhere but I decided not to be still for too long because my companion had already started walking away. I followed him to the Rambla, trying to get to where he was but it was impossible. After a while, I didn’t see him anymore. Fe up with the attitude, I just stopped and went back to the square. The climate was getting a bit colder.

 About fifteen minutes later, my phone rang. It was a call, not a message or a text. And it was him because I could see the name “Coffee guy” on the screen. I smiled because I didn’t even know his name and decided not to answer. But he tried two more times so I finally decided to pick it up. He asked me where I was and why I hadn’t followed him. I told him he seemed too distracted and too pissed off at something or someone and that I didn’t have time to waste so I thanked him for his help and just hung up. But he called again and asked again where I was. I told him I was at a bar, drinking a beer. He got to the bar and, again, didn’t say a word when he sat down beside me. He didn’t ask anything for himself and I just wasn’t in the mood to ask some stranger what was up with his life.

 Then, he started saying he had had a tough week. Apparently, he had been into a number of interviews for jobs he would have wanted to get but he got none of them. I told him that maybe he had been just awful in the interviews but he replied that he had been relaxed and charming and had answered everything rapidly and kindly. He just didn’t got why they wouldn’t pick him. I didn’t say anything else. I just sipped my beer and looked at all the glasses and things the barman had behind him. The coffee guy then told me to go on with the tour but I told him I had decided not to tour anything with someone whose name I didn’t even know. He then told me his name was Evan and that he needed to walk around or he would keep thinking about the jobs that didn’t happen.

 I just gulped down the beer, closed my jacket and walked outside, not saying a word to him. Evan decided to be nicer and started talking as we walked, explaining the history he knew about the place and his impressions when he had first come to the city. At first, I wasn’t talking at all but he was trying so hard I decided to give in and have a decent Saturday. We walked through the Gothic neighborhood and the historic center, we went by the zoo and Evan promised to take me soon and then we got to the first and most popular beach in the city, la Barceloneta. Not many people were there, possibly because the wind was now colder but some were reading or just playing around in the sand.

 We got back into the city, walking along a big avenue and seeing old buildings. I took pictures with my phone and Evan decided to surprise me by getting into some of the shots. We decided to have lunch in a fast-food place and there I had one of the best moments since I had left my home. He was very kind and shared his frustration for not getting any of the jobs. He told me was still getting a masters degree but that he wanted to be able to earn money and just have a living. He told me he lived some blocks away fro me and that he had thought that by going out with me he could forget his frustration.

I just told him I understood what was happening and that I had gone through the same thing over and over in the past. But finally someone silly enough had hired me and now I was working in that beautiful city. He laughed, saying I didn’t even know if it was beautiful but I told him it was love at first sight. He just laughed and told me that wasn’t totally out of the question and that he wanted me to fall in love harder so he decided to take me to the other beaches after lunch. The wind was very cold and the ocean had turned into a grey puddle but we just stood in a pier and watched the weather happen for at least a half hour.

 During our time there, we didn’t talked very much. I noticed he was sad again, all of a sudden, so I decided to let it go for the moment. We walked towards the nearest subway station and then he started talking to me about how hard it had been for him the first weeks. That was not because of the city but because he had never left his house before and he had a hard time not seeing his mother and father whenever he wanted or not having his sibling to have fun with. He was all alone and he told me he had remembered the feeling as we walked down the pier. He talked to them every day but it was not the same. You always miss family, he said. And I knew he was right.

  After a transfer, I realized we where in a higher neighborhood. He told me that daylight was going to fade soon so he wanted my first tour day to end fantastically. So he just made me walk behind him through some steep streets until we got to a park. It was Park Güell and I had seen it in TV before. I had wanted to visit it and had no idea that’s where Evan was taking me. It was a nice walked inside the premises, taking a lot more pictures and now making Evan pose in some of them. We took very good pictures and he told me there was something else he could do for me. So we went up a road I had not seen before and he took my hand in order not to get lost, because the sun was setting and darkness was starting to settle.

 We finally got to the top where I was able to see the whole city in front of me. I could see downtown, I could see the neighborhood were I was living now and also some other features I hadn’t noticed before. The sunset’s light made it all look even more beautiful. We just stood there for several minutes until I noticed the artificial lights went on and the sun had totally disappeared. Then, as we came down the hill towards the park, I realized I was still holding Evan’s hand but he hadn’t noticed or maybe he didn’t care so we just kept it like that until we go to the subway station. He took me home and then I offered a cup of coffee again. He told me he was exhausted and wanted to rest his head but that maybe he would come for it soon enough.

 He left and I got in and I realize how good that day had been. I slept like a baby and was even more thrilled the next morning, when the doorbell woke me up early in the morning and it was him. He had decided he wanted coffee right then and I had decided I wanted him to come in too. That they, we held hand a lot. But that’s another story.

sábado, 13 de junio de 2015

Sex app

   It was very cold outside but I just had to smoke. It was one of those times when I just needed to fill my lungs with that damn poison that we all know and hate but sometimes need desperately. I was only wearing my boxers and I had put on his jacket in order not to freeze my ass while smoking at six AM like an idiot. The view from the balcony was amazing: as the building sat on one of the many hills in the city, you could see the business towers on one side and the ocean in the other, as well as hundreds of cars rushing one way or the other. The air smelled delicious, like fresh bread. I noticed there was a bakery just across the street and an elderly couple where entering the store, buying their morning bread so early.

 How did they do it? I don’t mean wake up this early to go and buy bread. I mean, how did they stay together for all these years, without boring each other or drive each other mad? I know and feel I would have the capacity to drive any other guy insane. For life… That tends to be a fucking long time and that’s something I’m not really comfortable with. I have never been able to keep a relationship with anyone for more than six months and this couple may be celebrating their sixtieth anniversary together. No, I think I would have died a long time before that or gone mad. I have a tendency to move around, never standing still for too long. I just couldn’t.

 I finish my cigarette but I don’t really want to go in. Thankfully I brought the pack with me along with a lighter. I lit up another one and feel it comforting my skin from the cold. Winter is done or at least that’s what all the people in the news say. But t sure doesn’t seem like it. My ass is freezing and I don’t know what else to do besides smoking like mad. I let my beer inside… Fuck!  Could have used that. Well, life isn’t perfect at all, shouldn’t I know that. I’m the man working in his father’s flower shop. I have to say I don’t hate it or anything but I would have liked to get so much more from life.

 I went to school and everything. I mean, back in high school I was a great football player and not very smart but in college I discovered I had a thing for numbers and all that. I’m good at that and that’s why dad asked to work with him. I keep the books in order and thanks to me his store is working much more efficiently than before. I even caught someone stealing for him, so I guess I did a great job. But I would have liked to have my own business, make my own decisions and just be myself in life. But this happens when you look for a fucking job for three fucking years and no one even thinks of helping you, giving you a hand. So here I am, thirty-two and still working for daddy. It pays well so I shouldn’t really but hey, I could bitch professionally.

 I turn around and see him there, sleeping as if he had just taken a magical potion to sleep like a log. He looks nice asleep… Not that he doesn’t look nice while awake but you know what I mean. I don’t really know how I got here, I mean, how it was that I accepted to come. To be one hundred percent honest, I met him earlier today on one of those apps for the phone where you get people to fuck with. Yeah, I was that bored. I just downloaded the thing and in an hour I had gotten lots of messages. Which is amazing the body I had back in high school has almost completely disappear. But I guess I have my thing and he noticed it.

 He looked nice in his picture, cute smile, nice guy he seemed. So he asked to come to his house in the middle of the night and here I am. The sex was great and he turned out to be a great guy, very nice and well mannered. But that didn’t stop me from coming out to this freezing balcony to smoke y heart out. It’s maybe because I don’t really like this kind of situations. It annoys me that I have to use those apps and shit to get to know someone to fuck. I mean, it makes it easier but one wonders if it’s all because of me or because he was horny or what.

 Down in the street the elderly couple has just come out of the store. They are holding hands and each one of them is carrying a brown paper bag with what I guess is bread inside. They walk closely together, maybe because they’re cold or maybe because of the love they feel for each other. Either way, they look perfect, happy and just beaming. They disappear after I follow them with my look for a couple of blocks. No one else is really out there except some of those idiots in bicycles and some others obviously heading to the gym or some shit at this time of day. My only obsession is smoking and maybe a beer or two but that cult on the body, I never got it.

 I hear my cellphone’s voice mail ringtone. It only lasts for a couple of seconds but I instantly worry it will awake the guy. But no, he doesn’t even move. I open the sliding door carefully, walk slowly to my pants and take out my cellphone from one of the pockets. And come out again, closing the door behind me. As I take another puff, I realize it was my ex who just left me a message. He’s drunk and says I fucked him up or something. He says I was great always but that I drove him insane. In the background I can hear very loud music. The message ends suddenly. I check it again but hear nothing out of the ordinary so I put my cellphone in the jacket.

 He has already done that, a couple of times after we broke up. It had to be said that it happened like four months ago and he still doesn’t get over it. And he should. Not only because it’s bad for him to hold that inside for so long but because he seems to forget he was the one that send our relationship to hell. I mean, that’s what normally happens when you want to surprise your guy with a nice present that you bought him in a nice little flea market downtown and you just find him in his house fucking another guy. Yeah, that’s what happened. Once I entered with the keys he had given me, I realized there was something wrong but you know people, we always want what we know to be a lie. But it wasn’t. He was fucking that guy hard.

 I’m not the kind, soft type. I opened up that door with a fucking kick and took pictures. Yeah, I did. I was driven insane and just wanted to fucking destroy him. He begged me not to show those to anyone and then I knew what was really important to him. I didn’t even look at the guy he was fucking, who just jumped like a rabbit and into the bathroom; maybe scared I would kick him in the balls. I wanted to. Fuck, I really did but I knew I could get into trouble if I did that. So I just took the present, my cellphone and what was left of my dignity and walked away.

 That ended up the relationship. Again, I’m not one of those stupid people that talks and decides and all that shit. For me, that was it. So I never saw him again. No accepting calls or messages or presents from him. Nothing. And yet, he still calls when drunk and has the nerve to blame me for him fucking another guy. I have to be clear on this: I don’t give a shit if he had a reason to go and fuck around. He felt neglected or needy or whatever? Cool, he could have told so to me and just have a healthy breakup or talk about it or whatever. But no, he took the whore’s road and here we are.

 I don’t even hate him. I stopped feeling anything for him at that moment. Yeah, I guess I cried a bit but I got over it. Again, it was a short-lived relationship and I never expected it to last for too long. But it hurts more when it that person who disappoints you. Because I can see me disappointing anyone and I have. But never like that and never before taking time to sit down and talk about what’s happening. It may seem cruel but I always tell them “You’re not my type”, “This isn’t working” and so on. I cut the shit and say the truth because I believe we all deserve that.

 So I guess that’s what makes me uncomfortable about this whole sex app thing. I mean, it’s great that we just cut to the chase and we know what we’re there for but maybe it’s too blunt, to direct. I would love to be able to charm someone into having sex with me and not just ask. Fuck, maybe I’m a romantic that way but doesn’t it fell better when people are attracted to you as a person and not just because you are another horny guy in their area or something? People nowadays seem to just be fucking around but not really caring about anything else and that kind of bothers me. But I guess that’s the way it is and who am I to say anything? Any way, this might be my only time in this so, who cares.

 Then, I feel two warm hands holding my waist and lips kissing my right cheek. We share a kiss and a hug and then we go back inside. I spoon him until he falls asleep and just before I do that myself; I realize things are as I want them to be. So I’ll smell his hair and enjoy his smile and just see where I can take this later today.

miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2015

All wrong

   Alan put one finger in the water: it was perfect. He closed the tap and took off his towel. He put it on a hanger just by the tub and then entered the water, laying peacefully in the tub, closing his eyes and smiling calmly. He hadn’t been properly relaxed for many days because of work and family and he had decided to take this Sunday to just be at peace with himself, enjoying what he liked and doing everything for him only.

 He opened his eyes remembering he hadn’t used the bath foam he had bought a day ago in the mall. He stood up, carefully stepped on the floor mat and walked to the sink. He grabbed the small bottle and poured some in the water. Then, when he was about to enter the calm of the bubbles, he heard the intercom’s sound. He decided not to answer it but then it kept on ringing. He grabbed the towel, put it around him and went to the kitchen to answer the call. Apparently someone from work had come to visit him and leave some documents. He asked the man to say he didn’t want any visitors but then he heard another voice: it was his boss and apparently he had come with his wife. There was no way to say no.

 He put on an old t-shirt and some gym pants and received them. He thought his clothing would make them go away but they certainly didn’t. The truth was his boss was very fond of him but he didn’t like him in return. He was the kind of person that would use other people’s time freely, as if it was his own. Alan had to give them some cookies he had gotten from his mother as well as coffee he had prepared for a post-tub breakfast.

 Their visit seemed eternal. Who visited an employee at nine in the morning on Sunday? His hatred of his boss grew exponentially as he told him his stupid stories about the club and encounter had had with a well-known actor in the airport and when he had gone to Thailand. Alan did not want to know any of that. He couldn’t give a fuck about what his boss did outside of work and, clearly, his boss didn’t really cared about his employee’s lives.

 Then, after all his stupid stories, he confessed he had only come to visit in order to give Alan some papers that he should read for a reunion the following morning. And the he just left, as if nothing had happened. Alan decided not to ask why he hadn’t sent those damn papers by email or with a courier or some other way. Why did he have to come and bother the only person that visibly disliked him in the office? It was funny how Alan really did not express any animosity for him but then he was all nice and kind to Alan.

 He tried to not think about work, leaving the papers on his coffee table. Alan walked back to the bathroom, where the bath foam had grown so much it was spilling on the sides of the bathtub. Deciding he didn’t really mind about it, he took off his clothes, left them on the floor and put one foot in the water. He almost fell backwards when he felt the icy cold water that was beneath the foam. Now he had to empty the tub and fill it with hot water again. Half of the cold water out would be enough to fill it again.

 When most of the water was out, he opened the hot water tap to refill it. He also added some more of the foam solution, as most of it had gone down the drain with the cold water. Then, the doorbell rang again. Alan let out an exasperated sound. He was going to kill the doorman if he had let someone in without asking him. He grabbed his towel and went to the door almost running. Before he realized he could have just not answer it, he had opened the door.

 It was his neighbor Marco, a big guy that apparently spent every hour of the day at the gym. Sure enough, he wore the right attire to go and work out but that wasn’t important right then. He was holding a white cat, very fluffy with a flat face.

 - Hey man. I was wondering if you could take care of Snowball for a few hours. I            normally leave with my…

 He’s face looked as if he had forgotten the word he was about to say or even why he was there. Alan stared impatient, looking from Marco’s stupid face, to his cat’s face and then back to Marco’s. Then, he realized he was only wearing a towel, which could fall at any moment because he had not put it correctly in the haste.

 - Am I interrupting something? – He said, looking at something over Alan’s shoulder,  which wasn’t very hard to do as he was very tall.

 - Kinda… - in a very cold voice.

 - Cool…. So my girlfriend won’t take him. She’s busy and can’t do it. So would you do  it? Just for a few hours. She has already eaten and she’s very well behaved.

 He held the cat in front of Alan’s face, as if the animal was an offering a weird sacrifice ritual. Alan took the cat that tried to release himself from the man’s arms, and told Marco not to be late because he had a very busy day ahead. Marco just nodded, smiling in a way he looked like a very small child. He gave the cat a pat in the head and then headed down the stairs.

 After closing the door, Alan left the cat on the floor and turned to go in the bathroom. But the cat crossed his path and tried to attract his attention. The creature just roared softly and circled him with his fluffy tail but Alan had no time for this. He grabbed the cat, walked back to the living room and left him there. But when he tried to leave, the cat would cross his path again. He grabbed it once more but then realized the cat’s paws were wet. He was about to yell in fury because he thought it was cat piss but it wasn’t.

 There was a very large puddle of water, still advancing, from the bathroom. Then he remembered the open water tap. He threw the cat away, which landed softly on the floor, and ran towards the bathroom, his towel falling to the damped floor. He almost fell trying to close the tab of water. There was soapy foam all over and the tub kept spilling water to the floor. He finally was able to close the tap and drain the water out of the tub. Now he was wet and soapy all over and his towel was more of a wet cloth than anything else.

 He went to the kitchen and when he was about to grab the mop, the doorbell rang again. Exasperated and frustrated because of his failure to be at peace, he opened the door, slamming in hard against the opposite wall.

 - What? What the fuck is it now?!

 On the other side of the door stood his landlady, an elderly woman who was always accompanied to the upper floors by the doorman, who stood behind her. They both stared at Alan and then the woman yelled and started saying things so loud no one really understood. But Alan did get one of the words: “Pervert”. And then he realized that he was still naked, having not replaced the wet towel with a clean one.

 He slammed the door shut and, for some reason, put the security chain on. He could hear the old lady yelling all the way to the elevator and the doorman trying to calm her down. It was a disaster. Alan just remembered she had told him she would visit in order to negotiate an extension on his rent contract, which he needed to do because of the great price and place he had there. Now that was, like the bathtub foam, down the drain.

 He slid down to the floor, covering his face with his face, frustrated and sad that this so-called “peace” day had been a total failure. Then, with his eyes covered, he heard a weird scratching sound. Panicked, he put his arms aside and realized that Snowball had been quiet, too quiet until now. As he got close to the sofa, he realized the cat was cutting it open, strings of fabric on the floor and even some of the foam from the cushions.

 But that wasn’t the only thing. The papers on the coffee table were now on the floor. And no one could say now what they had been because there was only a bunch of paper strips beneath the table. Alan looked at the cat, which meowed joyfully to him and kept on going with his destruction work.